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

Posted: Monday, September 12, 2022. 10:33 am CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: Archaeologists from the Belize Institute of Archaeology and students of the University of Illinois have found a 1,000-year-old Maya settlement in central Belize, Heritage Daily reports.

The site was found in a Mennonite farming community.

The researchers have dated the site to the Early Classic Period between AD 250 and AD 600. This period marked the peak of large-scale construction and urbanism, the recording of monumental inscriptions, and demonstrated significant intellectual and artistic development across the Maya world, the report noted.

The structures contained agricultural tools made of chert (a crystalline rock that resembles flint) and examples of manos and metates for grinding maize into the floor.

Parts of the surrounding forest were apparently left intact for breeding animals, evidenced by the discovery of animal bones in situ.

One of the structures appeared to function as a meeting place or ceremonial structure.

Within the interior the team found 15 stemmed points made of chert, suggesting that they were used for ceremonial offerings during ritual gatherings or for placing in a dedicatory cache.

Based on other Maya sites, it is probable that the platform was reserved for the settlement’s elite who often lived on raised mounds with their extended families.

 

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