The sword and the olive jar: Material evidence of seventeenth-century maya-European interaction in central Belize

Jaime J. Awe, Christophe Helmke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article describes the recent discovery of a sword and olive jar of European origin in two separate cave sites in the Roaring Creek Valley in central Belize. Analysis of the sword and olive jar places their date of manufacture between the late sixteenth and the mid-seventeenth century. The sociopolitical environment that prevailed along the seventeenth-century colonial frontier in Belize suggests that the sword was acquired by the Maya by peaceful or bellicose interactions with Europeans, whereas the archaeological contexts in which the European-made objects were discovered provide evidence for native ritual continuity amid persistent proselytization efforts by the Spanish invaders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-360
Number of pages28
JournalEthnohistory
Volume62
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Belize
  • Caves
  • Colonial frontier
  • European contact
  • Maya

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Anthropology

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