Exploring trends in mortuary behavior among the ancient Maya of northwestern Belize

Author(s): Stacy Drake

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "Ancient Maya Landscapes in Northwestern Belize, Part I" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Studies of ancient Maya mortuary patterns have asserted that Maya burials do not adhere to a singular mortuary pattern (Ashmore and Geller 2005, Fitzsimmons 2009, Geller 2004, Ruz Lhuillier 1965, Welsh 1988). However, many of these same studies also suggest that a review of data specific to certain contexts (inter-site, time period, region, and/or social class) may yield new trends that have not yet been identified. Through ongoing excavations and reviews of past-recorded Maya burials, regional, small-scale data sets of mortuary behaviors are available to test these assertions. This presentation explores burial data recovered from 25-years’ worth of excavations in northwestern Belize. A total of 123 individuals represent 2000 years of Maya mortuary behavior across 12 archaeological sites of varying sizes and types. Observed patterns are presented with the aim of exploring mortuary variability and commonality, and to spur future investigations into regional interaction and fluidity through time among these geographically and temporally complex culture groups.

Cite this Record

Exploring trends in mortuary behavior among the ancient Maya of northwestern Belize. Stacy Drake. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 452252)

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 24225