Belize -- Antiquities, Caracol Site (Belize), Marine resources -- Belize -- Caracol Site, Mayas -- Belize -- Caracol Site -- Antiquities, Mayas -- Food -- Belize -- Caracol Site
The ancient Maya had strong ties to the sea. The trade, transportation and use of marine resources were important not only to coastal Maya communities, but also to the heavily populated cities that lay many miles inland. A review of zooarchaeological evidence recovered from excavations at the inland site of Caracol, Belize suggests that the inhabitants imported marine fish for food, marine shell for working into trade items, and sharks teeth and stingray spines for ritual use. This thesis examines the manner in which fish and other marine resources were used, procured and transported from the coast to the site of Caracol. The possibility that certain marine fish might have been transported alive to the site is explored. An examination of present day fishing and animal husbandry practices suggests that many species could have survived an inland trip in ancient times if transported under conditions that allowed for water exchanges and minimized stress. Marine resources had important economic and ritual significance to the people of Caracol. Understanding the methods by which these valuable items were transported and traded ultimately facilitates a greater understanding of the economic and socio-political relationships among these ancient polities.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences, Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Cunningham, Smith Petra, "Fish From Afar Marine Resource Use At Caracol, Belize" (2011). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1914.