What's in That Incense Burner? A Study of Residues at Balamku

Author(s): Kimberly Zhu; Guillermo ae Anda

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "Studies in Mesoamerican Subterranean Archaeology" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

It is so widely accepted that the Maya burned copal incense in their rituals that the assumption has gone unquestioned. During the 2018 season, the Gran Acuífero Maya Project began a multi-year investigation of the cave of Balamku near Chichen Itza. The cave contains a large number of incense burners filled with burned material that permits a far closer scrutiny of this aspect of Maya ceremonialism. The first preliminary examination of botanical material has found large quantities of charred wood that appears to be pine. This discovery has important economic implications because of the distance from the cave to the nearest source of pine. This and other contents will be discussed in my presentation.

Cite this Record

What's in That Incense Burner? A Study of Residues at Balamku. Kimberly Zhu, Guillermo ae Anda. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 451099)

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 25908