HEART OF EARTH
Edited by James E. Brady ASSOCIATION FOR MEXICAN CA VE STUDIES BULLETIN 23 2012 HEART OF EARTH STUDIES IN MAYA RITUAL CA VE USE
AMCS Bulletin 23 Heart of Earth 4 Association for Mexican Cave Studies PO Box 7672 Austin, T exas 78713 www.amcs-pubs.org James. E. Brady Printed in the United States of America Cover photo: This structure at the back of Quen Santo Cave 3, Huehuetenango, Guatemala, was called the T emple Room by Eduard Seler in his report published in 1901. The room is still an important pilgrimage destination for the Maya. Photograph by Allan Cobb.
5 AMCS Bulletin 23 Heart of Earth Contents 7 Preface Historical Developments in Cave Archaeology 9 Chapter 1: The Historical Context of the Founding of Maya Cave Archaeology Ann M. Scott 17 Chapter 2: The Mesoamerican Cave Paradigm: Its Historical Development C. L. Kieffer and Ann M. Scott Archaeological Field Studies 29 Chapter 3: Cueva del Sapo: A GIS Spatial Analysis of Surface Remains in a Classic Ritual Cave of Western Chiapas, Mexico Davide Domenici and Cristina Pongetti 51 Chapter 4: Windows of the Earth: An Ethnoarchaeological Study on Cave Use in Suchitepquez and Solol, Guatemala Reiko Ishihara-Brito and Jenny Guerra James E. Brady 69 Chapter 6: Jereftheel, Roaring Creek Works, Belize Christophe G. B. Helmke and Gabriel D. Wrobel 83 Chapter 7: Investigations at Actun Neko, Caves Branch River Valley, Belize Shawn G. Morton, Christophe Helmke and Jaime J. Awe 95 Chapter 8: Constructing the Underworld: The Built Environment in Ancient Mesoamerican Caves Holley Moyes Artifact Studies 111 Chapter 9: A Green Obsidian Eccentric from Actun Uayazba Kab, Belize W. James Stemp, Christophe G.B. Helmke, Jaime J. Awe, Tristan Carter, and Sarah Grant 125 Chapter 10: Manuports in Caves Michael Mirro James E. Brady 137 Chapter 12: Using Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry to Source Speleothems from Archaeological Contexts in the Sibun Valley Region of Belize, Central America Humberto Nation, Polly A. Peterson, James E. Brady, Hector Neff, and Patricia A. McAnany
7 AMCS Bulletin 23 Heart of Earth Preface The idea for this volume of short articles grew out of a discussion with Dominique Rissolo in Merida that touched on a number of issues related to Maya cave archaeology. organized each year at the Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology (SAA) where new advances in method and theory were being presented. We both expressed our concern, however, with the fact that publication of this work was lagging. The problem was that practitioners were increasingly operating on a shared understanding of a body of grey literature that was inaccessible to those outside of the small circle of cave specialists. T here are many reasons for the lack of publications, some of which are common to small, emerging sub-disciples. Many of the presentations targeted issues that were considered too narrowly focused for submission to a general anthropology or archaeology journal. While a specialty journal like the Journal of Cave and Karst Studies was a possibility, their backlog for theme issues made them unattractive. Since Dominique and I had both worked with the Association for Mexican Cave Studies we agreed that this would be the preferred venue. I was delighted when the editor, Bill Mixon, expressed his support for the project. The articles submitted fall nicely into three categories. ogy, begins with A nn Scotts, T he H istorical Context of the F ounding of Maya Cave A rchaeology, which was presented at the 2004 SAA meeting. The paper has been considerably revised since then and establishes a chronology that is gen erally followed today. The article is particularly important in illuminating the transition between the Post War Period ending in the 1970s and the F oundation Period beginning in the 1980s. Kieffer and Scotts important work, The Meso american Cave Paradigm, articulates what the authors feel are the core tenants of cave archaeology. These have never been explicitly set out, so it will be interesting to see if it the problems of going through the peer review process. A positive reviewer wanted the detailed critique of habitation cut because (s)he felt that no one held this view any longer. A second reviewer, however, vehemently maintained that cave habitation was obvious. The third reviewer got so bogged down in the term paradigm that (s)he never ad dressed the substance of the paper. I was pleased to grab it and present it here. T he second section, A rchaeological F ield Studies, includes contributions on Mexico, Guatemala and Belize. Domenici and Pongetti provide an excellent overview of chronological changes in cave ritual in the Selva E l O cote area of Chiapas. Their GIS analysis of the Cueva del Sapo isolated changes in the utilization of the cave over time. Ishihara-Brito and Guerras contribution is of great interest, in that we know almost nothing about cave use in the piedmont area of Gua temala. It further reinforces the importance of caves even in non-karstic areas. F inally, they provide ethnographic data on the continued use of these caves. While the cave association of monster mask faades on Chenes structures has long been recognized, my article on architectural caves draws attention to an additional type of structure whose form suggests that it was meant to represent a cave. Sabalam provides evidence that architectural caves existed from at least the transition between Middle to Late Preclassic. The contributions from Belize not only present case studies but attempt to expand the limits of our interpretive frameworks as well. A t Jereftheel, Helmke and Wrobel attempt to relate the osteological and artifactual assemblages to spatial distribution in order to get a sense of the number of events that occurred in the cave. They then scrutinize their ceramic assemblage to identify what they consider to be a ceramic activity set. Morton et al. look at the temporal differences in the use of space at A ctun Neko. Like Stemp et al., this contribution also provides a detailed analysis of an usual artifact, a shell disc. The last contribution in this section presents a valuable review of previous analyses of cave architecture. Moyes then attempts to interpret architecture at Las Cuevas in terms of its creating a cosmological landscape through which actors move. themes. Stemp et al. analyze a green obsidian eccentric from A ctun Uayazba Kab. T he artifact at this point is unique. T he contributions by Mirro and me are closely related. Mirro describes the use of granite cobbles in Barton Creek Cave and stresses the fact that none of this material occurs natu rally on the ledges. All of the stone, therefore, even in the most unpretentious feature, represented a deliberate act by some ancient visitor. The observation allows us to appreci ate, furthermore, the labor expended in hauling the stone up to the ledges. Leaving No Stone Unturned discusses the caves. E thnographic data are presented to illustrate the range of meanings that can be attached to these objects. Finally, Nation et al. report the results of attempts to use Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry to source speleothems from the Sibun Valley, Belize. The authors advance some from assumptions previously made.James E. Brady
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 1 Scott 9 1 T he H istorical Context of the F ounding of Maya Cave A rchaeology Ann M. Scott History never looks like history when you are living through it. It always looks confusing and messy, and it always feels uncomfortable.John W. Gardner Writing intellectual history is like trying to nail jelly to the wall.William Hesseltine Cave exploration has a long history in Maya archaeology, but it is generally agreed that a formal body of methodology and theory concerning caves only developed in the last two decades of the twentieth century. Because of this, Maya cave archaeology has only recently achieved recognition as a legitimate area of investigation. It is also the case that recently that they have little appreciation of the tumultuous because the details of this period are known to only the few individuals who actually participated in the events so these chapters can easily be lost. T his article will explore the impact of a series of events during the 1970s that changed the course of Maya cave archaeology. 1 As an actor during cave archaeologys formative period, I was present while their impact was still being acutely felt. T he events described below have been largely ignored in the few historical pieces written about Maya cave archaeol cave research, formulated in the mid-1980s, does not mention these events perhaps because they had occurred too recently to be put in historical perspective (Brady 1989:10-31). As John W. Gardner aptly notes, History never looks like his tory when you are living through it. In a later work, Brady and Prufer (2005) discuss the intellectual background of this period in their review of theoretical publications during the 1970s and early 1980s, but the focus on published works can often be misleading. T hese intellectual assessments often focus on the contribution of antecedents to later work and thus emphasize continuity. T he lag between research and publication also has a tendency to create temporal gaps between events and later publications that were affected by those events. T his gap may obscure the relationship between events and publications. Both of these tendencies are evident in the previous discussions of the relationship of cave pub lications in the 1970s to those in the 1980s. An examination of actual historical events provides a very different view of what occurred during the 1970s and explains the trajectory In the course of analyzing these events and their implications I have questioned previously proposed chronologies for the emergence of Maya cave archaeology as a self-conscious the end of the 1990s. I have attempted to construct a balanced assessment of the period by consulting a number of senior scholars who generously agreed to share their insights and opinions with me. Brief History of Maya Cave Investigations Historically, cave investigations in the Maya area can be traced back to the work of Stephens and Catherwood in the 1840s (Stephens 1841, 1843). Over time, interest in carried out in the last decade of the 19 th century, including: Henry Mercers The Hill-Caves of Yucatan (1896), Edward Thompsons Cave of Loltun (1897), George Gordons Cav erns of Copan (1898), and Eduard Selers report on Quen Santo (1901). While these studies were laudable in terms of fairly spectacular discoveries such as the ossuary in Cave 3 at Copan and the T emple Room in Cave 3 at Quen Santo failed to generate any discussion or debate about the nature of Maya cave use. Instead, cave investigation all but disappeared from Maya archaeology during the period between the World Wars (Brady and Prufer 2005:1). Hammond (1982:20) in cludes these years in what he calls the Period of Institutional Domination. With the exception of the British Museums excavations at Pusilha (Joyce 1929; Joyce et al. 1928; Grun ing 1930), none of the major institutional projects allocated any appreciable resources to cave investigation. T he impact was tremendous. Not only did cave investigations fail to participate in the remarkable advances occurring within 1 A version of this paper was originally presented in the Biennial Gordon Willey Symposium on the History of Archaeology at the 69th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in 2004. The author wishes to thank the organizers, Stephen E. Nash and James N. Snead, for the op portunity to participate.
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 1 Scott 10 Maya archaeology as a whole, but their exclusion from the large projects marginalized them as an area of inquiry. It is not surprising that cave investigation languished and that, in general, this period: produced a number of short cave descriptions but, by and large, these were nothing more than visits that lasted only long enough to gather up the choicest artifacts. None of these reports approached the best work of the previous period either in methodology or completeness (Brady 1989:20). Cave studies experienced a resurgence during the Post-War synthetic statement on Maya cave use did not appear until cave use was Sir J. Eric Thompsons The Role of Caves in Maya Culture published in an obscure German journal in 1959. It was not until Thompson revised and expanded his synthesis for the introduction to the reprint edition of Mercers The Hill-Caves of Yucatan in 1975 that his contribution was widely circulated. Historical Events of the 1970s The resurgence of Maya cave studies culminated in the 1970s with a number of important publications, of which three are particularly noteworthy: the Balankanche report published in 1970 by E. Wyllys Andrews IV, Thompsons synthesis in 1975, and MacLeod and Pulestons article Pathways into Darkness that appeared in 1979. 2 While the intellectual contribution of these works is recognized, they have not been interpreted within the context of historical events occurring at the same time. These events brought a close to the Post-War Era and allowed a radically different theoretical approach to emerge in the 1980s and later become established in the 1990s. In light of the important contributions made during the 1970s, it is not surprising that Bradys (1989) history of cave studies simply placed his own work as a continuation of the tradition that preceded him. This, however, obscures how the deaths of three prominent scholars during the 1970s T he premature death of E Wyllys A ndrews IV in 1971 at age gist at the time with experience in caves. His publications on Gruta de Chac (1965) and Balankanche (1961, 1970, 1971) had been far more detailed than previous cave work, despite the fact that the investigations were carried out as adjunct components to his surface project at Dzibilchultun. accepted by scholars as relating to a ritual use of the cave. F urthermore, A ndrews held a prominent academic position at T ulane, which was the leading A merican university working in Y ucatan, and could draw on the resources of the Middle American Research Institute. T he death of Sir J. E ric T hompson in 1975 at age 76 ( H ammond 1977) also deprived cave studies of its most prominent advocate and the only Mayanist of the era who had done serious scholarship on caves. His 1959 synthesis a ritual perspective. Because it was published by H amburgs Museum fr Vlkerkunde, the article went largely unnoticed, although some scholars such as David Pendergast (e.g., 1970, 1971) recognized its importance and cited the work. Even Edwin Shook, Thompsons colleague at the Carnegie Institu tion of Washington, professed never to have seen the piece (Brady 2005a:f-5). While the revised version of this paper was widely distributed when published in 1975, historical events mitigated its impact. T hompsons death the same year for a time his work was not taken as authoritative (Brady 2005a:f-6). A s a result, the second synthesis was essentially ignored and Thompsons premise that cave utilization was basically religious in nature was never widely accepted. Instead, habitation tended to remain the default explanation for the presence of cultural material in caves. Thompsons death also removed the dominant voice in Maya studies as a possible champion of cave archaeology. Finally, the tragic death of Dennis Puleston in 1978 at age 38 deprived cave studies of an original thinker and an energetic investigator who had just begun to explore caves (Harrison and Messenger 1980; Willey 1982). It appeared Maya cave use only days before being struck by lightning on the top of the Castillo pyramid at Chichn Itz (MacLeod and Puleston 1979). Certainly he was ideally situated to take such a leadership role with a position at the University of Minnesota and with an established reputation and strong ties to the most prominent Mayanists from his work on the T ikal Project in the 1960s. Later, Barbara MacLeod, who had been prominent in Belizean cave exploration during the 1970s (McNatt 1996:82), appeared to retire from active cave investigations and instead shifted to Maya iconographic and epigraphic studies. T he one archaeologist of note with cave experience whose career spans the 1970s and 1980s was David Pendergast. During the 1960s and early 1970s, Pendergast conducted investigations in Belize (1962, 1964, 1966, 1969, 1970, utilization to that point. The investigations, however, were predominately salvage operations and after the appearance cease. 2 Doris H eydens (1973, 1975, 1981) publications interpreting the cave beneath the pyramid of the Sun at T eotihuacan are not included here because they did not deal with Maya archaeology and did not appear to have an impact on Mayanist thinking during the Foundation Period.
