The Architectural Context of Caches, Burials, and Other Ritual Activities for the Classic Period Maya (as Reflected at Caracol, Belize

  • The Architectural Context of Caches, Burials, and Other Ritual Activities for the Classic Period Maya (as Reflected at Caracol, Belize

by Diane Z. Chase and Arlen F. Chase

 

Introduction 

What goes inside a Maya building is just as significant in determining its function as a building’s architectural plan and external appearance. Structures are not alike in their contents. Some hold interments and caches; some contain earlier buildings; others are single or multiple construction efforts with no contents other than fill. Artifacts are found littered on the floors of some buildings, whereas other buildings are found completely clean. Careful consideration of the overall context of Maya architecture, in terms of both its siting and contents, leads to many questions about the associations of architecture and archaeological materials. For example, is there a correlation of ritual offerings with new construction? Do caches, burials, or “termination” rituals reflect the “dedication” of a new building, the final use of the previous construction, or something else altogether? Are changes in a building’s function apparent archaeologically in the final treatment of a given structure? Which buildings contain ritual deposits and which do not? And what other determining factors are there besides structure form and location?

 

 

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Keywords: Caracol, Ancient Maya, caches, burials, archaeological context

 

 

Suggested APA Reference: Chase, D. Z., & Chase, A. F. (1998). The architectural context of caches, burials, and other ritual activities for the Classic period Maya (as reflected at Caracol, Belize). Function and meaning in Classic Maya architecture, 299-332.

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