Ancient Maya Traders of Ambergris Caye by Dr. Thomas H. Guderjan

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By Dr. Thomas H. Guderjan

Archaeologists are not sure precisely whilst the Maya inhabited the coastal components of Belize, yet abundant facts exists to help an in depth maritime alternate community alongside the coast through A.D. six hundred This quantity makes a speciality of the maritime alternate community websites on Ambergris Caye, Belize the place excavations have printed remnants of very small villages, or camps, alongside the Caribbean coastline.

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At Chac Balam, unlike most other sites, the marl platforms were faced with cut limestone to produce a facade similar to mainland architecture. On top of these platforms would have been pole and thatch houses. Chac Balam yielded an artifact inventory similar to San Juan's. Polychrome pottery from the mainland and trade goods from the north and south were recovered as well as artifacts of obsidian, basalt, slate and green-stones such as jade. To bury one important adult male, a new addition was built on one of the platforms on top of the body.

D.. Not only have world-wide sea levels risen, but the geologic plate of which Ambergris and northern Belize are parts is tilting downward. Residents of the town of Corozal complain about the loss of their front yards to the bay during their lifetimes and the site of Cerros was once on the New River. With the expansion of the bay, Cerros is now several miles from the river's mouth. Likewise, Yalamha has sunk. As it did, wave action eroded away all of the soil and left the potsherds and stone tools to gradually drop onto the bedrock below the place where they had been used 1,300 or more years ago.

Garber, Herman Smith, Fred Stross, Helen Michel, and Frank Asaro 1989 Maya Maritime Trade and Sources of Obsidian at San Juan, Ambergris Cay, Belize. Journal of Field Archaeology 16(4):363-369. , and Lorraine A. Williams-Beck 2001 Another Dimension of Trade and Interaction on Ambergris Caye, Belize. Mexicon 18(5):123-125. Stemp, James 2001 Chipped Stone Tool Use in the Maya Coastal Economies of Marco Gonzalez and San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. BAR International Series 935. Oxford, England.

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