Date of Award

12-2018

Culminating Project Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Cultural Resources Management Archaeology: M.S.

Department

Anthropology

College

College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Mark Muniz

Second Advisor

Jeffery Torguson

Third Advisor

Robbie Mann

Fourth Advisor

Thomas Guderjan

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

Maya, chert, lithics, stone-tools, archaeology

Abstract

Stone tools played an important role in the everyday life of the ancient Maya. Whether for ritual or domestic uses, stone tools were required to complete everyday tasks. Access to stone resources used to make tools, including chert, likely influenced the sociopolitical relationships between communities and cities across the ancient landscape. Through various methods including field survey, lab analysis, and statistical analysis, various chert resources in Northwestern Belize are identified and analyzed in order to recognize chert procurement locations and possible tool production sites or workshops. In addition, an overall analysis of chert quality is included to form a better understanding of how chert may have moved across the landscape. These chert materials are then compared to the bifacial chert tools from the site of Xnoha. A medium sized Maya city, Xnoha, appears to have been a consumer of these nearby chert resources and provided a large sample of bifaces dating to the Late Preclassic through the Classic periods. While this research is just a beginning for chert sourcing in Northwestern Belize, it identifies important resource locations across the landscape, provides information on the quality and makeup of the stone in this region, and points this topic towards methods of analysis that may increase our knowledge in the future.

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