During the 2019 field season of the Chan Chich Archaeological Project (CCAP)/Belize Estates Archaeological Survey Team's (BEAST) work in northwestern Belize, excavations commenced at an elite household at the site of Gallon Jug, named Courtyard B-1. Excavations revealed intriguing details about the lives of the inhabitants through the presence of burials, ceramics, architecture, and – as is central to this research – Patolli boards. Patolli, a prehistoric game of chance played throughout Mesoamerican, is a relatively under researched topic within the field of archaeology. In this thesis I argue that the patolli boards at Gallon Jug portray evidence of elite competition and shifts to social dynamics at the site. Through the analysis of setting, symbolism and the available data regarding patolli across the Maya region, this research shows that even something as seemingly mundane as a game of chance can yield valuable insights into the lives of those who played them.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
Kopp, Nicholas C., "Social Change and Games of Chance at the Site of Gallon Jug" (2020). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 841.