Ana Hageage, Anthropology
"Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance"
Faculty Mentor: Mrs. Esther Read
Expected Graduation Date: December 2008
There is much speculation regarding the collapse of the Maya civilization. Currently there are three theories surrounding the abandonment of large Maya cities in the southern lowlands encompassing the Cayo district of Belize. These theories include ecological disaster caused by overuse of land, economic warfare, and catastrophic changes such as drought and famine. Specifically, the Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance Project (BVAR) will concentrate on the site of “Baking Pot”, a capital city containing a temple palace, administrative structures, a central plaza and a ball court, located on the Upper Belize River Valley. Through the excavation and mapping of this site and subsequent analysis of lithic and human remains, as well as analysis of the hieroglyphs found on the structures themselves, I hope to find evidence to support any or all of these theories leading to the development of a hypothesis on which I can springboard future research.