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 1 Scott 11 A Reformulation of Chronology Previous discussions of the intellectual history of Maya cave research document shifts in the ways in which devel opments since World War II were being conceptualized historical assessment, appearing as a chapter of his disserta tion (1989), utilized three chronological periods: an Early Period (1840-1914), a Middle Period (1914-1950), and a Recent Period (1950-present). Later, he divided the Recent Period in two, with a Post-War Period (1950-1980) and a (Brady 1997a). In reviewing Bradys history after the passage of more than a decade, it is clear that certain aspects need to be re considered. In particular, I disagree with his proposal that 1980s. In 1991, when my own involvement with caves com menced, there were only a few isolated practitioners, but a recognizable, cohesive group of cave archaeologists did not exist. A body of literature dealing with Maya or Meso american caves was scattered within the broader recesses of of Maya archaeology in no way recognized cave studies as a formal area of investigation. However, publications were appearing and cave investigations began being conducted as part of large, regional projects in the early 1990s in Belize and Guatemala. It was out of these projects that Maya cave studies coalesced. group at the 1997 Society for A merican A rchaeology (S AA ) meetings in Nashville in the session, New Perspectives in Mesoamerican Cave A rchaeology. In the process of organiz ing the session and disseminating information about it, an informal e-mail network was established that continues to link practitioners to this day. In anticipation of the meeting, a large bibliography of Mesoamerican cave sources was T he dozen papers drew nearly everyone working in cave studies at that time as either a participant or as a spectator. The success of the session served as the impetuous for an almost unbroken string of S AA cave sessions since that time (Scott 2007). T hese factors taken together were instrumental in making cave archaeology a self-conscious entity. Because of the importance of the 1997 meeting, I have tentatively of Maya cave archaeology and, therefore, the beginning of the Recent Period. decade gap from 1980 to 1997 between the end of Bradys of cave archaeology. I propose calling this the Foundation position took shape during these years. T his article also differs with previous work on the nature of the transition between the 1970s and 1980s. The works (Brady 1989, 1997a) focusing on publications, give the impression of a smooth development of the R ecent Period out of the trends of the 1970s. My examination of actual historical events within Maya archaeology suggests a that, by the end of the decade, there was virtually no one of note seriously investigating caves or cave use. F urthermore, with these deaths, all of the important Mayanists pushing for a ritual interpretation of cave use were removed. In their absence, Maya archaeologys thinking at that time was ac curately summed up by Norman H ammonds (1981:177) statement, Whether residence in caves was permanent, periodic or sporadic, regular or only for ritual and refuge, we do not yet know. . . Cave related publications continued to appear in the 1980s, but it is noteworthy that the authors are totally different than those of the 1970s. Most were graduate students at least two intellectual generations removed from Thompson and Andrews. Lacking senior scholars charting the direction of investigation, it is not surprising that the tone of these new While not trying to minimize the contributions of individuals such as Juan Luis Bonor (1989) or art historian A ndrea Stone (1995), it is clear that the F oundation Period was dominated authored by James Brady. Bradys (1989) investigation of the large cave in Guatemala called Naj T unich in 1981 and 1982 offered new approaches in methodology and theory in the cave context. It also differed from previous work in not being a salvage operation, but instead a problem-oriented investigation. I am more interested, however, in exploring some of Foundation Period and how that determined the develop ment of cave studies. A critical examination of this period in light of the deaths of Andrews, Thompson and Puleston, 1980s and 1990s. When Brady begins the investigation of Naj T unich in the early 1980s, there were no senior scholars leading intellectual discussions of cave investigations and archaeology in general had no idea how caves were used or that they might be important. Thus, a new approach to a highly marginalized area of Maya studies was being led by a graduate student. T he deaths of A ndrews and T hompson removed the two senior scholars most closely linked to cave studies. In this respect it is interesting to note that, had he lived, Andrews would have only been 64 at the time of the Naj T unich direction of that investigation and the acceptance of Maya cave investigations into mainstream archaeology. More
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 1 Scott 12 often than not, senior scholars play crucial roles in getting of a senior scholar signals colleagues that a student is to be treated with respect and their ideas taken seriously. F or cave studies the lack of a senior champion was especially critical because Bradys position that caves were important sacred of caves as habitation sites and the ecological-materialist bias that minimized the importance of religion. Lacking champions, cave archaeologys acceptance within period. T he publication process was frequently an ordeal because knowledgeable and sympathetic reviewers who personal communication, 2005). The death of established practitioners also meant that the authors writing during the F oundation Period had no name recognition to aid in the dissemination of their ideas. T he lack of acceptance was command the type of funding enjoyed by surface projects. In making these points, let me stress that I am not suggesting that cave archaeology was singled out nor was it treated with any particular malice. R ather, these are obstacles commonly tions was best demonstrated by A rthur Demarest in the early 1990s. As director of the Petexbatun Regional Archaeologi cal Project, Demarest extolled the importance of the cave sub-project, the Petexbatun R egional Cave Survey. A s E Wyllys A ndrews V observed, Certainly the cave project that has received the best press in recent years is the Petexbatun work. A rthur made caves one of the important branches of research, and that gave it a great deal of respectability. He also had the best person working on it, Jim [Brady]. Interest in caves noticeably increased at this time because of Bradys innovative investigations and Demarests role as a facilitator. In fact, I became involved in cave research after hearing Demarest speak about the Petexbatun cave sub-project and this culminated in my working on the cave archaeology were being laid in the 1980s the topic already carried a good deal of intellectual baggage because cave investigations had been carried out since the nineteenth century (Brady 1989: 10-31). T o better contextualize caves studies within the perceptions of the time, I consulted a number of archaeologists who were active during the 1970s and 1980s. During one interview, a prominent Mayanist told me, T hey [caves] seemed to call for very large investments to integrate with the mainstream data produced by site and regional projects. ring to. Throughout the 1970s, caves were treated as selfcontained sites and little attempt was made to relate cave data to the larger social system of surface settlement. This in itself is interesting because cave investigations at the time were being carried out by surface archaeologists who had, for one reason or another, strayed into caves. Because these surface archaeologists generally worked on only one cave during their entire careers there was little effort to develop the method and theory that could relate caves to surface features. F or all of his insights into the religious nature of caves, even T hompson was unable to offer much help in this area. Brady (2005a) noted that, T hompson made no attempt to indicate how cave ritual articulated with the larger religious system or to assess the importance of caves within Maya society. It is only with the advent of cave specialists that models relating caves to larger social issues appear. Another informant noted that he was never tempted to get involved with cave work and said, Ive always been attracted by much more prosaic, traditional mainstream kinds of archaeological questions. T hus, cave projects faced strongly entrenched attitudes that they offered little tional research questions, and were decidedly peripheral to mainstream interests. A nother interesting perception among the senior scholars emerged from a question concerning securing academic em ployment with a specialization in cave studies. While none of the prominent Mayanists I interviewed suggested that a prejudice against cave archaeology existed, one individual offered that, being too specialized will hurt you when it general strategy for a Maya archaeologist that is interested in cave research probably would be to have at least one or two other specialties; e.g. ceramic analysis, or settlement patterns, or Classic Maya art with an emphasis on murals. T hose could be emphasized and then the cave research could ride in those more career-friendly canoes. H owever, the other specializations would have to be genuine and vigorously pursued and not charades. T he comment implies that cave archaeology is too specialized and not appropriate as a primary specialization. This idea is linked to the perception that cave data cannot address surface concerns. The general view was that cave logical feature of marginal importance. Cave archaeologists, however, assert that caves represent the best context for investigating the archaeology of Maya religion (Prufer and Brady 2005:2, 9). Since religion is embedded in political and economic institutions as well, cave archaeology allows its practitioners to address a wide range of issues (Brady 1997b, 2005b; Brady and Colas 2005; H alperin 2005; Prufer and Kindon 2005). The view of cave studies as a specialized, but also margin approach that placed it at odds with the ecological-materialism
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 1 Scott 13 of Processual A rchaeology (Prufer and Brady 2005). E qually household archaeology that worked within the Processual ist paradigm appear to have been more readily accepted as research foci. This issue is evident in Gordon Willeys (1982:10) posthumous discussion of Dennis Puleston who he characterized as having the qualities of the mystic for his interests in iconography and religion and said that Pulestons discussion of the ideological basis for the Maya collapse set a good materialists teeth on edge (ibid:12). might face such criticism, these do not seriously impact an established member of the academy, but are particularly damaging to those seeking a position or tenure. An Institutional Base for Cave Archaeology With the death of A ndrews and Puleston cave studies lost all of the archaeologists with cave experience who held academic position after graduating in 1989 and this deprived cave archaeology of an institutional base during the entire Foundation Period. The lack of an institutional base clearly impacts a new sub-disciplines ability to attract students. As noted earlier, the F oundation Period is separated from the appearance of the sub-discipline of cave archaeology because it was relegated during the earlier period to a handful of practitioners. Jaime A we must be credited with recruiting the largest part of the second generation of cave archaeologists. H is Western Belize R egional Cave Project, a component initiated in 1996 of his long running Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnais sance, became the proving ground for the majority of the the number of students presenting papers in the annual SAA cave sessions during the Recent Period. Cave archaeology is only now recovering from the loss of an institutional base suffered in the 1970s. With the hiring of Brady, California State University, Los Angeles became an active center of cave research but it is not a Ph.D. grant ing institution. Lacking cave archaeologist at major institu programs friendly to cave related dissertation topics. This has begun to change when Keith Prufer was hired at the University of New Mexico in 2007 and Holley Moyes was hired at the University of California, Merced in 2010. Conclusions little more than Brady, Andrea Stone, and Juan Luis Bonor, and I vividly remember the very marginal place of caves in Maya archaeology. Cave studies developed rapidly through the end of the decade, conditions had already substantially changed. Cave archaeology was receiving increasing recogni tion, a far more ample corpus of interpretive works existed, and explicit research questions were being debated. cave-related dissertation since his own, Brady (2003:11) notes that, T he time separating this work from my own dissertation is also very noticeable in that Rissolo writes with a clarity theoretical approach that I would have envied. In attempting to explain to newer students how much things have changed over the last 20 years, I note that it is the larger discipline. Stephen H ouston (2006:356) comments in his review of the edited volume, Stone Houses and Earth Lords: Maya Religion in the Cave Context that, [Brady] . that can now rework prior Mayanist perception of the landscape and lead to publications in outlets once shy of such O ne cannot help but wonder if cave studies would have been more smoothly integrated into mainstream archaeology had have delayed the emergence of Maya cave archaeology as Acknowledgments who generously agreed to be interviewed. T he author is also indebted to: R ichard E.W. A dams, E. Wyllys A ndrews V, James E. Brady, T Patrick Culbert, David Freidel, Jeremy Sabloff, and Fred Valdez, Jr. References Cited Andrews, E. Wyllys IV 1961 Excavations at the Gruta de Balankanche, 1959. Appendix to: Preliminary Report to the 1959-60 Field Season, National Geographic Society-Tulane University Dzibilchultun Program T ulane University Middle American R esearch Institute, Miscellaneous Series, No. 11: 28-40. New Orleans. 1965 Explorations in the Gruta de Chac Middle A merican R esearch Institute Publication 31:1-21. New Orleans. 1970 Balankanche, Throne of the Tiger Priest Middle A merican R esearch Institute Publication 32. New Orleans. 1971 Balankanche Throne of the T iger Priest. Explorers Journal 49 (4):254-262. Bonor Villarejo, Juan Luis 1989 Las Cuevas Mayas: Simbolismo y Ritual. Univer sidad Compultense de Madrid, Madrid. Brady, James E. 1989 An Investigation of Maya Ritual Cave Use with Special Reference to Naj T unich, Peten, Guatemala.
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 1 Scott 14 Ph.D. dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles. 1996 Sources for the Study of Mesoamerican Ritual Cave Use. Studies in Mesoamerican Cave Use, Publica tion 1, George Washington University, Washington, D.C. 1997a A History of Mesoamerican Cave Archaeology. Paper presented at the 62 nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Nashville. Role of Caves at Dos Pilas. American Anthropologist 99 (3):602-618. 2003 F orward to Dominique R issolos dissertation A ncient Maya Cave Use in the Y alahau R egion, Northern Quintana R oo, Mexico. A ssociation for Mexican Cave Studies, Bulletin 12. Austin. 2005a Forward to the AMCS reprint of Henry C. Mer cers The Hill-Caves of Yucatan. In The Hill-Caves of Yucatan by H enry C. Mercer. A ssociation for Mexican Cave Studies, Austin. 2005b T he Impact of R itual on A ncient Maya E conomy. In Stone Houses and Earth Lords: Maya Religion in the Cave Context edited by Keith M. Prufer and James E Brady, pp. 115-134. University Press of Colorado, Boulder. Brady, James E. and Pierre R. Colas 2005 Nikte Mo Scattered F ire in the Cave of Kab Chante: E pigraphic and A rchaeological E vidence for Cave Desecration in Ancient Maya Warfare. In Stone Houses and Earth Lords: Maya Religion in the Cave Context edited by Keith M. Prufer and James E Brady, pp. 149-166. University Press of Colorado, Boulder. Brady, James E. and Keith M. Prufer 2005 Introduction: A H istory of Mesoamerican Cave Interpretation. In In the Maw of the Earth Monster: Mesoamerican Ritual Cave Use edited by James E. Brady and Keith M. Prufer, pp. 1-17. University of T exas Press, Austin. Gordon, George Byron 1898 Caverns of Copan, Honduras. Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology Memoirs 1:137-148. Gruning, E. L. 1930 R eport on the British Museum E xpedition to British H onduras, 1930. Journal of the Royal Anthropologi cal Institute 60:477-483. Halperin, Christina T 2005 Social Power and Sacred Space at A ctun Nak Beh, Belize. In Stone Houses and Earth Lords: Maya Re ligion in the Cave Context edited by Keith M. Prufer and James E. Brady, pp. 71-90. University Press of Colorado, Boulder. Hammond, Norman 1977 Sir Eric Thompson, 1898-1975. American Antiquity 42:180-190. 1981 Settlement Patterns in Belize. In Lowland Maya Settlement Patterns edited by Wendy Ashmore, pp. 157-186. University of New Mexico Press, Albu querque. 1982 Ancient Maya Civilization R utgers University Press, New Brunswick. Harrison, Peter D. and Phyllis E. Messenger 1980 Dennis Edward Puleston, 1940-1978. American Antiquity 45:272-276. Heyden, Doris 1973 Un Chicomostoc en T eotihuacan? La Cueva Bajo la Pirmide del Sol. Boletn del Instituto Nacional de Antropologa e Historia, poca II, No. 6:3-18. 1975 Interpretation of the Cave Underneath the Pyramid of the Sun in T eotihuacan, Mexico. American Antiq uity 40:131-147. 1981 Caves, Gods, and Myths: World-View and Plan ning in T eotihuacan. In Mesoamerican Sites and World-Views, edited by E lizabeth P. Benson, pp. 1-39. Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, D.C. Houston, Stephen 2006 Going to Ground Stone Houses and Earth Lords: Maya Religion in Cave Context edited by Keith M. Prufer & James E Brady, 2005. University Press of Colorado, Boulder. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 16(3):356-358. Joyce, T A. 1929 R eport on the British Museum E xpedition to British H onduras, 1929. Journal of the Royal Anthropologi cal Institute 59: 439-459. Joyce, T A., T Gann, E. L. Gruning, and R. C. E. Long 1928 R eport on the British Museum E xpedition to British H onduras, 1928. Journal of the Royal Anthropologi cal Society 58: 323-349. MacLeod, Barbara and Dennis E. Puleston 1979 Pathways into Darkness: T he Search for the R oad to Xibalb. Tercera Mesa Redonda de Palenque, Vol. 4 edited by Merle Greene Robertson and Donnan Call Jeffers, pp. 71-77. Hearld Peters, Monterey. McNatt, Logan 1996 Cave Archaeology of Belize. Journal of Cave and Karst Studies 58(2):81-99. Mercer, Henry C. 1975 The Hill-Caves of Yucatan University of O klahoma Press, Norman. (Original 1896) Pendergast, David M. 1962 Breve Reconocimento Arqueolgico en Honduras Britanica. Estudios de Cultura Maya 2: 197-203. 1964 Excavaciones en la Cueva Eduardo Quiroz, Dis trito Cayo, Honduras Britanica. Estudios de Cultura Maya 4:119-139. 1966 The Actun Balam Vase. Archaeology 19(3):154161. 1969 The Prehistory of Actun Balam, British Honduras A rt and A rchaeology O ccasional Paper No. 16. R oyal Ontario Museum, T oronto. 1970 A. H. Andersons Excavations at Rio Frio Cave E, British Honduras (Belize) Art and Archaeology
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 1 Scott 15 Occasional Paper No. 20. Royal Ontario Museum, T oronto. 1971 Excavations at Eduardo Quiroz Cave, British Hon duras (Belize) A rt and A rchaeology O ccasional Paper No. 21. Royal Ontario Museum, T oronto. 1974 Excavations at Actun Polbilche, Belize R oyal Ontario Museum Monograph 1. T oronto. Prufer, Keith M. and James E. Brady 2005 Introduction: Religion and the Role of Cave Ar chaeology in Maya Studies. In Stone Houses and Earth Lords: Maya Religion in the Cave Context edited by Keith M. Prufer and James E. Brady, pp. 1-22. University Press of Colorado, Boulder. Prufer, Keith M. and Andrew Kindon 2005 R eplicating the Sacred Landscape: T he Chen at Muklebal Tzul. In Stone Houses and Earth Lords: Maya Religion in the Cave Context edited by Keith M. Prufer and James E Brady, pp. 25-46. University Press of Colorado, Boulder. Scott, Ann 2007 The Role of the Nashville Cave Session in the De velopment of a Self-Conscious Subdiscipline. Paper presented at the 72 nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Austin, April 25-29. Seler, Eduard 1901 Die Alten Ansiedlungen von Chacul, im Distrikte Nentn des Departments Huehuetenango der Republik Guatemala Dietrich Reiner Verlag, Berlin. Stephens, John Lloyd 1962 Incidents of Travel in Yucatan University of Okla homa Press, Norman. (original 1843). 1969 Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan Dover Publications, Inc., New Y ork. (original 1841). Stone, Andrea J. 1995 Images from the Underworld: Naj Tunich and the Tradition of Maya Cave Painting University of T exas Press, Austin. Thompson, Edward H. 1897 Cave of Loltun. Memoirs of the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, Volume 1:52-72. Cambridge. Thompson, J. Eric 1959 The Role of Caves in Maya Culture. Mitteilungen aus dem Museum fr Vlkerkunde im Hamburg 25:122-129. 1975 Introduction to the Reprint Edition. In The HillCaves of Yucatan by Henry C. Mercer. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman. Wauchope, Robert 1972 E. Wyllys Andrews, IV, 1916-1971. American Antiquity 37:394-403. Willey, Gordon R. 1982 Dennis Edward Puleston (1940-1978): Maya Ar chaeologist. In Maya Subsistence: Studies in Memory of Dennis E. Puleston, edited by Kent V. Flannery, pp. 1-18. Academic Press, New Y ork.
