Eccentric Production Techniques and Caching Practices at Xunantunich, Belize

Author(s): Kelsey Sullivan; Jaime Awe

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "Ceremonial Lithics of Mesoamerica: New Understandings of Technology, Distribution, and Symbolism of Eccentrics and Ritual Caches in the Maya World and Beyond" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Though identified at sites throughout Mesoamerica and the Maya Lowlands, eccentric lithics remain poorly understood and understudied. These esoteric artifacts, however, are very important to understanding the ritual expression of the complex ideologies of the ancient Maya. Over 100 years of archaeological research at Xunantunich in the Belize Valley, including ongoing work by the Xunantunich Archaeology and Conservation Project, has revealed prolific dedicatory caches containing eccentric lithics throughout the Late Classic site core. This large corpus of eccentrics makes Xunantunich an ideal center for a comprehensive examination of a range of production techniques and ritual practices at a single center. An investigation of these eccentric caches elucidates strong regional similarities in the manifestations of this pan-Maya caching tradition, as well as local divergences from other sites in the Maya Lowlands. In this paper, we expand on previous research into ritual caches from Xunantunich and focus on a range of complex technological processes associated with the production of these tools. We also present the results of an experimental study into the creation of specific eccentric types. This research explores methods for understanding the production techniques of eccentric lithics, which serves to enhance the study of ancient Maya eccentric lithics.

Cite this Record

Eccentric Production Techniques and Caching Practices at Xunantunich, Belize. Kelsey Sullivan, Jaime Awe. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450427)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -94.197; min lat: 16.004 ; max long: -86.682; max lat: 21.984 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 25360