Caches, Burials, and Vases, Oh My: Ritual Deposits in an Elite Courtyard at the Ancient Maya Site of Pacbitun, Belize
Recent investigations in a large, enclosed courtyard on the southwest corner of the ancient Maya site of Pacbitun, Belize, revealed evidence of successive emplacements of ritually important deposits. Initial analysis of the ceramic material suggests that the entire courtyard plaza has only one or two floors, with construction and use only during the Late to Terminal Classic period (600 – 900 CE). Five caches and two cyst graves were related directly to the plaza floor. The caches consisted primarily of ceramics, but some also included jade and obsidian eccentrics. The two cyst graves were on the western and eastern edges of the central excavation unit. Additional graves, with slate capstones, were found west of the central unit. Either these were initially intrusive through the plaza floor, or subsequent revisiting of the burials breached the plaza floor. A burial on top of the westernmost slate capstones was particularly interesting, with associated fragments of a partially restorable Ulua Valley marble vase, a pair of carved shell atlatl finger loops, jade inlaid teeth, and shell and bone grave goods. The burials, caches, and associated artifacts are compared with other Belize Valley and lowlands sites, illuminating relationships between ritual practices across these areas.
Cite this Record
Caches, Burials, and Vases, Oh My: Ritual Deposits in an Elite Courtyard at the Ancient Maya Site of Pacbitun, Belize. Sheldon Skaggs, Peter Cherico. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444639)
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min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;
Abstract Id(s): 19887