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 2 Kieffer and Scott 17 2 T he Mesoamerican Cave Paradigm: Its H istorical Development C. L. Kieffer and Ann M. Scott group that the way they view the world is different than those who do not share the same paradigm. Burrell and Morgan (1979: 24) make this same point in stating that be[ing] located in a particular paradigm is to view the world in a particular way. Martin (1971: 5-6) holds that a new para goals, concept of culture, and methods utilized. The new paradigm does not resolve any problems. Its value rests in the fact that it revolutionizes our methods of thinking and permits us to view our inquires in a different way and with tions and expectations that existence of a Mesoamerican Cave Paradigm will be judged. History of Mesoamerican Cave Archaeology As noted earlier, there is a long history of cave investiga tion in Mesoamerica. The study of these features, however, was not pursued with equal intensity in all parts of the culture area. Because the entire Maya lowlands is karstic in nature, the majority of the early reports are from this re gion and the Maya area has remained at the forefront of the theoretical developments in cave studies. T o determine if a Mesoamerican Cave Paradigm exists, it is helpful to examine the historical development of cave scholarship. This allows periods of methodological change and theoretical innovation to be highlighted. A review of that literature clearly shows that the developments during the last two decades of the that had gone before it. The period from 1840 1914 has been designated the E arly Period (Brady 1989; Brady and Prufer 2005a) and was initiated by the writings of John Lloyd Stephens (1841, 1843) and illustrations by F redrick Catherwood of their explorations in the 1840s that popularized Maya archaeology. In their travels, visits to a number of caves are described, highlighted by Catherwoods painting of the ladder in Bolonchen Cave. T his period is noteworthy for the publication of four studies: Henry Mercers The Hill-Caves of Yucatan (1896), Edward Thompsons Cave of Loltun (1897), George Gordons Cav erns of Copan (1898), and Eduard Selers report on Quen Santo (1901) that rank among the best work carried out in the Maya area at this time. The period also stands out for its missed opportunities. Edward Thompsons dredging of but the cenote was not recognized as a cave feature. More Introduction Although there is a long history of cave investigation in Mesoamerica dating back to the 1840s, a dramatic revival of cave studies began in the 1980s leading to the emergence of a self-conscious sub-discipline of Mesoamerican cave archae ology in 1997 (Scott 2007). The approach developed by the of a Southwestern cave archaeology that has borrowed heav ily from Mesoamerican models. In the session, Sipapus, Sinkholes, and Shrines: New A pproaches to the Study of Ritual Cave Use in Southwestern Archaeology, at the 72 nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, the organizer, Scott Nicolay (2007), referred to the approach as the Mesoamerican Cave Paradigm. Nicolay coined the term from his experience working on Jaime A wes (1994; 2005) Western Belize Regional Cave Project to refer to the ideas he encountered there and incorporated into his own work in the Southwest. Mesoamericanists, for the most part, have not used this designation although Brady (2007) acknowledges it in his paper, T he Mesoamerican Paradigm in the Southwest, given in Nicolays session. The use of the label by Southwesternists raises an interesting question, however, as to whether a cave paradigm, recognized or not, actually exists in Mesoamerica. T his paper will examine whether a paradigm exists and, if it does, will attempt to T he uncertainty over whether a Mesoamerican Cave Paradigm exists is, to a great extent, due to the misuse of the term paradigm. A rchaeologists have often used the terms paradigm, theory, and theoretical framework interchangeably. Some archaeologists classify processual, postprocessual, and other such schools of thought as paradigms. T hey are not. T hese are logical theoretical frameworks, which are constructed by using an established, coherent explanation of certain phenomena and relationships and act as structures that guide research (Eisenhart 1991: 205). values and techniques, and so on, shared by the members of a given community. These beliefs become so instilled in a
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 2 Kieffer and Scott 18 importantly, his manuscript on the High Priests Grave was Seler had known that a major pyramid at Chichen Itza had tation of the cave-architecture relationships that he noted at Quen Santo. Theoretically there was little challenge to the European view of caves as habitation sites. Henry Mercer (1895: 397) states the position explicitly, Just as the Drift Hunter, the oldest proved inhabitant of Europe, was found to have left traces of his pres ence in caves, just as the prehistoric European epochs of human culture, bronze under iron, then polished and then chipped stone, were found to be represented resting one above the other, so here in America we Indian had a predecessor, we may expect to reveal discover. foundation of data on cave use in the Maya area, no attempt was made to synthesize this material and there was no active discussion about the function of caves. It is clear, therefore, that nothing approaching a paradigm existed at this point. The Middle Period (1914-1950), witnesses a near com plete cessation in cave investigations (Brady and Prufer 2005b:1). In the Maya area most of this period falls into what Norman Hammond (1982:20) calls the Period of In stitutional Domination, [1924 1970] when large projects sponsored by institutions such as the Carnegie Institution of Washington, the Peabody Museum of H arvard University and the University Museum at the University of Pennsylvania Project was the only major institutional investigation at this time that included substantial cave work (Joyce et al. 1928, Joyce 1929, Gruning 1930). The absence of cave investiga tions in the research agendas of institutional projects meant that caves disappear from the discussion of Mesoamerican archaeology so that there is nothing that could be called a paradigm at the end of this period. of caves began to reemerge. The Carnegie Institutions last studies (Smith 1953, 1954; Strmsvik 1956). E. Wyllys An drews IV documented the Gruta de Chac (Andrews 1965a) and the important cave of Balankanche ( A ndrews 1961, (1962, 1964, 1966, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1974) contributed a on salvage operations. Doris Heydens (1973, 1975, 1981) interpretation of the cave beneath the Pyramid of the Sun at historical periods especially in terms of understanding and seeing constructed sacred landscapes. The most important contribution of the period was the Thompsons The Role of Caves in Maya Culture (1959). A revised and expanded version appeared as the introduction to the reprint edition of Mercers The Hill-Caves of Yucatan plicitly discounts habitation saying, Most caves in Central A merica are too damp to be suitable for long residence (Thompson 1959:129) and all of his principal uses of caves in an obscure German journal and so was not widely circu lated and the second was published the year he died and so, 2005a:f-6). Archaeologys view at the end of this period is neatly summed up in Norman Hammonds (1981:177) state ment, Whether residence in caves was permanent, periodic or sporadic, regular or only for ritual and refuge, we do not yet know... Clearly, nothing approaching a cave paradigm had appeared at the end of the Post-War Period. The Post-War Period ended with the deaths of a number 2004). A H A nderson died prior to publishing all of his cave of a heart attack in 1971 at age 54 (Wauchope 1972), and Sir J. E ric T hompson died in 1975 at age 76 ( H ammond 1977). Dennis Puleston, who had only days before presented Puleston 1979), was struck by lightning on the top of the Castillo pyramid at Chichen Itza in 1978 and died at age 38 ( H arrison and Messenger 1980). T hese deaths at the end of the Post War Period contributed to the introduction of a fundamentally different approach when a new generation of authorities active from the previous period. Over the last two decades, the division of the historical periods has evolved as the passage of time has provided a changing perspective on the development of cave studies. In written in the 1980s, Brady (1989) referred to the period from 1950-1980 as the R ecent Period. In 1997, he proposed dividing the Recent Period into a Post-War Period (19501980) and a Recent Period (1980-present) during which he history by renaming the period from 1980-1997 the F ounda tion Period, with the amended R ecent Period (1997-present) beginning with the 1997 Society for A merican A rchaeology meeting in Nashville. The Foundation Period (1980-1997) marked the appear Scott (2007) states that this was when the underlying established, and a theoretical position took shape. T he new approach grew out of James Bradys 45 publications between 1985 and 1997, which established basic methodological and interpretative approaches that cave archaeology followed into the R ecent Period (Scott 2004). Scotts characterization
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 2 Kieffer and Scott 19 of the Foundation Period makes this span the obvious place to look for a cave paradigm. Scott (2007) has also argued that the session, New Perspectives in Mesoamerican Cave A rchaeology, at the Society for A merican A rchaeology meeting in Nashville marked the end of the F oundation Period, the beginning of the Recent Period (1997-present), and the emergence of a self conscious sub-discipline of Mesoamerican cave archaeology. In examining the history of Mesoamerican cave archaeol ogy, we have concluded that a paradigm does in fact exist. Mesoamerican cave archaeologists are largely unaware of the designation, so no attempt has been made by practitioners Mesoamerican Cave Paradigm. nothing, in themselves they do, if they are carefully enough constructed, provide a useful orientation, or reorientation, of thought, such that an extended un packing of them can be an effective way of developing and controlling a novel line of inquiry (Geertz 1973: 90). Following Geertz, our review of the literature suggests that the Mesoamerican Cave Paradigm is constituted around four basic propositions: perspective. Caves as Ritual Features
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 2 Kieffer and Scott 20 None of the authors in either volume discuss any al ternative (nonritual) uses of caves in antiquity, despite the fact that these sites regularly contain evidence for habitation (e.g., grinding stones, food residues, utili temporary, or emergency, shelter in times of intercenter warfare (Healy and Prikker 1989). The authors of these volumes have a strong adherence to the belief that the caves of Mesoamerica in late Pre-Columbian times were all ritualized, sacred (not mundane) sites. Others would be less sanguine (Healy 2007:271). For those working within the paradigm, Healys com pre-paradigmatic approach in which archaeologists applied interpretive models developed at surface sites and in domestic contexts with little appreciation for the radically different nature of the cave context. Why, for instance, are signs of obvious level, charcoal in caves is deposited by the use of torches regardless of the type of activity being carried out. Maya refer to rituals as burnings (Cook 1986:139) and to the altar where rituals are performed as a burning place ( quemador ) (Bunzel 1952:431). Food offerings also play a prominent role in Maya ritual (Scott 2009) so the discovery of food residues is exactly what one would expect in ritual contexts (Morehart and Butler 2010). Recent work has also shown that faunal material is ritually deposited in caves as well (Brown 2004, 2005; Brown and E mery 2008; H alperin et al. 2003). Manos and metates are commonly encountered in caves (Brady 1989:303-306) but those working within the paradigm see no reason to assume that these are associated exclusively with domestic activities. Andrea Stone (1995) proposes that they were used in the production of the ritual dough and breads known ethnohistorically (Durn 1971) and ethnographically (Gomez N. 1974; Love and Peraza Castillo 1984) to have been utilized in ritual. Nor is this the only pos sible ritual use. Polly Peterson (2006:85-86) extracted fossil pollen from manos and metates recovered from caves in the Sibun Valley which indicated that chili peppers and other items were being ground. Furthermore, Peterson found that metates were re-used as burning surfaces and materials for wall construction inside the dark zone of caves. Finally, assertions of habitation based on the presence of domestic or utilitarian ceramics has been heavily criticized with good reason (Brady et al. 1992; Brady and Peterson 2008). T hese terms generally refer to nothing beyond the fact that the ceramic is unslipped or monochrome slipped so their actual function is not in fact known. It has been shown that the unslipped and monochrome slipped ceramic the vessel interior related to the burning of copal incense, most likely during rituals (Brady 1989:212-213). they were raised by Healy as evidence for habitation. On a higher level, however, the discussion illustrates Kuhns point that competing paradigms are incommensurable or irreconcilable because they lack mutually accepted standards utilitarian artifacts whose function is inherent in the object and the presence of such artifacts is then used to determine the function of a site or activity area. The cave paradigm rejects the notion of artifacts having inherent function. H ayden and Cannon (1984:96) note that in living societies artifacts rarely function in the utilitarian, social, or ideological domain to the exclusion of the others so function is contingent on context. Therefore, critiques that point to a particular type of artifact or deposit as being proof of habitation simply fall short of the complex argument required by the cave paradigm to demonstrate such a function. There is an epistemological difference at the most fundamental level that impacts not simply the meaning of a particular unit (artifacts) but also how that meaning can be employed in constructing accept able explanations. Since the issue of cave habitation has been raised, perhaps it needs to be considered. We would point out that no one asserting cave habitation has considered the larger theoretical implications of such a practice. Who were the people living in caves? Proponents of the habitation model have not discussed the social status of those living in caves. Were they landless peasants? Considering the large quantities of valuables (jade, at Dos Pilas (Brady 2005b), this seems unlikely. Could they have been elites? This appears equally unlikely given the large number of palaces at Dos Pilas. F urthermore, all the archaeological cave surveys that have been conducted have located many more caves than could be studied. If, as the model proposes, every cave contain ing charcoal or grinding stones is considered habitational, then a sizeable class of cave dwellers would have existed. What were the social relationships between cave dwellers and surface dwellers? How did a habitational function ar ticulate with a ritual function? One of the reasons that cave habitation remains a viable proposition among critics, in our opinion, is precisely because archaeologists have not seriously considered the implications of habitation. Caves in Indigenous Ideology A second distinctive element of the Mesoamerican Cave Paradigm is its extensive and unapologetic use of ethno graphic and ethnohistoric analogy to create emic models of the meaning and, to a lesser extent, the function of caves (Brady and Prufer 2005c). A t the lowest level, ethnographic
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 2 Kieffer and Scott 21 in the F oundation Period, the concept of cave was left them subterranean spaces while Brady and Veni (1992:149) accessible natural cavities in the earth. An explicitly emic tion but this element only appears to be adopted at the end of the Foundation Period when it appears in a more widely Cave en en been generally accepted in cave archaeology and has been explicitly acknowledged ( R issolo 2003:20-21; Ishihara 2007:27-28) and elaborated on (Scott and Maxwell 2008; Chavez and Landeros 2009) in subsequent work. The issue appears to have been settled by David Stuarts decipherment of the cheen, (cave) glyph in ancient Maya inscriptions (Vogt and Stuart 2005, see also Helmke 2009: 536-600). Popol Vuh Popol Vuh Earth ajqij ob rukux Kaj, rukux Ulew Earth, Earth Jich Mi Jich Mam in Pre-Columbian Society J. Eric Thompson was well known for integrating eth nographic and ethnohistoric data into his discussion of the ancient Maya and Doris Heyden relied heavily on both as well. T herefore, it was not the lack of an indigenous view per se that was the critical element missing in the formulation the one cave at T eotihuacan that prevented them from fully accepting the importance of caves in the indigenous view, a perspective eventually developed by Brady (1997b). Brady explicitly notes that the issue of social importance is at the
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 2 Kieffer and Scott 22 heart of the new paradigm: At its very simplest, it [the Mesoamerican Cave Para digm] maintains that caves and earth openings were so fundamental to the religious concerns of indigenous populations that their presence in the landscape struc tured human activity, including settlement, around them While the implications of this statement could keep us here for hours, it is precisely this insight that has driven Maya cave archaeology for the last two decades (Brady 2007). T he pre-paradigmatic view of caves as unimportant has its historical roots in several sources. F irst, because of the view of caves as habitation sites, they could have been theoretically important only if they had yielded evidence of Pleistocene predating the Preclassic, interest waned. Cave habitation in this view could be little more than a minor component of the larger settlement system, probably housing the lowest strata of Mesoamerican society. At a time when excavation focused almost exclusively on elite centers, there was little interest in studying such commoners. Second, while surface archaeology focused on the largest centers with their monumental pyramids and elite palaces, the caves that were explored tended to be modest both in size and artifact assemblages. This skewed the appreciation of the relative importance of the surface and subterranean contexts. Interestingly, three important caves, Loltun, the High Priests Grave at Chichen Itza and Quen Santo Cave 3, were investigated during the Early Period and they play a prominent role in J. E ric T hompsons syntheses. It is interesting to speculate how Thompsons work might have been impacted if more great caves had been known. Along the same line, if Edward Thompsons (1938) report on the High Priests Grave had been published promptly, it might have changed Selers interpretation of Quen Santo (Seler 1901; Brady 2009). established, it became self reinforcing. The Carnegie Insti tution of Washington visited a great cave in Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, Seamay Cave, which has a long stairway and retaining walls (Gurnee 1965; Gurney et al. 1968), but failed to publish any mention of it. As a result no great caves are reported until after World War II to challenge the view of caves as being unimportant. The discovery of Balankanche tacular and the ceremonial function of the cave was never seriously questioned. E ven more important was the discovery of the cave beneath the Pyramid of the Sun at T eotihuacan in part because Heydens (1973, 1975, 1981) interpretation Naj T unich (Stuart 1981), which was reported at the begin ning of the Foundation Period. T o this day, the site contains masonry tombs ever documented in a Maya cave and the largest corpus of hieroglyphic inscriptions known from a cave on Naj T unich stressed the extraordinary nature of the site. Based on the labor and resources needed for construction and the belief that the inscriptions were painted by a scribal elite, Brady and Stone (1986) propose direct elite involve ment with, and utilization of, the site. This was a novel idea at the time. Some archaeologists, while accepting the ritual use of caves, saw that utilization being restricted to peas ants, much as it is today. That view marginalized caves as features outside of elite concerns and the great tradition in Maya history. It was the investigation of Naj T unich that led directly to the formulation of caves being important and to be adopted. T he other archaeological data that contributed to the realization that caves were features of central social impor tance in Mesoamerica was the appropriation of resources for construction of pyramids and temples over caves. This is interesting because it is precisely the material that both Thompson and Heyden had earlier discussed. J. Eric Thomp son was aware of this because he had come upon Edward T hompsons manuscript on the H igh Priests Grave at Chichen Itza and had edited it for publication (Thomp Thompson (1959: 128) says, Mention should be made of caverns beneath buildings, notably the High Priests Grave at Chichen Itza, but discussion of them would vastly extend our subject. Thompson appears to suggest that there were quite a number of examples but never interprets these and by the time of his second synthesis has concluded that they are on the cave beneath the Pyramid of the Sun at T eotihuacan, H eyden (1973, 1975) was unaware of T hompsons discovery at Chichen Itza. When she does learn of it, she clearly misses the point in stating, This of course, presupposes a cave per structure, which is doubtful (Heyden 1981: 14). Brady combined the H igh Priests Grave at Chichen Itza and the cave beneath the Pyramid of the Sun at T eotihuacan with additional examples from both Central Mexico and the Maya to propose that caves were regularly used to validate settlement space in Mesoamerica (Brady 1989:64-71). T his Archaeological Project and documentation of a close rela at the International Congress of Americanists, a document widely circulated among cave archaeologists during the F oundation Period (Brady 1991). E laborated discussions of these correlations were then published at the beginning of the R ecent Period (Brady 1997b; Brady and A shmore 1999; Brady et al. 1997). Cave Archaeology Can Address Wider Theoretical Issues For her paper on the development of cave archaeology from the end of the Post War Period, Scott (2004) interviewed a number of senior scholars, one of whom noted, [Caves] seemed to call for very large investments of effort, planning,
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 2 Kieffer and Scott 23 mainstream data produced by site and regional projects. T his quote touches on a central problem of pre-paradigmatic cave studies that is related to Hammonds (1981:177) ob servation, quoted earlier, that archaeology at the end of the Post War Period did not know how caves had been used. A t the heart of the issue were the lack of any theoretical approach and the dearth of even basic research questions (Brady 1989:6-9). Brady attributes this to the absence of individuals special izing in caves, which seriously impacted cave scholarship. He notes that: although a large corpus of published cave material exists, there is little dialog with these data. As a con sequence, later works do not build on the foundation laid by earlier studies and so reports rarely rise above the level of elementary data presentation. . Lacking such fundamental building blocks, it is not surprising that archaeologists have struggled with larger ques tions of interpretation (Brady 1996:ii). Cave archaeologists working during the F oundation Period responded to this need with the production of works that were clearly synthetic in nature and provided the build ing blocks for interpretation (Bonor 1989b; Brady 1989; Stone 1995). T he problem of relating cave data to surface archaeology was resolved to a great extent by the advent of cave surveys conducted in conjunction with large surface projects. Ham mond (1982:177) had stated that caves must clearly be considered part of the same settlement system as open resi dential and ceremonial sites that their users also frequented but no attempt had been made to that point to systematically survey was Juan Luis Bonors under-funded study conducted in conjunction with the O xkintok Project (Bonor 1987a, 1987b, 1988, 1989a). Bonor (1989a:303) documented 40 caves in the area, which clearly pointed to a richer, more varied, and more complex pattern of utilization than had been heretofore considered. The cave survey in its current form can be traced back to the Petexbatun Regional Cave Project in the early 1990s (Brady 1997b; Brady et al. 1997). T he project was also T he Petexbatun Projects methodological approach was employed in later cave investigations. These included cave surveys associated with the Y alahau Project ( R issolo 2003), the Maya Mountains Archaeological Project (Prufer 2002), the Xibun A rchaeological R esearch Project (Peterson 2006), E ven projects focused on single cave features (Moyes 2006; Ishihara 2007) utilized the landscape approach leading Smith and Schreiber (2006:19) to observe that: For the Classic Maya, studies of sacred landscapes are dominated by research on caves. Caves were important cosmological features in all Mesoameri can societies, and the karst landforms of much of the Maya area are riddled with caves containing offerings, burials, and other material remains of ritual activity (Bassie-Sweet 1996; Brady 1997; Brady and Prufer 1999; Dixon et al. 1998; Stone 1995). In contrast to the empirically grounded cave research, other work on Classic Maya sacred landscapes is highly speculative in nature (e.g., Koontz et al. 2001; Stone 1992, 2002). A nother factor in cave archaeologys drive to address larger issues has been the changing appreciation of the im portance of religion in complex society. Prufer and Brady (2005b) have noted how religion was largely marginalized by early processual archaeology in which important religious functions in the political or economic spheres where simply treated as aspects of the political or economic systems (e.g. Price 1974). The landscape approach focused attention on the political appropriation of sacred landscape and, more al. 1997; Ishihara 2007, Mirro 2007; Peterson 2006; Prufer 2002; Rissolo 2003). Moyes (2006) in her detailed study of Chechem Ha relates alternating periods of use and abandon ment to political issues and sees the T erminal Classic use being related to drought (Moyes et al. 2009). A number of authors have also used cave data to address wider local and regional economic issues (Brady 2005b; Morehart and Butler Buttressing the idea that caves were fundamentally im portant, recent archaeological and epigraphic data suggest that caves were desecrated after military defeats (Brady and Colas 2005; Helmke and Brady 2009). Helmke (2009: 76193) scoured the epigraphic corpus for references to caves and their usage to outline the emic importance of caves in the Classic period ( A .D. 376-849). In so doing he found that the surprising majority of caves are involved in martial actions, whereas texts citing caves as places witnessed (as part of pilgrimages), or as the loci royal inhumations, calendrical rituals and accession rites are noticeably rare ( H elmke 2009; Helmke and Brady 2009). At present we have to offer the caveat that the texts do not provide as comprehensive and unbiased a record as that afforded by the material culture recovered by archaeologist. Furthermore the texts may not record all of the different uses to which caves were put, but what the texts do demonstrate is that caves did play a by archaeological methods alone. Discussion and Conclusions the criteria for being considered a paradigm in the sense an accepted model or constellation of beliefs, values and techniques shared by the members of a given community.
