Tipan Chen Uitz (”Fortress Mountain Well”): A Major ”New”Maya Center in the Cayo District, Belize

  • Tipan Chen Uitz (”Fortress Mountain Well”): A Major ”New”Maya Center in the Cayo District, Belize

by Christopher R. Andres, Gabriel D. Wrobel, and Shawn G. Morton

 

 

Introduction 

In 2009, the Caves Branch Archaeological Survey (CBAS)undertook its initial season of investigations in central Belize.In an effort to achieve a regional perspective, the project pursued a variety of inter-related objectives, including map-ping and limited excavations in caves and rock shelters; chronological assessment of Deep Valley, a minor ceremonial center and the largest known site in the Caves Branch River Valley(Jordan 2008); mapping of several smaller surface sites; and reconnaissance designed to document previously unrecorded sites in and around the valley. Our work not only seeks to establish occupational chronologies, but to identify relation-ships between sites of different types and sizes. Ultimately,these efforts will allow for a broad, supra-site level reconstruction of pre-Hispanic Maya community patterns in this part of the southern lowlands. In 2009, a large previously unreported site, Tipan Chen Uitz, was documented. In this article, we describe the site’s physical attributes and suggest that Tipan Chen Uitz’s location between two major drainage has potential to broadly inform understandings of political, economic,and ritual developments leading up to the Maya ”collapse.”We also outline how a study of this unusual center relative to other nearby sites has the potential to advance regional approaches in the Maya area.

 

 

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Keywords: ancient Maya, archaeology, Cayo District, Belize.

 

 

Suggested APA reference: Andres, C., Wrobel, G., and Morton, S. (2010) Tipan Chen Uitz (“Fortress Mountain Well”): A major “New” Maya Center in the Cayo District, Belize. Mexicon: Vol. 32, p 88-94.

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