From the Canopy to the Caye: Two of Britain's Colonial Ventures in Nineteenth-Century Belize

Author(s): Tracie Mayfield; Simmons Scott

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "After Cortés: Archaeological Legacies of the European Invasion in Mesoamerica" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

During the nineteenth century, Latin America was a hotbed of trade and commerce driven principally by extractive industries such as agriculture and hardwood collection. Such ventures required large injections of capital into the creation and maintenance of productive landscapes as well as for hiring, housing, and feeding the workers who provided labor. Our presentation will explore two such sites in Belize: Lamanai, an inland site, which is located in northwestern Belize and San Pedro Town, located off the coast of Belize on Ambergris Caye. During the nineteenth century British colonists established settlements at these sites: at Lamanai, to plant sugar cane and harvest hardwoods and on Ambergris Caye to cultivate coconuts. Along with wild fauna, chicken, beef, and bottled, canned, or barreled products such as soda water, salted pork, and potted meat, the residents of nineteenth-century Lamanai and San Pedro Town were also active consumers of tobacco and bottled alcoholic beverages. In addition, earned labor money was used to purchase bottled medicines, health and hygiene products (e.g. chamber pots), and wearable objects such as buttons and boot heels. We compare and contrast these two contemporary sites, situated in different landscapes, but both within the Latin American, British colonial-industrial complex.

Cite this Record

From the Canopy to the Caye: Two of Britain's Colonial Ventures in Nineteenth-Century Belize. Tracie Mayfield, Simmons Scott. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450622)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -92.153; min lat: -4.303 ; max long: -50.977; max lat: 18.313 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 23295