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 2 Kieffer and Scott 24 the paradigm around four propositions (1. caves were used primarily for ritual; 2. they must be understood from an Pre-Columbian society, and 4. caves allow archaeologists to address wider theoretical issues) to provide, in Geertzs (1973: 90) terms, an effective way of developing and con trolling a novel line of inquiry about caves. Our discussion of the four propositions shows that all four were established during the Foundation Period, with of Naj T unich in 1981 and 1982 at the beginning of the era. Aspects of the second proposition were also in place dur ing the Foundation Period, although the replacement of the underworld cave model with that of the animate earth model appears only at the beginning of the Recent Period. Finally, the fourth proposition is established during the Foundation Period with the completion of the Oxkintok and Dos Pilas cave surveys and the beginning of ones on the Y alahau and Maya Mountains Projects. A s noted at the beginning of the paper, the Mesoamerican Cave Paradigm was recognized by a Southwesternist, rather than by Mesoamericanists who actually developed and used it. In fact, there has not been, until this paper, a discussion in print of the paradigm or what constitutes it. Scott (2007) in analyzing the importance of the cave session at the 1997 S AA meetings in Nashville for the emergence of a self string of annual S AA sessions. T hese sessions, and the social gatherings that followed them, served the important func tion of enculturating members into the evolving paradigm. It is hoped that this explicit formulation of the propositions constituting the paradigm will lead to further discussion and References Cited Andrews, E. Wyllys IV 1961 Excavations at the Gruta de Balankanche, 1959. Appendix to: Preliminary Report to the 1959-60 Field Season, National Geographic Society-Tulane University Dzibilchultun Program T ulane University Middle American R esearch Institute, Miscellaneous Series, No. 11: 28-40, New Orleans. 1965a Explorations in the Gruta de Chac Middle A merican R esearch Institute Publication 31:1-21. New Orleans. 1965b A rchaeology and Prehistory in the Northern Maya Lowlands: An Introduction. In Handbook of Middle American Indians, Vol. 2: Archaeology of Southern Mesoamerica, Pt. 1, edited by Gordon R Willey, pp. 288-330. University of T exas Press, Austin. 1970 Balankanche, Throne of the Tiger Priest Middle A merican R esearch Institute Publication 32, New Orleans. 1971 Balankanche Throne of the T iger Priest. Explorers Journal 49 (4):254-262. A we, Jaime J. 1994 Las funciones de cuevas en la antigua cultura Maya. Investigadores de la Cultura Maya 2:187-204. 2005 Cave Stelae and Megalithic Monuments in West ern Belize. In In the Maw of the Earth Monster: Mesoamerican Ritual Cave Use edited by James E. Brady and Keith M. Prufer, pp. 223-248. University of T exas Press, Austin. Bassie-Sweet, Karen 1991 From the Mouth of the Dark Cave: Commemora tive Sculpture of the Late Classic Maya University of Oklahoma Press, Norman. 1996 At the Edge of the World: Caves and Late Classic Maya World View University of O klahoma Press, Norman. Bonor Villarejo, Juan Luis 1987a E xploraciones en las Grutas de Calcehtok y Oxkintok, Y ucatn, Mxico. Mayab 3:24-31. 1987b A proximacin al estudio de las fuentes de agua en la antigua ciudad Maya de Oxkintok. Boletn de la Escuela de Ciencias Antropolgicas de la Universidad de Yucatn No. 87:32-40. 1988 Cuevas Mayas en Y ucatn. Historia Vol. 16, No. 151, pp. 152-160. Madrid. 1989a Las cuevas de O xkintok: Informe preliminar. Memorias del Segundo Coloquio Internacional de Mayistas pp. 303-309. Universidad Nacional Au tnoma de Mxico, Mexico. 1989b Las Cuevas Mayas: Simbolismo y Ritual. Univer sidad Compultense de Madrid, Madrid. Brady, James E. 1989 An Investigation of Maya Ritual Cave Use with Special Reference to Naj T unich, Peten, Guatemala. Ph.D. dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles. 1991 T he Petexbatun R egional Cave Survey: R itual and Sacred Geography. Paper presented at the 47 th Inter national Congress of Americanists, New Orleans. 1996 Sources for the Study of Mesoamerican Ritual Cave Use. Studies in Mesoamerican Cave Use, Publica tion 1. George Washington University, Washington, D.C. 1997a A History of Mesoamerican Cave Archaeology. Paper presented at the 62 nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Nashville. Role of Caves at Dos Pilas. American Anthropologist 99(3): 602-618. 2005a Foreword In The Hill-Caves of Yucatan by H enry C. Mercer, f-1-f-23. Association for Mexican Cave Studies, Austin. 2005b T he Impact of R itual on A ncient Maya E conomy. in Stone Houses and Earth Lords: Maya Religion in the Cave Context edited by Keith M. Prufer and James E Brady, pp. 115-134. University Press of
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 2 Kieffer and Scott 25 Colorado, Boulder. 2007 T he Mesoamerican Paradigm in the Southwest. Paper presented at the 72 nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Austin. 2009 Exploring Highland Maya Ritual Cave Use: Archae ology & Ethnography in Huehuetenango Guatemala edited by James E. Brady. Association for Mexican Cave Studies Bulletin 20, Austin. Brady, James E. and Wendy Ashmore 1999 Mountains, Caves, Water: Ideational Landscapes of the Ancient Maya. In Archaeologies of Landscapes: Contemporary Perspectives, edited by Wendy Ash more and A Bernard Knapp, pp. 124-145. Blackwell Publishers, Oxford. Brady, James E. and Pierre R. Colas 2005 Nikte Mo Scattered F ire in the Cave of Kab Chante: E pigraphic and A rchaeological E vidence for Cave Desecration in Ancient Maya Warfare. In Stone Houses and Earth Lords: Maya Religion in the Cave Context edited by Keith M. Prufer and James E Brady, pp. 149-166. University Press of Colorado, Boulder. Brady, James E. and Arnulfo Delgado 2009 The Chicomoztoc and Modern Jalkatek Ethnogra phy. In Exploring Highland Maya Ritual Cave Use: Archaeology & Ethnography in Huehuetenango Guatemala edited by James E Brady, pp. 67-71. Association for Mexican Cave Studies Bulletin 20, Austin. Brady, James E. and Polly A. Peterson 2008 R e-envisioning A ncient Maya R itual A ssemblages. In Religion, Archaeology, and the Material World edited by Lars Fogelin, pp. 78-96. Center for Ar chaeological Investigations, O ccasional Paper No. 36, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Brady, James E. and Keith M. Prufer 1999 Caves and Crystalmancy: E vidence for the Use of Crystals in Ancient Maya Religion. Journal of Anthropological Research 55:129-144. 2005a In the Maw of the Earth Monster: Mesoameri can Ritual Cave Use University of T exas Press, Austin. 2005b Introduction: A History of Mesoamerican Cave Interpretation. In In the Maw of the Earth Monster: Mesoamerican Ritual Cave Use edited by James E. Brady and Keith M. Prufer, pp. 1-17. University of T exas Press, Austin. 2005c Maya Cave A rchaeology: A New Look at R eligion and Cosmology. In Stone Houses and Earth Lords: Maya Religion in the Cave Context, edited by Keith M. Prufer and James E Brady, pp. 365-379. University Press of Colorado, Boulder. Brady, James E., Ann Scott, Allan Cobb, Irma Rodas, John Fogarty, and Monica Urquiz 1997 Glimpses of the Dark Side of the Petexbatun R egional A rchaeological Project: T he Petexbatun Regional Cave Survey. Ancient Mesoamerica 8 (2): 353-364. Brady, James E. and Andrea Stone 1986 Naj T unich: E ntrance to the Maya Underworld. Archaeology 39(6): 18-25. Brady, James E. and George Veni 1992 Man-made and Pseudo-karst Caves: The Implica tions of Subsurface Geologic Features within Maya Centers. Geoarchaeology 7, 149-167. Brady, James E., George Veni, Andrea Stone, and Allan B. Cobb 1992 E xplorations in the New Branch of Naj T unich: Implications for Interpretations. Mexicon 16(4):7481. Brown, Linda A. 2004 Dangerous Places and Wild Spaces: Creating Meaning with Materials and Space at Contemporary Maya Shrines on El Duende Mountain. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 11(1):31-58. 2005 Planting the Bones: H unting Ceremonialism at Contemporary and Nineteenth-Century Shrines in the Guatemalan Highlands. Latin American Antiquity 16(2):131-146. Brown, Linda A. and Kitty F Emery 2008 Negotiations with the A nimate F orest: H unting Shrines in the Guatemalan Highlands. Journal of Ar chaeological Method and Theory 15(4):300-337. Bunzel, Ruth 1952 Chichicastenango: A Maya Village J.J. A ugustine, Locust Valley, New Y ork. Burrell, Gibson and Gareth Morgan 1979 Sociological Paradigms and Organizational Analy sis Heinemann, London. Casaverde, Juvenil 1974 Jacaltec Social and Political Structure. Ph.D. dis sertation. University of Rochester, Rochester, New Y ork. Chavez, Eden and Juan Landeros 2010 Cave Utilization among H ighland Zapotecs of Oaxaca. Paper presented at the 75 th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, St Louis. Christensen, Clyde M. and Henry H. Kaufmann 1969 Grain Storage, the Role of Fungi in Quality Loss. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis. Cook, Garrett 1986 Quichean Folk Theology and Southern Maya Su pernaturalism. In Symbol and Meaning Beyond the Closed Community: Essays in Mesoamerican Ideas edited by Gary H Gossen, pp. 139-153. Institute of Mesoamerican Studies, State University of New Y ork, Albany. Dixon, Boyd, George Hasemann, James Brady, Pastor Gomez and Marilyn Beaudry-Corbett 1998 Multi-Ethnicity or Multiple Enigma: Archaeologi cal Survey in the Rio T algua Drainage, Department of Olancho, Honduras. Ancient Mesoamerica 9:
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 2 Kieffer and Scott 26 327-340. Duby, Gertrude and Frans Bloom 1969 The Lacandon. in Handbook of Middle American Indians, Vol 7: Ethnology edited by Evon Vogt, pp. 276-297. University of T exas Press Austin. Durn, Diego 1971 Book of the Gods and Rites and the Ancient Cal endar translated and edited by F ernando H orcasitas and Doris Heyden. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman. (original: 16th century) Eisenhart, Margaret A. 1991 Conceptual F rameworks for R esearch Circa 1991: Ideas from a Cultural A nthropologist; Implications for Mathematics Education Researchers. In Pro ceedings of the 13th Annual Meeting of the North American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Vol. 1 edited by R obert G. Underhill pp. 202-219. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg. Eliade, Mircea 1959 The Sacred and the Profane: The Nature of Reli gion (translated by William R T rask) H ardcourt, Brace, New Y ork. Garza, Sergio 2003 A n E thnoarchaeological A pproach to Maya Caves. Paper presented at the 68 th A nnual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Milwaukee. Santo in Contemporary Maya Society. In Exploring Highland Maya Ritual Cave Use: Archaeology and Ethnography in Huehuetenango, Guatemala edited by James E. Brady, pp. 49-54. Association for Mexican Cave Studies Bulletin 20, Austin. Geertz, Clifford 1973 The Interpretation of Cultures Basic Books, New Y ork. Gomez N., Celinda 1974 Ceremonia de U Wahil Cheen (pan de pozo). Buletn de la Escuela de Ciencias Antropolgicas de Yucatn 1 (5):7-10. Gordon, George Byron 1898 Caverns of Copan, Honduras. Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology Memoirs 1:137-148. Gruning, E. L. 1930 R eport on the British Museum E xpedition to British H onduras, 1930. Journal of the Royal Anthropologi cal Institute 60:477-483. Gurnee, Russell H. 1965 Seamay Cave (Caves of the Grand Staircase), Senahu, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, C.A. National Speleological Society News 23 (8):114-117. Gurnee, Russell H., Ward Randol, A. Richard Smith, Richard Gould, Brother G. Nicholas, Charles E. Mohr, Hugh Land, and Jos Limeres 1968 Maya Cave Discoveries. Explorers Journal 46:146-186. Halperin, Christina T ., Sergio Garza, Keith Prufer and James E. Brady 2003 Caves and Ancient Maya Ritual Use of Jute. Latin American Antiquity 14 (2):207-219 Hammond, Norman 1977 Sir Eric Thompson, 1898-1975. American Antiquity 42:180-190. 1981 Settlement Patterns in Belize. In Lowland Maya Settlement Patterns edited by Wendy Ashmore, pp. 157-186. University of New Mexico Press, Albu querque. 1982 Ancient Maya Civilization R utgers University Press, New Brunswick. Harrison, Peter D. and Phyllis E. Messenger 1980 Dennis Edward Puleston, 1940-1978. American Antiquity 45:272-276. Hayden, Brian and Aubrey Cannon 1984 The Structure of Material Systems: Ethnoarchae ology in the Maya Highlands. Society for American Archaeology Occasional Papers No. 3. Society for American Archaeology, Washington, D.C. Healy, Paul F 2007. The A nthropology of Mesoamerican Caves. Reviews in Anthropology 36: 245-278. Healy, Paul F and Nancy A. Prikker 1989 Ancient Maya Warfare: Chronicles of Manifest Supe riority. In Perspectives edited by D. Clair Tkaczuk and Brian C. Vivian, pp. 44-60. Archaeological Association of the University of Calgary, Calgary. Helmke, Christophe G. B. 2009 A ncient Maya Cave Usage as A ttested in the Glyphic Corpus of the Maya Lowlands and the Caves of the R oaring Creek Valley, Belize. Ph.D. dissertation, University of London. Helmke, Christophe and James E. Brady 2009 E pigraphic and A rchaeological E vidence for Cave Desecration in A ncient Maya Warfare. Paper presented at: Maya Culture: Identity, Language and History: A Celebration of the Life and Work of Pierre Robert Colas, Vanderbilt University, Nashville. (A vailable at: http://www.vanderbilt.edu/cas/sitemason/colas/ Colas_Symposium_Paper5.pdf). Heyden, Doris 1973 Un chicomostoc en T eotihuacan? La cueva bajo la Pirmide del Sol. Boletn del Instituto Nacional de Antropologa e Historia, poca II, No. 6:3-18. 1975 A n Interpretation of the Cave Underneath the Pyra mid of the Sun in T eotihuacan, Mexico. American Antiquity 40:131-147. 1981 Caves, Gods, and Myths: World-View and Plan ning in T eotihuacan. In Mesoamerican Sites and World-Views, edited by E lizabeth P. Benson, pp. 1-39. Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, D.C. 1987 Caves. In The Encyclopedia of Religion edited by Mircea E liade, vol. 3:127-133. Macmillan Publishing
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 2 Kieffer and Scott 27 Co., New Y ork. Ishihara, Reiko 2007 Bridging the Chasm Between R eligion and Politics: Archaeological Investigations of the Grietas at the Late Classic Maya Site of Aguateca, Peten, Guate mala. Ph.D. dissertation, University of California, Riverside, Riverside. Joyce, T A. 1929 R eport on the British Museum E xpedition to British H onduras, 1929. Journal of the Royal Anthropologi cal Institute 59: 439-459. Joyce, T A., T Gann, E. L. Gruning, and R. C. E. Long 1928 R eport on the British Museum E xpedition to British H onduras, 1928. Journal of the Royal Anthropologi cal Society 58: 323-349. Koontz, Rex, Kathryn Reese-T aylor, and Annabeth Headrick 2001 Landscape and Power in Ancient Mesoamerica Westview, Boulder. Kuhn, Thomas S. 1962 University of Chicago Press, Chicago. 1996 3 rd ed University of Chicago Press, Chicago. LaFarge, Oliver 1947 Santa Eulalia: The Religion of a Cuchumantan In dian Town University of Chicago Press, Chicago. Laughlin, Robert M. 1975 The Great Tzotzil Dictionary of San Lorenzo Zinacan tan Smithsonian Contributions to A nthropology, No. 19. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C. Love, Bruce and Eduardo Peraza Castillo 1984 Wahil Kol: A Y ucatec Maya A gricultural Ceremony. Estudios de Cultura Maya 15:251-300. MacLeod, Barbara and Dennis E. Puleston 1979 Pathways into Darkness: T he Search for the R oad to Xibalb. Tercera Mesa Redonda de Palenque, Vol. 4 E dited by Merle Greene R obertson and Donnan Call Jeffers, pp. 71-77. Hearld Peters, Monterey. Martin, Paul S. 1971 The Revolution in Archaeology. American Antiq uity 36(1):1-8. McNatt, Logan 1996 Cave Archaeology of Belize. Journal of Cave and Karst Studies 58(2):81-99. Mercer, Henry C. 1895. Jasper and Stalagmite Quarried by Indians in the Wyandotte Cave. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 34 (149): 396-400. 1896 The Hill-Caves of Yucatan J. B. Lippincott, New Y ork. Mirro, Michael J. 2007 The Political Appropriation of Caves in the Upper Belize Valley. M. A thesis, California State University, Los Angeles. Morehart, Christopher T and Noah Butler 2010 R itual E xchange and the F ourth O bligation: A ncient Maya Food Offering and the Flexible Materiality of Ritual. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (N.S.) 16: 588-608. Moyes, Holley 2006 The Sacred Landscape as a Political Resource: A Case Study of Ancient Maya Cave Use at Chechem H a Cave, Belize, Central A merica. Ph.D. dissertation, State University of New Y ork at Buffalo, Buffalo. Moyes, Holley, Jaime J. A we, George A. Brook and James W. Webster 2009 The Ancient Maya Drought Cult: Late Clas sic Cave Use in Belize. Latin American Antiquity 20:175-206. Nicolay, Scott 2007 Water from a Stone: A R eexamination of the F eather Cave A rchaeological Complex in Lincon County, New Mexico. Paper presented at the 72 nd A nnual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Austin. Pendergast, David M. 1962 Breve reconocimento arqueolgico en Honduras Britanica. Estudios de Cultura Maya 2: 197-203. 1964 Excavaciones en la Cueva Eduardo Quiroz, Dis trito Cayo, Honduras Britanica. Estudios de Cultura Maya 4:119-139. 1966 The Actun Balam Vase. Archaeology 19 (3):154161. 1969 The Prehistory of Actun Balam, British Honduras A rt and A rchaeology O ccasional Paper No. 16. R oyal Ontario Museum, T oronto. 1970 A. H. Andersons Excavations at Rio Frio Cave E, British Honduras (Belize) Art and Archaeology O ccasional Paper No. 20. T oronto: R oyal O ntario Museum. 1971 Excavations at Eduardo Quiroz Cave, British Hon duras (Belize) A rt and A rchaeology O ccasional Paper No. 21. Royal Ontario Museum, T oronto. 1974 Excavations at Actun Polbilche, Belize Monograph 1. Royal Ontario Museum, T oronto. Peterson, Polly A. 2006. Ancient Maya Ritual Cave Use in the Sibun Val ley, Belize. Association for Mexican Cave Studies Bulletin 16, Austin. Price, Barbara J. 1974 The Burden of the Cargo: Ethnographic Models and Archaeological Inference. In Mesoamerican Archaeology: New Approaches edited by Norman Hammond, pp. 445. University of T exas Press, Austin. Prufer, Keith M. 2002 Communities, Caves, and Ritual Specialists: A Study of Sacred Space in the Maya Mountains of Southern Belize. Ph.D. dissertation, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Prufer, Keith M. and James E. Brady 2005a Stone Houses and Earth Lords: Maya Religion in the Cave Context University Press of Colorado, Boulder.
