THE VIEW OF MAYA CAVE RITUAL FROM THE OVERLOOK ROCKSHELTER, CAVES BRANCH RIVER VALLEY, CENTRAL BELIZE
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Journal of Cave and Karst Studies
Archaeological investigations of the Overlook Rockshelter in the Caves Branch River Valley of central Belize offer a unique view of ancient Maya cave ritual through the complete recovery and analysis of all artifacts within the site’s two small activity areas. In general, the assemblage contains many of the same types of objects documented from other nearby caves and rockshelters. However, the nearly 1700 ceramics sherds showed almost no refits, demonstrating that sherds were deposited at the site individually, rather than as complete vessels. The human bone assemblage represents three or four individuals, with the majority of the bones comprising a single individual, and all of these were deposited as incomplete secondary interments. Analogies for this depositional behavior based on archaeological and ethnographic studies suggest that this rockshelter may represent a waypoint within a ritual circuit composed of multiple locations over which fragments of complete items such as ceramic vessels and secondary burials were spread.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Wrobel, Gabriel D.; Shelton, Rebecca; Morton, Shawn; and Lynch, Joshua, "THE VIEW OF MAYA CAVE RITUAL FROM THE OVERLOOK ROCKSHELTER, CAVES BRANCH RIVER VALLEY, CENTRAL BELIZE" (2013). KIP Articles. 7179.