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Ancient Maya beekeeping site discovered in Quintana Roo, Mexico

Posted: Sunday, June 23, 2024. 3:01 pm CST.

By Horace Palacio: Archaeologists in Mexico have unearthed an ancient Maya beekeeping site in Quintana Roo, highlighting the importance of beekeeping in Maya culture and suggesting that the practice was more widespread than previously thought, according to MSN. The discovery was made during excavations for the Maya Train project.

The site, located in the southern part of Quintana Roo, yielded three “jobon caps,” or panuchos, which are limestone lids used to cover traditional Maya beehives. These artifacts, dating back to the Postclassic period (950-1539 A.D.), were typically associated with the cultivation of the native Melipona beecheii bee species.

This discovery confirms historical accounts that have long suggested the presence of Maya beekeeping practices in the southern regions of Quintana Roo. Previously, evidence of beekeeping had been found only in the northern part of the peninsula. The find challenges previous assumptions about the geographical extent of Maya beekeeping and provides valuable insights into the daily lives and agricultural practices of the ancient Maya people.

In addition to the jobon caps, archaeologists also uncovered various other artifacts, including ceramics, lithics, flint tools, a decorated casket, and other items indicative of daily life. These finds offer a glimpse into the lives of ordinary Mayas who were not part of the elite, shedding light on their social and economic activities.

The discovery of this ancient beekeeping site contributes to a deeper understanding of Maya culture and its intricate relationship with the environment. 

 

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