The term "problematical deposits" was coined decades ago at Tikal to refer to special deposits that were neither burials nor caches. Since that time, the term has been expanded to refer to a range of deposits that have puzzled archaeologists. In this paper we review the various interpretations that have been offered for these deposits including de facto refuse, squatter deposits, and the remains of dedication or termination ritual, feasting, or pilgrimage. We argue that the superficial similarity of these deposits can make it difficult to identify the range of activities that they represent and that detailed contextual analysis is required to distinguish them. We offer some of the archaeological correlates that have been associated with different types of problematic deposits.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)