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 2 Kieffer and Scott 28 2005b Introduction: R eligion and the R ole of Cave Archaeology in Maya Studies. In Stone Houses and Earth Lords: Maya Religion in the Cave Context edited by Keith M. Prufer and James E. Brady, pp. 1-22. University Press of Colorado, Boulder. Puleston, Dennis E. 1971 A n E xperimental A pproach to the F unction of Classic Maya Chultuns. American Antiquity 36:322-335. Rissolo, Dominique A. 2003 Ancient Maya Cave Use in the Y alahau Region, Northern Quintana R oo, Mexico. A ssociation for Mexican Cave Studies Bulletin 12, Austin. Scott, Ann M. 2004 The Historical Context of the Founding of Maya Cave Archaeology. Paper presented in the Biennial Gordon R Willey Symposium on the H istory of Archaeology, 69 th A nnual Meetings of the Society for American Archaeology, Montreal. 2007 The Role of the Nashville Cave Session in the De velopment of a Self-Conscious Subdiscipline. Paper presented at the 72 nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Austin. 2009 Communicating with the Sacred Earthscape: An E thnoarchaeological Investigation of Kaqchikel Maya Ceremonies in Highland Guatemala. Ph.D. disserta tion, The University of T exas at Austin. Scott, Ann and Judith M. Maxwell 2008 Guardians and Spirit-owners in Caves and Moun Maya. Paper presented at the 74 th A nnual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Atlanta. Seler, Eduard 1901 Die Alten Ansiedlungen von Chacul, im Distrikte Nentn des Departments Huehuetenango der Republik Guatemala Dietrich Reiner Verlag, Berlin. Smith, Michael E. and Katharina J. Schreiber 2006 NewWorld States and Empires: Politics, Religion, and Urbanism. Journal of Archaeological Research 14 (1):1-52. Smith, Robert E. 1953 Cenote X-Coton at Mayapan. Department of Archae ology, Current Report 5: 67-81. Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, D.C. 1954 Cenote Exploration at Mayapan and T elchaquillo. Department of Archaeology, Current Report 12: 222-233. Carnegie Institution of Washington, Wash ington, D.C. Spenard, Jon 2006 The Gift in the Cave for the Gift of the World: An Economic Approach to Ancient Maya Cave Ritual in the San Francisco Hill-Caves, Cancuen Region, Guatemala. M. A thesis, T he F lorida State University, T alahassee. Stephens, John Lloyd 1841 Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan John Murray, London. 1843 Incidents of Travel in Yucatan Harper Brothers, New Y ork. Stone, Andrea 1992 From Ritual Landscape to Capture in the Urban Center: The Recreation of Ritual Environment in Me soamerica. Journal of Ritual Studies 6(1):109-132. 1995 Images from the Underworld: Naj Tunich and the Tradition of Maya Cave Painting University of T exas Press, Austin. 2002 Heart of Creation: The Mesoamerican World and the Legacy of Linda Schele University of Alabama Press, T uscaloosa. Strmsvik, Gustav 1956 Exploration of the Cave of Dzab-Na, T ecoh, Y u catan. Department of Archaeology, Current Reports 35: 463-470. Carnegie Institution of Washington. Washington, D.C. Stuart, George E. 1981 Maya Art T reasures Discovered in Cave. National Geographic 160 (2): 220-235. Thompson, Edward H. 1897 Cave of Loltun. Memoirs of the Peabody Museum of A merican A rchaeology and E thnology, Volume 1:52-72. Harvard University, Cambridge. 1938 The High Priests Grave, Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico Prepared for publication, with notes and introduction by J. E ric T hompson. A nthropology Series 27, No.1. Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago. Thompson, J. Eric 1959 The Role of Caves in Maya Culture. Mitteilungen aus dem Museum fr Vlkerkunde im Hamburg 25:122-129. 1975 Introduction to the Reprint Edition. In The HillCaves of Yucatan by Henry C. Mercer. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman. Villa Rojas, Alfonso 1945 The Maya of East Central Quintana Roo Pub lication 599. Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, D.C. Vogt, Evon Z. 1969 Zinacantan: A Maya Community in the Highlands of Chiapas Belknap Press, Cambridge. Vogt, Evon Z. and David Stuart 2005 Some Notes on R itual Caves among the A ncient and Modern Maya. In In the Maw of the Earth Monster: Mesoamerican Ritual Cave Use, edited by James E. Brady and Keith Prufer, pp. 155-185. University of T exas Press, Austin. Wauchope, Robert 1972 E. Wyllys Andrews, IV, 1916-1971. American Antiquity 37:394-403. 2010 Ritual and Trade in the Pasin-Verapaz Region, Guatemala Vanderbilt Institute of Mesoamerican A rchaeology, Vol. 6. Vanderbilt University Press, Nashville.
29 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 3 Domenici and Pongetti 3 Cueva del Sapo: A GIS Spatial A nalysis of Surface R emains in a Classic R itual Cave of Western Chiapas, Mexico Davide Domenici and Cristina Pongetti Introduction Since 1997, the R o La Venta A rchaeological Project has been studying the Pre-Hispanic occupation of the Selva El Ocote, in the heart of the Zoque-speaking region on the Western edge of the Chiapas Central Depression (F igure 1) 1 The Projects research has focused on human colonization of the area, as witnessed by various surface sites ranging from rural hamlets to relatively large monumental sites, as well as upon the long tradition of ritual use of caves in the meter-deep and 84 kilometer-long canyon of the middle La Venta river. The general results of our surveys, carried out in close collaboration with the speleologists of the Italian La Venta Exploring T eam, have already been synthesized (Domenici 2006, 2008a, 2009; Domenici and Lee 2004, 2009). T he Project discovered more than sixty caves with surface ar chaeological remains (Figure 2), three of which have been partially excavated (Cueva del Lazo, Cueva del Camino us to sketch some general traits of a long hypogean ritual tradition that started at least in Late Preclassic times as shown by the well-known context of the Cueva de la Media Luna (Lee 1969) and which lasted until Late Postclassic and even Colonial and modern times (Domenici 2008b, 2010a, 2010b). Ritual Use of Caves in Selva El Ocote: Chronology and General Characteristics T o date, the Cueva de la Media Luna offering of 519 Late Preclassic (Guaoma phase, ca. 300-1 B.C.) stacked bowls is the oldest example of a ritual pattern that became widespread during the E arly Classic, when massive offerings, black ware bowls, were deposited in caves of the El Ocote area, as well as in other regions of Western Chiapas such as the meseta of Ocuilapa, the San Fernando area (Merino and Nfate 2005) and the O cozocoautla area ( A costa O choa and Mndez T orres 2007: 6) 2 During the Late Preclassic and E arly Classic periods, the E l O cote area was almost completely uninhabited, and, therefore, the offerings must have been deposited by people from the neighboring areas of the O cozocoautla and Jiquipilas valleys, where important sites such as Mirador, Piedra Parada and Cerro O mbligo 1 T he R o La Venta A rchaeological project, directed by T homas A Lee and Davide Domenici from 1999 to 2010, was organized by the University of Bolo gna (Italy), the Universidad de Ciencias y Artes de Chiapas (Mexico), and the La Venta E xploring T eam nanced by the Italian Ministero degli Affari Esteri. 2 Big stacks of pottery are also common in areas as Oaxaca (cfr. Fitzimmons 2005: 99). Figure 1. Map of Western Chiapas with main archaeo logical sites and modern towns (D. Domenici). E kholm 1984, Lpez Jimenez and E sponda Jimeno 1999). Various examples of massive offerings in caves on the western margin of the La Venta canyon have been described and illustrated by Matthew Stirling (1945, 1947; Paills 1989)
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 3 Domenici and Pongetti 30 Figure 2. Map of the Rio La Venta region with location of archaeological caves. Full names of main archaeological caves mentioned in the text are given (N. Maestri).
31 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 3 Domenici and Pongetti and F rederick Peterson (1961a, 1961b), the Cueva de los Cajetes (Paills 1989: 10-13; Peterson 1961a: 55-56) and the Cueva del Carrizal (Paills 1989: 24-27) being the bestknown examples. Numerous other massive E arly Classic offerings have been discovered by our project in caves such as Cueva de Jos Juan, Laberinto del Diablo, Cueva de la Sorpresa, Cueva de los T rastes, and Cueva del Sapo, as we will see in detail. All of these contexts share some general characteristics: the caves, located atop the meseta -like area on the canyons sides or at the bottom of the canyon cliffs, are often active, or wet, and easily reachable by walking in the jungle or along the river bed. Groups of black or smudged bowls and dishes, varying from a few items to several hundreds 3 are deposited near salient speleothems blocks. A single cave can host one or more offering areas, usually containing pottery from various E arly Classic phases, often with later (even modern) additions; masonry walls with doorways sometimes divide the underground space into various rooms 4 ; bowls can be individually deposited on the ground but they are often grouped in stacks of similar or identical specimens. In addition to the common black or smudged bowls, massive offerings often contain smudged black tripods, censers and small hemispherical coarse-paste bowls usually containing traces of carbonized material, prob ably copal 5 In some instances, bowls may have contained offerings of food, as shown by chemical analysis conducted Di oscorea pollen in bowls from caves of the O cozocoautla region (Acosta Ochoa 2010). In other cases, empty bowls were placed directly under water drippings that have since enclosed them in a calcite matrix. A few Early Classic caves stand apart from the general pattern discussed above. The previously mentioned Cueva de la Media Luna context, for example, is unique not only for the presence of a stepped, plastered, and painted plat form, but also for including additional offerings such as lip-to-lip caches. It is still not clear if this difference should be attributed to chronological factors (Cueva de la Media Luna is the only Late Preclassic hypogean archaeological context known in the E l O cote area) or to a more specialized ritual function of the big rock shelter. Another unique case is Cueva del Altar Sagrado, which is also positioned at the an adobe wall with a single access. On top of the front wall stood a complex triangular-like element, resembling in some way the Mesoamerican year sign. T he cave was discovered, intact, by the local T opos Speleological Association; unfortu shattering its outstanding architectonical features. A third unusual Early Classic archaeological context is Cueva de covered by the skeletal remains of at least twenty individu als, suggesting a use of the cave as an ossuary or collective funerary precinct 6 A last Early Classic ritual context worth mentioning is the E l Carpintero offering area. It consists of a natural limestone outcrop at the summit of one of the highest mountain peaks of El Ocote, where a large number of broken offering vessels (both E arly and Late Classic) were found. Apparently, the rocky outcrop served the same James Bradys statement that cave and mountain can be united in a single symbol and [...] the most sacred locations are those that combine the fundamental elements of earth earth (Brady 1997: 603); Selva El Ocote, with its maze of caves and mountains, must have appeared to the Zoque as just such a sacred place. T he transition from E arly to Late Classic in E l O cote was diffusion of Fine Orange pottery that suddenly replaced the old Olmec-derived black ware tradition, suggesting that the Gulf Coast continued to represent the area of major cultural interaction for the Chiapas Zoquean population; after the abandonment of the area at the end of the T erminal Classic Period, a second colonization wave occurred in Postclassic times. Ritual use of caves continued throughout the whole sequence, apparently reaching its peak during the Late Clas sic and decreasing in later phases 7 The occupation of the previously uninhabited area caused a radical change in the 3 A mong the richest massive offerings, we can mention the Cueva de las O llas (San F ernando, Chiapas), containing between 900 and 1500 dishes (Merinos and Nfate 2005: 104), and the Cueva de los Cajetes where, according to F Peterson, there were thousands of vessels, today reduced to a thick layer of sherds. 4 T he most important evidence of underground masonry structures comes also from Cueva de los Cajetes, where they created three O cote caves, often breaking off a gallery into different sections. See Brady, Scott, Cobb et al 1997: 360 for references to architectural 5 In El Ocote we never found any shoe-pot vessels, very common in caves of the Maya area during the Early Classic (Brady 1989: 238); their presence has, however, been reported by speleologists working in the Selva del Mercadito, relatively close by. 6 Another cave containing a similar assemblage of human bones has been recently reported by speleologists working in the same area. See Thompson 1975: xxxi-xxxii, and Scott and Brady 2005: 271-273 for data concerning caves used as ossuaries. 7 T he reassessment of the local ceramic sequence resulting from our excavations in E l H igo monumental site considerably changed our view of Postclassic typologies, showing a strong and unexpected continuity with Late Classic ones. A lthough our cave surveys had been mainly realized before the reassessment of the ceramic sequence (and thus being probably affected by some dating error), we still think that Late Classic (the phase with the densest human occupation of the area) was a major period of ritual cave use in E l O cote, followed by a much less widespread and still poorly understood use in Postclassic times.
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 3 Domenici and Pongetti 32 preferential location of ritual caves. Since the Late Classic, in fact, Zoquean peoples of E l O cote began to use caves located on the canyon cliffs, only reachable by climbing or walking along the narrow ledges that run along the canyons walls, as attested by a host of archaeological evidence such as low sidewalls and rock paintings. Apparently, this new preferential location of hypogean ritual precincts in far and quired spatial, functional and symbolical distance between residential areas and ritual spaces. LateT erminal Classic archaeological evidence shows a much more varied set of cave rituals when compared to E arly Classic ones, making a broad depiction of Late Classic space of this article. Caves such as El T apesco del Diablo (Linares Villanueva 1998; Silva Rhoads and Linares Vil lanueva 1993; Linares Villanueva and Silva Rhoads 2001), (Domenici 2010a) are good examples of the richness of Late Classic cave contexts in the area. In general terms, there was an apparent preference for dry caves, where pottery offerings, mainly represented by Fine Orange bowls and plates of the local Mechung phase (700-900 A .D.) and in most cases less massive than Early Classic ones 8 continued to be deposited near salient speleothems. O verall, cave assemblages became much richer than before, often containing precious items such as tecali vessels, jades, and a vast array of artifacts including mirrors, weaving implements, and many perishable artifacts, whose preservation was favored by the dry climate of the caves. An element worth noting here is the presence of rock paintings, sometimes associated with caves and cliff ledges containing Late Classic archaeological evidences. Moreover, there was an obvious increase in burial contexts, probably better described as special mortuary deposits, as showed by the extraordinary Cueva del Lazo assemblage where eleven infant burials were discovered together with a vast array of perishable materials such as textiles and foodstuffs that allowed the interpretation of the context as a (Domenici n.d.). purely Postclassic ritual contexts. Some of the aforemen tioned LateT erminal Classic contexts in E l O cote (Cueva E l a later facet that, despite strong cultural continuity with preceding materials, could well correspond to Postclassic times. Stylistic elements and the recurrent association with diagnostic pottery suggest that the array of stylized and schematic rock paintings on the canyon cliffs could date to the Late Postclassic. We argue that a shift in prevailing archaeological record, with rock paintings becoming the dominant trait of pure Late Postclassic ritual contexts. Interpreting Ancient Hypogean Rituals A s A ndrea Stone (2005a: 249) stated, cave artifact assemblages are the end products of a sequence of human actions that encompasses caves and the larger landscape. T hese sequences of human actions, given their ritual character aimed at communication with the supernatural realm, can be seen as discourses (Lpez Lujn 1993: 52-55) whose relationship. Obviously, not every ritual act leaves a rec ognizable trace in the archaeological record. Not only are words, prayers, chants, dances, etc., forever lost to us (with but acts utilizing perishables are generally invisible to the archaeologists eye, often limited to seeing non-perishable as Cueva del Lazo). This led Andrea Stone (2005b:135) to of ritual behavior so that we can only have the vaguest no tion of the specialized rituals. that the ritual form underground archaeological contexts is the oblation or of fering of various kinds of items, such as ceramics, food, speleothems, copal, tobacco, children, etc. Many of the items found in cave offering areas, in remarkable accord with E arly Colonial descriptions of ceremonies related with Earth and Rain gods, seem to pertain to a relatively homogeneous water/ fertility-related semantic sphere expressed by such concepts as new, green, unripe, fresh or cold. From a syntactical perspective, Classic offering areas, often massive in scale, seem to be the product of the re distributed along the underground landscape, often adding new items to previous, often centuries-old, offerings. The paratactical structure of offering events repeated along broad expanses of time suggests that they were probably following a cyclical, calendar-related, pattern, similar to the one reported both in colonial documents and ethnographic reports. The massive scale of the offerings as well as the existence of huge masonry structures that required corporate labor investments in caves such as Cueva de la Media Luna, Cueva de los Cajetes or Cueva del Altar Sagrado suggest that most Late PreclassicE arly Classic ceremonies may have been community-, lineageor house-based activities, probably involving numerous people and possibly sponsored by important neighboring political entities 9 T he usual distribution of various offering areas along cave galleries suggests the existence of ritual pathways (cfr. clearly mirrored in some Colonial description of hypogean rituals (Aramoni Caldern 1992; Domenici 2008b). Inner 8 The only instance of Late Classic massive offering was located bowls (Lee 1969). 9 Cfr. Fitzimmons 2005: 112 for a similar interpretation of Blade Cave, Oaxaca, and Brady 2000a: 135 for a similar suggestion re garding Cueva de las Pinturas and for a general discussion of the political appropriation of the sacred landscape.
