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Preceramic cave use in Belize

Burns, Jeffrey (2018) Preceramic cave use in Belize. Masters thesis, Northern Arizona University.

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Abstract

Little evidence for human use of caves in Belize is available for the long span of time from the first human habitation of the area until the beginnings of Maya civilization. This thesis seeks to further the understanding of preceramic people in Belize by examining the information that is available from the few archaeological projects which have uncovered evidence of Paleoindian and Archaic use of caves throughout the Maya area and surrounding region, but with an emphasis on Belize, and explores what those data might indicate as to the nature and extent of preceramic cave use. The conclusions of this research suggest that significant cave use by preceramic peoples occurred throughout Mesoamerica, primarily for practical and not necessarily ritual purposes, such as short-term seasonal habitation and water procurement. While there is currently little evidence for this in Belize, the paucity of data probably stems from a lack of focused research, logistical challenges, the ephemeral nature of the preceramic archaeological record, and subsequent destruction or obfuscation of cultural residue by later Maya use of caves.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Publisher’s Statement: © Copyright is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the Cline Library, Northern Arizona University. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Keywords: Belize; Cave; Preceramic
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
NAU Depositing Author Academic Status: Student
Department/Unit: Graduate College > Theses and Dissertations
College of Social and Behavioral Science > Anthropology
Date Deposited: 14 Feb 2022 17:56
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 08:30
URI: https://openknowledge.nau.edu/id/eprint/5407

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