• Tufan Akbay

Archaeologists unearth a 1,000-year-old Maya settlement in central Belize

After the ceramic examinations by archaeologists, the area is thought to belong to the Early Classical Period, between AD 250 and AD 600.

This period is considered to be quite important for the Mayan world. Because during this period, it was seen that large-scale construction and urbanism, monumental inscriptions and very important intellectual evidence were made.

Image Credit : VOPA and Belize Institute of Archaeology, NICH

At the site in Belize, plaster floors of various structures, household items used for eating and storage, agricultural tools made of chert (a crystalline rock resembling flintstone) and manos were found.

Although the community was originally known as an agricultural community, parts of the surrounding forest were left intact for the breeding of animals.

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One of the buildings in the area was used as a meeting house or ceremonial structure. It was observed that uniform stones and white limestone plasters were used in the building.

Investigations by the team revealed that there were 15 spiked points made of chert in the interior of the building. This suggests that these areas were used during ritual meetings for ceremonial candidates or to place them in a dedicatory cache.

Image Credit : VOPA and Belize Institute of Archaeology, NICH

Another event that surprised archaeologists was the discovery of an important platform mound on which four structures were built at the summit. Based on results from other Maya sites, it is thought that the platform may have been reserved for the settlement's elite, who often lived on raised mounds with their extended families.