APPLYING REGIONAL, CONTEXTUAL, ETHNOHISTORIC, and ETHNOGRAPHIC APPROACHES for UNDERSTANDING the SIGNIFICANCE of PERI-ABANDONMENT DEPOSITS in WESTERN BELIZE

Jaime J. Awe, Christophe Helmke, James J. Aimers, Claire E. Ebert, W. James Stemp, Julie A. Hoggarth

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

The discovery of cultural remains on or above the floors of rooms and courtyards at several Maya sites has been interpreted by some archaeologists as problematic deposits, squatter's refuse, as evidence for feasting, termination rituals, de facto refuse, or rapid abandonment as a result of warfare. Investigations by the Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance Project have recorded similar deposits at several surface and subterranean sites in Western Belize. Our regional, contextual, and methodological approaches for studying these deposits, coupled with ethnohistoric and ethnographic information, provide limited support for the interpretation of these remains as de facto refuse or due to rapid abandonment. Instead, we argue that these deposits are more likely the result of peri-abandonment activities such as propitiation rituals and/or pilgrimages during and after the gradual abandonment of sites in the Belize River Valley.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-126
Number of pages18
JournalAncient Mesoamerica
Volume31
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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