33 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 3 Domenici and Pongetti to break the cave galleries into sections divided by ritual thresholds 10 Predictably, the main threshold is usually the cave entrance, marked by offering areas (Cueva de los Altares), hand prints and other rock paintings (Cueva de la Duda, Cueva del Lazo) or food preparation areas (Cueva de la Sorpresa). A gain, the emphasis on this important entrance is described as the meeting place with the nahuales (Domenici 2008b). If the above-mentioned linear-sequential ordering of ritual activity areas is evident inside the caves, we can suppose that a similar pattern also guided the movements preceding the entrance to the underground space. In Late PreclassicE arly Classic times, E l O cote was a no mans land crossed by people coming from neighboring areas. These people would have covered many kilometers across the hard karstic terrain of the jungle or along the riverbed in the canyon, walking along routes that were probably part of wider, pilgrimage-like circuits, implied not only by the spatial arrangement of archaeological remains, but also by a wealth of ethnographic data from all over Mesoamerica (cfr. Adams and Brady 2005: 311-312; Brady 1991; Brady 2000b; Mc A nany, Berry and T homas 2003: 78; Moyes 2005; Prufer 2005: 199; Sandstrom 2005; Stone 2005a: 255-256). T hese pilgrimage-like circuits could have ranged from ample, collective enterprises to more secluded activi ties carried out by small parties, or even single individuals during vision quest-like experiences. Considering what we know about Mesoamerican ritual behaviors as described in historical sources, these kinds of liminal activities could sexual abstinence and fasting 11 Unfortunately we do not have any direct archaeological evidence of these epigean ritual paths during Early Classic times, when jungle tracks and the river bed were probably followed by large numbers of people as part of communal rituals; on the contrary, clear evidence of them is available from the Late Classic onwards, when the colonization of El Ocote shifted the choice of caves used for ritual purposes primarily to those located in barely reachable places on the canyon cliffs, as witnessed by sidewalls and various archaeo logical evidence such as rock carvings, rock paintings and pattern. T his pattern could suggest an increasingly restricted access to the ritual caves, a trend that seems to have reached its peak during the Late Postclassic, with the predominance of schematic, non-iconic rock paintings and small stone pre cincts on high cliff ledges; ritual specialists may have used the cliff ledges during ritual circuits or seclusion periods that could well have included initiations, nahual-meeting and other healing rituals or visionary experiences 12 If our hypothesis is correct, the range of ritual activities carried out in El Ocote seems to have progressively shifted from more public/political ceremonies to more private/sociomedical ones (cfr. Prufer 2005). In light of the themes so far discussed, it is clear that in order to understand the structural scheme of ancient rituals, an analysis of the spatial distribution and chronological composition of the various offering areas in a cave is of primary importance. In our research area, logistical and caves, focusing on recording surface remains; moreover, in many cases the archaeological materials are simply deposed excavations and making that even a simple surface collec tion would have resulted in the complete dismantling of the archaeological context. T o preserve both the archaeological context and its intimate relationship with the underground natural environment (luckily protected in the El Ocote Bio sphere Reserve), we thus preferred to devise an adequate methodology in order to obtain a detailed recording of surface remains and then proceed to a hopefully insightful spatial analysis. Due to the characteristics of its archaeological assemblage, Cueva del Sapo is the place we selected for a Cueva del Sapo: Location and Description Cueva del Sapo is located in the E l O cote jungle, on the North side of the Middle La Venta river, approximately 1.2 km from the canyons rim. The cave, easily reachable by a long walk through the forest from both the valleys of described in our annual report (Domenici and Lee 2004). In 2004, while excavating the site of El Higo, we carried out the detailed mapping, photomapping, and description of the archaeological evidences of the cave 13 A ccess to the cave is provided by two contiguous accesses on its western side. The main access is a low opening 2.5 m wide, reaching a maximum height of approximately 0.8 m, while the secondary one is approximately 3 m wide, with a maximum height of 0.6 m. T he limited height of the accesses, requiring crawling to get in, and the vegetation growing in front of them reduced their visibility and probably limited modern entries in the cave, thus reducing looting activities. Nevertheless, we found some discarded E arly Classic bowls (almost intact or broken in two parts) immediately outside the access 14 indicating that some looting had occurred before and, therefore, the offerings areas described hereafter were 10 are also quite common in the Maya area: see, for example, Stone 1997a: 203. 11 Thompson (1970: 173; 1975: xxix) reports various examples of cave ceremonies marked by continence and fasting. See also Adams and Brady 2005: 309. 12 F or some data concerning visionary rituals in caves see MacLeod and Puleston 1979: 75-76; Brady 1989: 420-423, Prufer 2005. 13 T he 2004 work resulted in Cristina Pongettis graduation thesis (Pongetti 2005). 14 These bowls were the only specimen we collected in the site and are today housed in the storerooms of the Regional Museum in T uxtla Gutirrez.
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 3 Domenici and Pongetti 34 Figure 3. Map of Cueva del Sapo with numbered offering areas (C. Pongetti).
35 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 3 Domenici and Pongetti R oom 1. Four concentrations of pottery were provide here a brief description of each area. Area 1 (Room 1) : Concentration of frag ments and three whole vessels around fallen rocky blocks, mainly on their western side. It is almost spatially connected with Area 2 and the two could also be considered as parts of a same area. Nevertheless, the association with the rocky blocks and a lower level of pottery functional unit. Area 2 (Room 1) : Concentration of broken vessels around a roughly squared, plain lime stone stela standing on a rocky step (Figure 4). T he pottery fragments are scattered around the stela and along the nearby southern wall of the cave; a chunk of a broken speleothem, obviously Figure 4. O ffering A rea 2 with plain limestone stela (D. Domenici). Figure 5. O ffering A rea 5 at the base of main column (D. Domenici). not in pristine state when discovered. T he cave is a gallery over 70 m-long, oriented WestE ast (Figure 3). It reaches a maximum width of approximately 16 m, with the terminus narrowing to 4 m in width. T he approximately 4 m. The inner space of the cave is divided in two main rooms (Room 1 and Room 2) by a huge and imposing column with a diameter of approximately 7.5 m. The caves roof, almost one meter-high at entrance, rises to more than 5.5 meters in the area of the column, and then slopes downward again. On the cave surface, pottery vessels and fragments of A rea 1, 2, etc.), often concentrated near salient spelothems, brought from a different part of the cave, is located amidst the ceramics. Area 3 (Room 1) : Concentration of small pottery frag ments on the western side of the base of a small column and of a group of rocky blocks located on the northern side of the column. Area 4 (Room 1) : Concentration of pottery fragments located on the western side of a row of blocks that links the above-mentioned small column to the southern wall of the cave, thus blocking the passage between the two; neverthe less, the low height of the blocks makes the blockage easily passable by simple walking. Area 4 is spatially sequential with A rea 2 and could be also considered as part of the same area; nevertheless, the chronological homogeneity of separate functional unit. Area 5 (Room 2) : Concentration of frag ments and whole vessels on the eastern side of the base of the big column separating the two rooms (Figure 5). Area 6 (Room 2) : Small concentration of pottery fragments and whole vessels in a sort of niche in the southern wall of the cave; materials and some of them are completely encased in a calcite matrix. Area 7 (Room 2) : Concentration of whole vessels and fragments around two groups of aligned small stalagmites formed by a still active water dripping from a crack in the caves roof. Some whole vessels are completely encased in the calcite matrix formed by the dripping water (Figure 6) that also formed some small pools
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 3 Domenici and Pongetti 36 Figure 6. Detail of offering Area 7 with bowl em bedded in calcite matrix (D. Domenici). Figure 7. Offering Area 8, the main pottery concentration in the cave (D. Domenici). of stagnant water. A rea 8 ( R oom 2): Group of whole and broken vessels on a small ledge along the southern wall of the cave (Figure 7). It is the major pottery concentration of the cave. Some Area 9 (Room 2) : Concentration of pottery A rea 8 ledge; the fragments are mainly located toward the walls of the crack and in its center, thus leaving two free corridors where one can walk without trampling on the pottery. Area 10 (Room 2) : Concentration of frag ments and four whole vessels on a second ledge, four meters east from Area 8. Area 11 (Room 2) : Group of four whole vessels located between Areas 5 and 7. Area 12 (Room 2) : Group of four bowls located on a slim stalagmite in the eastern part of the cave (Figure 8). Area 13 (Room 2) : Group of four bowls located near the northern wall of the cave, north of Areas 7 and 11. T wo more vessels were isolated: a bowl in front of the secondary entrance and a small hemispherical bowl located inside a recess of the main column (Figure 9). It is worth noting that this last bowl is located in the very area of the column that, when hit with a hand, produces a low sound whose resonance in the cave is quite impressive. Methodology T he entire Cueva del Sapo including its walls and roof was mapped with a T otal Station, while the concentrations of offerings were also ortophotomapped, that is, recorded by means of zenital photos corrected for optical deformation and united in a georeferentiated photomosaic (Figure 10). The subsequent digitalization of the photomosaic produced detailed vectorial maps of the archaeological evidences T he topographic map and the photomaps were then uploaded in ARCGIS software that allowed several elabo rations and the integration of the spatial data with those in 15 Distribution maps of selected elements were created by queries, which consist in attributes selections by alphanumeric data taken from the database. T he ceramic 15 E very fragment was described, when possible, according to decoration, type, variety, complex, period, description, on the state of the object (divided in intact, semi-intact, and the degree of standardization of offered items; state included information on anthropogenic activities such as burning, or natural ously stated, no items were collected from the cave, apart from the whole vessels found outside the entrance.
37 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 3 Domenici and Pongetti attributes by area were then visualized by means of charts and histograms Density maps, realized by measuring the distances between the centroids of the digitalized elements, allowed the degree of reciprocal proximity of selected ele minor concentration. A 3D model of the cave was obtained using SURFER software; the creation of a T riangulated Irregular Network (TIN) of the cave surface provided a model of the slopes slope instrument indicates the inclination degrees of each triangular surface, in order to systematically detect the levelest areas and the steepest ones. In this way, the system draws some steepest paths graphic linear elements automatically generated by the software from a starting point indicated by the operator corresponding to the main water tions was then evaluated by comparing the steepest paths starting from the two entrances of the cave and the density maps of ceramic fragments, also considering the degree of fragmentation in every area. T his analysis was also useful to infer the main paths that organized human circulation in the cave, by relating the depositional areas with the The Formation of the Archaeological depositional Factors Due to the importance of spatial distribution of archaeological remains for interpreting an from the outside during the wet season could have affected their distribution on the cave surface. T he elaboration of the T IN allowed us to trace the steepest paths on the surface, that is, water. If most concentration areas in Room 2 were not directly affected by these paths, areas 1, 2, and 3 were obviously located along a that pottery sherds were probably washed from Areas 1 and 2 and accumulated at the base of Offering Area 12, with bowls on a sta lagmite. Note the bowl in the upper part, as well as bowls at the stalagmites base. Figure 9. Isolated bowl located inside a recess of the main column (D. Domenici).
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 3 Domenici and Pongetti 38 the nearby column and rocky blocks, thus forming Area 3. Most sherds in Area 3 were water-worn and covered with calcite. We cannot be sure if all the fragments in A rea 3 were transported there by the action of water (the location near but it is obvious that the process of formation of Area 3 was O ther taphonomic processes seem to have affected various offering areas. In Room 1 90% of pottery items are fragments, while in Room 2 this percentage drops to 49%, meaning that more than half of the recorded items are whole vessels. Our interpretation of this pattern is twofold: Room 1, still in the twilight zone, probably suffered more breakage and looting of whole vessels by modern visitors as well as chronological composition of offerings in the two rooms (see below) suggests that the different breakage pattern could have been caused by ancient visitors and probably by differences in the prevailing ritual practices. We will return to this issue in our concluding remarks. T he physical characteristics of the underground landscape obviously played a role in the selection of the places where to depose the offerings. We already noted the common as sociation with speleothems such as columns or stalagmites, as well as with dripping water. Moreover, it is clear that in selected, obviously providing stability for the offerings. T he the stela was erected in R oom 1 and two rows of stone blocks a closed space that, together with the southern wall of the cave and the rock at the base of the stela in A rea 2, encircles most of Areas 1-4. The partially built underground landscape of Cueva del Sapo should have affected the movements of ancient ritual actors: in light of our above-mentioned interest in identifying Figure 10. Photomosaic of the offering Areas 5, 6, 7, and 11 (C. Pongetti).
39 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 3 Domenici and Pongetti Figure 11. Digitalized map of offering Areas 1, 2, 3, and 4 (C. Pongetti).
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 3 Domenici and Pongetti 40 Figure 12. Suggested circulation pathways linking the offering Areas in Cueva del Sapo (C. Pongetti).
41 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 3 Domenici and Pongetti Figure 13. Phase components of offering Areas in Cueva del Sapo (C. Pongetti).
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 3 Domenici and Pongetti 42 ritual pathways both outside and inside the caves, we tried to sketch the most probable circulation routes in the underground space considering factors such as the location of the offering an overtly hypothetic one that, anyway, seems quite viable in light of our own physical experience of the cave. T he evaluation of elements so far discussed such as breakage patterns or circulation routes, as well as a general interpretation of the dynamics of ancient ritual practices, cannot be carried out without a detailed understanding of the chronological dimension of the archaeological context, one of the main purposes of our analysis. The chronologi cal attribution of the ceramics was made on the basis of the type-variety sequence of Western Chiapas Zoque pottery as established by Peterson (1963), A grinier (1969, 1970, 1975), and T homas A Lee (1974a, 1974b) on the basis of their works at Mirador and in various locations of the Middle Grijalva area. Sapo pertain to three different phases of the Classic Zoque sequence: Juspano ( E arly Classic I, ca. A .D. 200-400; types Venta Smudged, Paniagua R ecessed and Sanjuanojmo Crude), Kundapi (Early Classic II, ca. A.D. 400-600; types Venta Smudged and Santome T an), and Mechung (Late-T erminal Classic, ca. A.D. 600-1000; types Zuleapa White, Y omono Fine Incised, T onapac Coarse) 16 Many fragments of coarse ware, when not clearly pertaining to a known form, have 17 The n.i. group also includes all the fragments covered by calcite deposits or that, due to their physical location under other items, cannot be properly observed without dismantling the offering contexts. F igure 13 represents the relative frequency of materials of the three phases in Cueva del Sapos areas, clearly showing a meaningful distribution. In Room 1, while Area 1 shows a quite even percentage of all the phases, Areas 2, 3, and 4 show a clear predominance of Late-T erminal Classic Mec hung pottery, being the F ine O range Zuleapa White the most represented type. In R oom 2, on the contrary, E arly Classic I Juspano ceramics, mainly of the Venta Smudged and Pania gua Recessed types, predominate in all areas and represent the only component in Areas 8, 9, 10, 11, the easternmost and innermost offering areas of the cave; a Late Classic Mechung component is present in the three southwestern areas (5, 6, and 7; that is the nearest to Room 1), while an extremely reduced Early Classic II Kundapi component (ac tually, two fragments of one single tripod vessel) is present only in Area 5. It is important to mention here that the vast majority of n.i. items in the Juspano-dominated areas cor responds to fragments of coarse hemispheric bowls usually or copal burners, strongly suggesting a Juspano phase dat ing for these materials too, even if they strongly resemble the Pitutal Smoothed, Pitutal Variety, Y ahama Roughware attributed by T A. Lee to the Protoclassic Ipsan phase in San Isidro (1974b: 48-49). Due to their relatively scarcity in the areas where Mechung materials predominate, but where Juspano materials are anyway present, a LateT erminal Classic continuity of this form seems highly improbable. No hypothesis has been formed regarding their use during the poorly represented Kundapi phase. In general terms, the chronological composition of the different areas shows that the ritual use of the cave began during the Juspano phase, also corresponding to the phase of major use both in terms of quantity of deposited materials and in terms of spatial distribution. Juspano people appar ently left offerings in Rooms 1 and 2, thus creating all the offering areas utilized in the cave. The presence of Juspano pottery in Areas 1, 2, and 4 suggests that the plain stela was also erected during this phase, a hypothesis that seems to be Classic sites in the Jiquipilas valley (Lpez Jimnez and Esponda Jimeno 2009) and in the neighboring Mercadito jungle area. The contemporary use of all 13 areas suggests that the proposed main pathways linking the different offering areas were also established at this time. Nevertheless, the various areas show a clearly different pattern of formation: if A reas 11, 12, and 13 could have been the product of a single offering act, areas such as 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 were clearly formed through repeated depositions. A strong diminution of ritual activities in Cueva del Sapo occurred during the E arly Classic II Kundapi phase, when a small quantity of vessels was deposited in areas 1, 2, and 5, that is, simply following the pattern established during the previous Juspano phase, but not venturing into the deepest part of the cave. Actually, the only Kundapi item in Room 2 was a single cylindrical, nubbin feet tripod. During the following Late-T erminal Classic Mechung phase, despite a clear increase in ritual activity, offerings were only left in R oom 1 and on the southeastern part of the main column in Room 2, exactly as during the preceding Kundapi phase. Most importantly, the clear predominance 16 Absolute dates are simply indicative, since a discussion of the absolute chronology of the local ceramic sequence is well beyond the aim of the present paper. We do not use here the obsolete 17 In our database the coarse ware has been subdivided in the following subgroups: Orange Reddish Orange Buff Yahama Roughware e Canoa Coarse Figure 15 (facing page) Selected examples of Juspano ceramics. a) Composite tripod, Polished Black, Venta Smudged type; b) R ounded wall bowl, Smudged Black, Paniagua R ecessed type, with incised scroll within framing lines on basal line; c) Out curving wall bowl, Smudged Black, Paniagua Recessed type, with incised hachured triangles and dentate basal ridge; d) Slightly out curving wall bowl, Orange Brown, Paniagua Recessed type, with incised striped scalonated motif and basal ridge with incised waves; e) T ripod, reddish orange, Venta Smudged type, with gadrooned base and rim; f) Hemispherical censer, Smudged Black, Paniagua rows of hachured triangles (C. Pongetti).
43 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 3 Domenici and Pongetti Figure 14. Distribution of Juspano phase ceramic forms by offering Area (C. Pongetti).
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 3 Domenici and Pongetti 44 Figure 16. Distribution of Kundapi phase ceramic forms by offering Area (C. Pongetti). Figure 17. of Mechung pottery in areas 3 and 4 suggests column were established during this phase, when the twilight zone of R oom 1 clearly became the main focus of ritual activities. We cannot be sure if the southern blockage was anyway surpassed to reach the area southeast of the main column in Room 2 or if this area was now reached walking around the northern side of the column. In general terms, Mechung offerings were usually deposited on top or on the margins of the already established Juspano offering areas. T o further proceed in the understanding of the emerging ritual patterns of the various phases, it is now useful to look at the main ceramic forms represented in the various components of the offering areas. As shown in Figure 14, Juspano offerings consist almost completely of bowls and dishes of different forms. T he vast majority of them are black wares (Venta Smudged and Paniagua Recessed; Figure 15), often with waving incised lines and hachured A small quantity of censers and tripods (again, in all the Juspano-dominated areas, suggesting a Juspano phase attribution also for these forms. The higher variety of bowls forms in Areas 2, 5, 7, 8, and 9 seems to be simply an effect of the higher quantity of pottery fragments in these areas, probably formed during a longer period of repeated use. A similar pattern seems to characterize the Kundapi components ( F igures 16-17) that, albeit minimal in quantitative terms, contain mainly bowls, tripods and a censer. The Mechung com ponent of the offering areas (Figures 18-19) is, on the contrary, much more varied, since the usual bowls and plates (now mostly of the Zuleapa White F ine O range ware) are joined by a higher quantity of censers (including ladle censers with modeled handles) and, above all, by an important quantity of jars, a form almost completely absent in earlier phases. Concluding Remarks The methodology applied in recording and analyzing the surface materials in Cueva del Sapo, even if of limited value for quantitative analysis (e.g. due to the impossibility of join ing fragments from a single broken vessel) and obviously affected by sampling errors due to differential visibility of the archaeological items, allowed a rather detailed interpretation
45 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 3 Domenici and Pongetti of the ancient ritual practices without affecting its archaeological contexts, preserved almost untouched in the cave. Our analysis showed that Cueva del Sapo was used by the Zoque people living in the region as a ritual precinct all throughout the Classic Period. O ver this period of almost a millennium, we have detected dynamics of time enriching, the general picture previously sketched for the local hypogean ritual tradi tion. T he major period of ritual use corresponds to the Early Classic I Juspano phase, when of ferings, mainly composed of black ware bowls and coarse hemispherical bowls, were left in Figure 18. Figure 19. ).
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 3 Domenici and Pongetti 46 various places where salient speleothems such as columns probably due to their conceptual relation with underground waters. As an indigenous informant explicitly declared to James Brady and colleagues, they themselves are water (Brady, Cobb et al. 2005: 218) 18 In Cueva del Sapo, various plates and bowls are located on top or inside of them, as in the case of the mentioned bowl located inside a sound-producing area of the main column. The placement of the bowl in that very place suggests that the musical effect of the column was known to the ancient Zoque, as it has previously been suggested for the Maya area (MacLeod and Puleston 1979: 75; Brady, Cobb et al. 2005: 221) 19 Of particular interest is the erection of a plain stela in Room 1, the only such case so far known in the area 20 The stela stands as the focus of the same function usually performed by speleothems; it also in Early Classic open-air sites of the region. The water-focused character of hypogean rituals is also attested by the location of bowls under the dripping water in Area 7, obviously aimed at collecting pure underground water, itself an important ritual item known as zuhuy ha among Y ucatec Maya ( T hompson 1975: xv-xxii; Brady 1989: 35-37; Bonor Villarejo 1989: 37-38, 41-43, 67-68). T he same general symbolic reference seems to be embodied in the offerings themselves: the black ware bowls, prob ably sometimes used as food containers, often bear incised decorations in the form of waving lines on the interior of the rim, and hatched triangles and step-frets on the outer walls, motifs that Gareth Lowe (1999: 131-135) interpreted as rep resentations of bodies of water and mountains, respectively 21 This same black ware bowls are often found in huge stacks of identical items in other Early Classic caves of the area, suggesting that, in some instances groups of newly produced bowls were offered together. This hypothesis, based on the strict semantic association that links the concepts new, unripe, green or fresh with the ontological essence of the Earths watery interior and its supernatural (cfr. Y ucatec Maya word zuhuy Durans description of the ceramic containers of A ztec food offerings brought to Mount Tlloc during the Huey Tozoztli celebrations: all the crockery they used to serve him was new, and the little baskets and cups containing cacao had never been used (Durn 1995: II, 93). Eric Thompson men tioned the use of brand new ( zuhuy ) utensils in contemporary Y ucatec Maya rituals, and Barbara T edlock noted a similar pattern in modern Kiche rituals, where any type of pottery vessels can be used so long as it has not been previously used (T edlock 1992: 65). The different pattern of breakage in the two rooms, and above all the huge amount of whole vessels in the deepest Room 2, suggest that the breakage of pottery vessels was not part of ancient Juspano rituals and that it should be attributed to later accesses to the cave. As previously discussed, a watery semantic sphere could be also attributed to the broken speleothems used as offering items, as in the case of Cueva del Sapo offering area A where a big chunk of a broken stalagmite was placed amidst the black ware bowls. Broken speleothems used as offering items have been recorded also in Cueva de los A ltares, where they form a circular space associated with E arly and Late Classic pottery offerings, and in Cueva Cuatro H acha, where T homas A Lee described a group of broken stalactites arranged near a table-like limestone slab (Lee 1969) 22 T he recurrent association between black ware bowls and the little coarse hemispherical bowls (showing a perfect oneto-one correspondence in the smallest concentrations) suggests that the deposition of an offering was usually associated with incense burning. If the minor concentrations could have been formed during a single ritual performance, the major areas seem to be the result of repeated, paratactical acts of obla tion, probably carried out during cyclical, calendar related ceremonies. T he spatial distribution of offering areas seems the movement of people in the underground landscape dur ing the ritual performance. A different pattern of breakage in the different areas poses questions about the state of the ceramics at the moment of the offering. If Area 8 contains the highest percentage of intact vessels, the nearby Area 9 contains the highest percentage of pottery fragments; since 18 F or comparative data on this aspect, cfr. Brady, Scott, Neff et al. 1997; Brady, Cobb et al. 2005; Fitzimmons 2005; Heyden 2005: 30-31; Peterson et al. 2005. Cfr, also the Nahuatl word atet waterstone (Knab 1991) and the Y ucatec xix ha tunich drip-water stone (Moyes 2005: 287), both indicating calcite formations. In cases such as the big column at the centre of Cueva del Sapo main room, the trunk-like appearance of the column could suggest a symbolism linked to the treeaxis mundi concept, a hypothesis often proposed in relation to hypogean columns and based on ethnohistorical and the basis of pure archaeological data. 19 T he local Zoque folklore often mentions music (played by extra-human beings (Wonderly 1947: 152, 155). See Brady and R odas 1995: 29, 32; H apka and R ouvinez 199662, 67-68; Ishihara 2008: 178181 for data regarding the association between music and caves. 20 stelae in caves of Belize and in the general Maya area. In contrast with the pattern observed in the Maya area, the Cueva del Sapo the cave, still in the twilight zone, suggesting that in this case the stela cannot be related to restricted, high-status ceremonies, as also in Cueva de Agua Canoa, Cerro Rabn, Oaxaca (Hapka and Rouvinez 1996: 61-63). 21 See F itzimmons (2005: 101) for similarly incised pottery in Oaxacan caves. 22 For the use of broken speleothems in Maya and Oaxaca caves see Brady, Veni, Stone and Cobb 1992: 78; Brady, Cobb et al. 1997; Moyes 2000; Fitzimmons 2005: 95, 104.
47 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 3 Domenici and Pongetti Area 9 is located in the inner part of the cave, where slope limited, we should ask if some ceramics were intentionally broken during the hypogeal ritual. The scanty evidence of Early Classic II Kundapi phase observing an almost complete limitation of ritual activities in Room 1 and the recurrent deposition of offerings in the very same spot where older Juspano offerings were located, ritual patterns as well as an emically perceived relation of continuity with the acts performed by ancestors. A similar continuity in terms of offering areas character izes LateT erminal Classic Mechung activities. T his is quite interesting because of the strong changes that affected Zoque culture of Western Chiapas at the beginning of Late Classic period. Older sites, usually occupied all through the Early Classic (often since Preclassic times), were abandoned and new sites with dressed stone architecture were established. A s by permanent settlers who, after centuries of widespread use of black ware ceramics of Olmec origin, produced new ceramic complexes dominated by the diagnostic F ine O range ware. In the context of such deep cultural changes, the use of the very same offering areas in the caves could indicate that a sense of cultural continuity was still perceived. A clear expression of this idea, as well as of the palimpsest-like character of the described offering areas, is in Area 2 where a Late Classic ladle censer is located on top of a Kundapi bowl, in its turn resting on a Juspano bowl 23 As we commented at the beginning of the article, Late Classic ritual practices in E l O cote show a good degree restriction of main ritual activities to R oom 1 and to the area southeast of the main column in R oom 2, that is, to the twilight zone and around the main spelothem, with no entrances in the deepest part of the cave. T o this phase we also attributed the building of the blockages on the sides main ritual area of the cave whose spatial focus was again the Juspano plain stela. A similar blockage, constituted by entrance area of Cueva de la Duda along the La Venta river, where it divided the twilight zone from the dark gallery at the back. The ceramics on the surface of the entrance area are Late Classic, thus suggesting a similar date for the wall. Data are admittedly scanty, but the similarity between the two cases could suggest a common Late Classic pattern of emphasizing the twilight area of the caves. A nyway, both the spatial distribution of the ceramics and the stone blockages suggest that most of underground circulation in the cave was that could be related to the major emphasis given to open-air ritual pathways attested in the general El Ocote area. LateT erminal Classic ceramics show that bowls (food?) offering and pure water collection continued to be the main ritual activity carried out in the cave, with a clear increase of incense burning; the abundance of previously uncommon jars also witnessed in dry caves such as Cueva del Lazo, where (Piacenza 2000). H owever, not having carried any chemical form and food offerings remains purely speculative. A lmost all the LateT erminal Classic vessels were found broken. O bviously their physical location in the most accessible part of the cave favored their modern breakage and looting of whole specimens. Since some fragments (e.g. in Area 2), however, are located in places that the slope analysis shows we cannot rule out the possibility that pottery-smashing was part of LateT erminal Classic hypogeal ritual performances, not an uncommon practice in the Maya area. The theme of possible intentional breaking of ceramics during hypogean rituals in different chronological periods surely deserves further investigation. T aphonomic processes affecting the archaeological con factors, the Cueva del Sapo archaeological context arrived almost intact to us, showing a marvelous integration between archaeological evidences and natural underground environ ment. Our actions in the cave were aimed both at studying and preserving it for the future. References Cited Acosta Ochoa, Guillermo 2010 Alimentos para la cueva: un estudio de residuos qumicos y de microfsiles en vasijas cermicas, Quaderni di Thule. XXXI Convegno Internazionale di Americanistica Centro Studi A mericanistici Circolo Amerindiano, pp. 737-742. Perugia. Acosta Ochoa, Guillermo and Enrique Mndez T orres 2007 Lugares sagrados y espacios polticos: El paisaje de las cuevas en los antiguos zoques. Paper presented at the Primer Coloquio de Arqueologa y Etnografa Zoque T uxtla Gutirrez. Adams, Abigail E. and James E. Brady 2005 E thnographic Notes on Maya Qeqchi Cave R ites: Implications for A rchaeological Interpretation. In In the Maw of the Earth Monster. Mesoamerican Ritual Cave Use edited by James E Brady and Keith M. Prufer, pp. 301-327. University of T exas Press, Austin. Agrinier, Pierre 1969 Excavations at San Antonio, Chiapas, Mexico. Papers of the New World A rchaeological F oundation, 23 A similar case has been observed in Cueva de Jos Juan, where a Late Classic ladle censer is located on top of an Early Classic massive offering; in this case, a modern glass bottle of brandy crowns the archaeological context.
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 3 Domenici and Pongetti 48 No. 24. New World A rchaeological F oundation, Brigham Y oung University, Provo, UT 1970 Mound 20, Mirador, Chiapas, Mexico Papers of the New World Archaeological Foundation, No. 28. New World A rchaeological F oundation, Brigham Y oung University, Provo, UT 1975 Mounds 9 and 10 at Mirador, Chiapas, Mexico Papers of the New World Archaeological Founda tion, No. 39. New World A rchaeological F oundation, Brigham Y oung University, Provo, UT 1990 La cultura zoque en la depresin central de Chia pas en la poca clsica. In La poca clsica: nuevos hallazgos, nuevas ideas coordinated by A malia Cards de Mndez, pp. 469-478. Museo Nacional de A ntropologa e H istoria, Instituto Nacional de Antropologa e Historia, Mexico. 1992 El montculo 1 de Ocozocoautla. In Antropologa Mesoamericana: Homenaje a Alfonso Villa Rojas edited by Vctor Manuel Esponda, Sophia Pincemin and Mauricio R osas, pp. 237-252. Gobierno del E stado de Chiapas, Instituto Chiapaneco de Cultura, T uxtla Gutirrez. Aramoni Caldern, Dolores 1992 y resistencia entre los zoques de Chiapas. Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, Mxico. 2005 Cave Stelae and Megalithic Monuments in West ern Belize. In In the Maw of the Earth Monster: Mesoamerican Ritual Cave Use edited by James E. Brady and Keith M. Prufer, pp. 223-248. University of T exas Press, Austin. Bonor Villarejo, Juan Luis 1989 Las Cuevas Mayas: Simbolismo y Ritual Universi dad Complutense de Madrid, Instituto de Cooperacin Iberoamericana, Madrid. Brady, James E. 1989 An Investigation of Maya Ritual Cave Use with Special Reference to Naj Tunich, Peten, Guatemala Ph.D. Dissertation, A rchaeology Program, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles. 1991 Caves and Cosmovision at Utatlan. California Anthropologist 18 (1):1-10. 2000a Early Political Appropriation of the Sacred Land scape. In The Sacred and the Profane. Architecture and Identity in the Maya Lowlands edited by Pierre Robert Colas, Kai Delvendahl, Marcus Kuhnert and A nnette Schubart, pp. 129-136. A cta Mesoamericana, Vol. 10, Verlag Anton Saurwein, Markt Schwaben. 2000b Caves as A ncient Maya Pilgrimage Centers: A rchaeological E vidence of a Multifaceted R ole. Paper presented at Pilgrimage and Ritual Land scape in Pre-Columbian America Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington D.C., October 7-8. Brady, James E., Alan B. Cobb, Sergio Garza, Csar Espinoza, and Robert Burnett 2005 An Analysis of Ancient Maya Stalactite Breakage at Balam Na Cave, Guatemala. In Stone Houses and Earth Lords. Maya Religion in the Cave Context edited by Keith M. Prufer and James E. Brady, pp. 213-224. University Press of Colorado, Boulder. Brady, James E. and Irma Rodas 1995 Maya Ritual Cave Deposits: Recent Insights from the Cueva de Los Quetzales. Institute of Maya Studies Journal 1:17. Brady, James E., Ann Scott, Allan Cobb, Irma Rodas, John Fogarty, and Monica Urquiz Snchez 1997 Glimpses of the Dark Side of the Petexbatn Proj ect. The Petexbatun Regional Cave Survey. Ancient Mesoamerica 8: 353-364. Brady, James E., Ann Scott, Hector Neff and Michael Glascock 1997 Speleothem Breakage, Movement, Removal, and tion. Geoarchaeology 12:725-750. Brady, James E., George Veni, Andrea Stone and Allan Cobb 1992 Explorations in the New Branch of Naj T unich: Im plications for Interpretation. Mexicon XIV:74-81. Chiessi, Sergio 2009 La cermica de El Higo. In Medioambiente a n tropologa, historia y poder regional en el occidente de Chiapa y el Istmo de Tehuantepec edited by T homas A Lee Whiting, Victor Manuel E sponda Jimeno, Davide Domenici, and Carlos Uriel del Car pio Penagos, pp. 163-180. Universidad de Ciencias y Artes de Chiapas, T uxtla Gutirrez. Domenici, Davide 2006 Investigaciones arqueolgicas en el sitio El Higo, Selva El Ocote, Ocozocoautla, Chiapas. In Presen cia zoque: Una aproximacin multidisciplinaria coordinated by D. A ramoni Caldern, T homas A Lee Whiting, and M. Lisbona Guilln, pp. 323-343. Universidad de Ciencias y A rtes de Chiapas, Univer sidad Autnoma de Chiapas, Universidad Nacional Autnoma de Mxico, Mexico. 2008a A rqueologa de la Selva E l O cote, Chiapas. In Mundos zoques y mayas: Miradas italianas edited by Gorza Piero, Davide Domenici and Claudia A vitabile, pp. 15-47. Centro de Estudios Mayas, Universidad Nacional Autnoma de Mxico, Mexico. 2008b R eligiosidad popular y brujera en el Chiapas del siglo XVII: Una mirada desde la arqueologa Guaraguao 28: 27-49. 2009 Continuidades, discontinuidades e interacciones culturales en el desarrollo cultural prehispnico de la Selva El Ocote (Chiapas). In Medioambiente a ntropologa, historia y poder regional en el oc cidente de Chiapa y el Istmo de Tehuantepec edited by Thomas A. Lee Whiting, Victor Manuel Esponda Jimeno, Davide Domenici, and Carlos Uriel del Car pio Penagos, pp. 137-154. Universidad de Ciencias y Artes de Chiapas, T uxtla Gutirrez.
49 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 3 Domenici and Pongetti 2010a Patrones de uso ritual del espacio hipogeo en la Selva E l Ocote (Chiapas). In VI Coloquio Bosch Gimpera Lugar, espacio y paisaje en arqueologa. Mesoamrica y otras reas culturales edited by E dith Ortz Daz, Instituto de Investigaciones An tropolgicas Universidad Nacional Autnoma de Mxico, Mexico. 2010b O lmecas y post-olmecas en el preclsico del oeste de Chiapas: Continuidades y cambios en una tradicin ritual. Thule. Rivista italiana di studi americanistici, 22/23: 361-410. F unerary T reatment? Discussion of a Late Classic Context from the Zoque region of Western Chiapas (Mexico). In Current Researches in Maya Bioar chaeology edited by Gabriel Wrobel, Springer, New Y ork, (in press). Domenici, Davide, and Thomas A. Lee 2004 En la orilla del inframundo. El Proyecto Arque olgico Ro La Venta (Chiapas) y la arqueologa de la Selva E l Ocote. Anuario 2002 pp. 443-466. Centro de Estudios Superiores de Mxico y Centroamrica, T uxtla Gutirrez. 2009 Periodizacin y desarrollo cultural del rea del ro La Venta, Chiapas. In Cronologa y periodizacin en Mesoamrica y el norte de Mxico: V Coloquio Pedro Bosch Gimpera edited by Daneels A nnick, pp. 405-433. Instituto de Investigaciones Antropolgi cas Universidad Nacional Autnoma de Mxico, Mexico. Durn Diego 1995 Historia de las Indias de Nueva Espaa e Islas de Tierra Firme Consejo Nacional Para la Cultura y Las Artes, Mxico. Ekholm, Susana M. 1984 Piedra Parada, un sitio arqueolgico olmeca/zoque de la depresin central de Chiapas. XVII Mesa Re donda: Investigaciones Recientes en el rea Maya (1981), Vol. 1, pp. 383-390. Sociedad Mexicana de Antropologa, San Cristbal de las Casas. Fitzsimmons, Janet 2005 PreH ispanic R ain Ceremonies in Blade Cave, Sierra Mazateca, Oaxaca, Mexico. In In the Maw of the Earth Monster: Mesoamerican Ritual Cave Use edited by James E. Brady and Keith M. Prufer, pp. 91-116. University of T exas Press, Austin. Hapka, Roman and Fabienne Rouvinez 1996 Prospection archologique des grottes du Cerro Rabn, Sierra Mazateca, Oaxaca, Mexico. In Proyecto Cerro Rabn 1990-1994 O axaca, Mexico, edited by Thomas Bitterli and other Cerro Rabn project mem bers, pp. 57-69. Speleo Projects, Caving Publications International, Basel. Heyden, Doris 2005 Rites of Passage and Other Ceremonies in Caves. In In the Maw of the Earth Monster: Mesoamerican Ritual Cave Use edited by James E Brady and Keith M. Prufer, pp. 21-34. University of T exas Press, Austin. Ishihara, Reiko 2008 R ising Clouds, Blowing Winds: Late Classic Maya R ain R ituals in the Main Chasm, A guateca, Guatemala. World Archaeology 40 (2):169-189. Knab, T im 1991 Geografa del Inframundo. Estudios de Cultura Nhuatl 21:31-57. Lee, Thomas A., Jr. 1969 Cuevas Secas del Ro La Venta, Chiapas: Informe Preliminar. Antropologa e Historia de Guatemala 21 (1-2):23-37. 1974a The Middle Grijalva Regional Chronology and Ceramic Relations: A Preliminary Report. In Meso american Archaeology: New Approaches, edited by Norman Hammond, pp. 1-20. Duckworth, London. 1974b Mound 4 Excavations at San Isidro, Chiapas, Mexico Papers of the New World A rchaeological Foundation, No. 34, New World Archaeological Foun dation, Brigham Y oung University, Provo, UT Linares Villanueva, Eliseo 1998 Cuevas arqueolgicas del ro La Venta, Chiapas Master thesis, Escuela Nacional de Antropologa e Historia, Mexico 1998. Linares Villanueva, Eliseo and Carlos Silva Rhoads 2001 El T apesco del Diablo y El Castillo: Dos cuevas arqueolgicas en el can del ro La Venta, Chiapas. Pueblos y Fronteras 2: 157-172. Lpez Jimenez, Fanny and Victor Manuel Esponda Jimeno 1999 Reconocimiento arqueolgico en el valle de Cinta lapa y Jiquipilas. In Ro La Venta, tesoro de Chiapas coordinated by G. Badino et al., pp. 193-202. A ssoci azione La Venta, Consejo E statal para la Cultura y las Lpez Lujn, Leonardo 1993 Las ofrendas del Templo Mayor de Tenochtitlan Instituto Nacional de A ntropologa e H istoria, Mexico. Lowe Gareth 1999 Los zoques antiguos de San Isidro. Consejo E statal para la Cultura y las Artes, T uxtla Gutirrez. MacLeod, Barbara, and Dennis E. Puleston 1979 Pathways into the Darkness: T he Search for the R oad to Xibalb. In Tercera Mesa Redonda de Palenqu e, Vol. IV edited by Merle Greene R obertson, and Donnan Call Jeffers, pp. 71-77. Pre-Columbian Art Research Center, Monterey. McAnany, Patricia A., Kimberly A. Berry and Ben S. Thomas 2003 Wetlands, R ivers, and Caves: A gricultural and R itual Practice in T wo Lowland Maya Landscapes, In Per spectives on Ancient Maya Rural Complexity edited by Gyles Iannone and Samuel V. Connell, pp. 71-81. T he Cotsen Institute of A rchaeology Monograph 49, University of California, Los Angeles.
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 3 Domenici and Pongetti 50 Merino, Gabriel and Mauricio Nfate 2005 Caves of San F ernando, Chiapas. AMCS Activities Newsletter 28:104-108. Moyes, Holley 2000 The Cave as a Cosmogram: Function and Mean ing of Maya Speleothem Use. In The Sacred and the Profane: Architecture and Identity in the Maya Lowlands edited by Pierre Robert Colas, Kai Del vendahl, Marcus Kuhnert and A nnette Schubart, pp. 137-148. Acta Mesoamericana, Vol. 10, Verlag Anton Saurwein. 2005 Cluster Concentrations, Boundary Markers, and Ritual Pathways: A GIS Analysis of Artifact Cluster Patterns at Actun T unichil Muknal, Belize, In In the Maw of the Earth Monster: Mesoamerican Ritual Cave Use edited by James E. Brady, and Keith M. Prufer, pp. 269-300. University of T exas Press, Austin. Paills H., Maricruz 1989 Cuevas de la regin de Ocozocoautla y el ro La Venta: El Diario de Campo, 1945, de Matthew W. Stirling con Notas Arqueolgicas. Notes of the New World Archaeological Foundation, No. 6. Brigham Y oung University, Provo. Peterson Frederick 1961a Lost Cities of Chiapas, Part I. Science of Man I (2):52-56. 1961b Lost Cities of Chiapas. Part II. Science of Man I (3):91-93. 1963 Some Ceramics from Mirador, Chiapas, Mexico. Papers of the New World A rchaeological F oundation, No. 11, Brigham Y oung University, Provo, UT Peterson, Polly A., Patricia A. McAnany and Alan B. Cobb 2005 De-fanging the E arth Monster: Speleothem T ransport to Surface Sites in the Sibun Valley. In Stone Houses and Earth Lords: Maya Religion in the Cave Context Keith M. Prufer and James E. Brady, pp. 225-248. University Press of Colorado, Boulder. Piacenza, Luigi 2000 Los restos botnicos de la Cueva del Lazo, Ocozo coautla, Chiapas. Investigacin. Revista Icach ( nueva poca ) Vol. 1, No. 5. Pongetti, Cristina 2005 Analisi spaziale delle aree di offerta nella Cueva del Sapo, Chiapas (Messico), attraverso la tecnologia GIS Graduation Thesis in Archaeology, University of Bologna, Bologna. Prufer, Keith M. 2005 Shamans, Caves and the R oles of R itual Specialists in Maya Society. In In the Maw of the Earth Monster: Mesoamerican Ritual Cave Use edited by James E. Brady and Keith M. Prufer, pp. 186-221. University of T exas Press, Austin. Sandstrom, Alan R. 2005 The Cave-Pyramid Complex among the Contem porary Nahua, In In the Maw of the Earth Monster: Mesoamerican Ritual Cave Use edited by James E. Brady and Keith M. Prufer, pp. 35-68. University of T exas Press, Austin. Scott, Ann M. and James E. Brady 2005 Human Remains in Lowland Maya Caves: Prob lems of Interpretation. In Stone Houses and Earth Lord: Maya Religion in the Cave Context edited by Keith M. Prufer and James E. Brady, pp. 263-284. University Press of Colorado, Boulder. Silva Rhoads, Carlos and Eliseo Linares Villanueva 1993 El T apesco del Diablo. Arqueologa Mexicana 1 (3): 76-78. Stirling, Matthew 1945 Letter. American Antiquity 11:137. 1947 On the T rail of La Venta Man. National Geographic Magazine XCI (2):137-172. Stone, Andrea 1997 Pre-Columbian Cave Utilization in the Maya Area. In The Human Use of Caves edited by Clive Bonsall and Christopher T olan-Smith, pp. 201-206. Bar International Series 667, Oxford. 2005a A Cognitive Approach to Artifact Distribution in Caves of the Maya Area. In In the Maw of the Earth Monster: Studies of Mesoamerican Ritual Cave Use edited by James E. Brady and Keith Prufer, pp. 249269. University of T exas Press, Austin. 2005b Scribes and Caves in the Maya Lowlands. In Stone Houses and Earth Lords: Maya Religion in the Cave Context edited by Keith M. Prufer and James E Brady, pp. 135-147. University Press of Colorado, Boulder. T edlock, Barbara 1992 Time and the Highland Maya University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque. Thompson, Eric J. 1970 Maya History and Religion University of O klahoma Press, Norman. 1975 Introduction. In The Hill Caves of Yucatan: A Search for Evidence of Mans Antiquity in the Caverns of Central America by Henry C. Mercer, pp. vii-xliv. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman. Wonderly, William L. 1947 T extos folklricos en zoque. T radiciones acerca de los alrededores de Copainal, Chiapas. Revista Mexicana de Estudios Antropolgicos 9: 135-163.
51 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 4 Ishihara-Brito and Guerra 4 Windows of the E arth: A n E thnoarchaeological Study on Cave Use in Suchitepquez and Solol, Guatemala Reiko Ishihara-Brito and Jenny Guerra bocacosta 1 1 T he Guatemalan piedmont encompasses the foothills of the volcanoes, ranging from about 100 m to 1500 m above sea level, and is characterized by alluvial fans from the rivers that drain from the H ighlands (Chinchilla Mazariegos 1996:54-55; West and Augelli 1989:388).
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 4 Ishihara-Brito and Guerra 52 bocacosta ventana wentan ventana chen ventana encantos trabajos Figure 1. Map showing location of Chocol, Suchitepquez, Guatemala. (Map by Reiko Ishihara-Brito based on ESRI ArcGIS Explorer Online.)
53 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 4 Ishihara-Brito and Guerra Figure 2. Map showing locations of surveyed caves. (Map by Reiko Ishihara-Brito based on ESRI ArcGIS Explorer Online.) Ventanas La Ventana
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 4 Ishihara-Brito and Guerra 54 quemados mesa La Ventana Campana Figure 3. Map of La Ventana. (Map by Jenny Guerra and Reiko Ishihara.)
55 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 4 Ishihara-Brito and Guerra P ACHC04 Figure 4. Photograph of platform feature outside the cave entrance of La Ventana. (Photograph by Reiko Ishihara.) Figure 5. Map of La Ventana Campana. (Map by Jenny Guerra and Reiko Ishihara.)
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 4 Ishihara-Brito and Guerra 56 P ACHC05 P ACHC06 Cueva del Diablo mesas Local Folktale gallo gallos encantados gallo gallo Some Implications to Cave Archaeology quemados mesas
57 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 4 Ishihara-Brito and Guerra mesa
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 4 Ishihara-Brito and Guerra 58 2 zuhuy ha Concluding Remarks wentan ventana wentan wentan Acknowledgements References Cited Andrews, E. Wyllys 1970 Balankanche, Throne of the Tiger Priest Publica tion 32. Middle A merican R esearch Institute, T ulane University, New Orleans. Brady, James E. 1989 An Investigation of Maya Ritual Cave Use with Special Reference to Naj T unich, Peten, Guatemala. Ph.D. dissertation, Department of A nthropology, University of California, Los A ngeles. University 2004 Constructed Landscapes: Exploring the Meaning Caves. Ketzalcalli 1:2-17. Brady, James E., Allan B. Cobb, Sergio Garza, Cesar Espinosa, and Robert Burnett 2005 An Analysis of Ancient Maya Stalactite Breakage at Balam Na Cave, Guatemala. In Stone Houses and Earth Lords: Maya Religion in the Cave Context edited by Keith M. Prufer and James E. Brady, pp. 213. University of Colorado Press, Boulder. Brady, James E. and Dominique Rissolo 2 Robinson (2005) notes that while hulim means cave or hole and hulima sorcerers cave.
59 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 4 Ishihara-Brito and Guerra 2006 A Reappraisal of Ancient Maya Cave Mining. Jour nal of Anthropological Research 62(4):471-490. Brady, James E. and George Veni 1992 Man-Made and Pseudo-Karst Caves: The Implica tions of Subsurface Features within Maya Centers. Geoarchaeology 7(2):149-167. Brown, Linda A. 2002 The Structure of Ritual Practice: An Ethnoar chaeological Exploration of Activity Areas at Rural Community Shrines in the Maya Highlands Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Anthropology, Univer Ann Arbor. 2004 Dangerous Places and Wild Spaces: Creating Meaning with Materials and Space at Contemporary Maya Shrines on El Duende Mountain. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 11(1):31-58. Burkitt, Robert 1920 The Hills and the Corn. Anthropological Publica tions 8(2):183-227. University Museum, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Carpio Rezzio, Edgar and Alfredo Romn Morales 1999 Nuevos detalles acerca del petrograbado y el con junto de arte rupestre de Monte Sin, Amatitln. In XII Simposio de Investigaciones Arqueolgicas en Guatemala, 1998 edited by Juan Pedro Laporte and Hctor L. Escobedo, pp. 707-715. Museo Nacional de Arqueologa y Etnologa, Guatemala City. 2002 Primeros avances del Proyecto Mejicanos, Amatit ln. In XV Simposio de Investigaciones Arqueolgicas en Guatemala, 2001 edited by Juan Pedtro Laporte, H ctor E scobedo, and Brbara A rroyo, pp. 605-616. Museo Nacional de Arqueologa y Etnologa, Gua temala City. Chinchilla Mazariegos, Oswaldo 1996 Settlement Patterns and Monumental Art at a Major Pre-Columbian Polity: Cotzumalguapa, Guatemala Ph.D. dissertation, Department of A nthropology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, T enn. University Coggins, Clemency 1992 Itza, Yucatan Memoirs of the Peabody Museum of A rchaeology and E thnology Vol. 10, No. 3. Peabody Museum of A rchaeology and E thnology, H arvard University, Cambridge. Gossen, Gary H. 1974 Chamulas in the World of the Sun Harvard Uni versity Press, Cambridge. Groark, Kevin P. 1997 T o Warm the Blood, T o Warm the Flesh: The Role of the Steambath in H ighland Maya ( T zeltalT zotzil) Ethnomedicine. Journal of Latin American Lore 20(1):3-95. Guerra, Jenny and Reiko Ishihara 2006 Reconocimiento etnoarqueolgico de las cuevas, Chocol, Suchitepquez: primera temporada, 2005. In Proyecto Arqueolgico Chocol: Informe no. 3, tercera temporada 2005, edited by Jonathan Kaplan and R en Ugarte R ivera, pp. 455-501. Manuscript on Guatemala City. 2007 Ventanas sagradas: Un estudio etnoarqueolgico de las creencias y rituales relacionados con las cue vas en Chocol, Suchitepquez. In XX Simposio de Investigaciones Arqueolgicas en Guatemala, 2006 edited by Juan Pedro Laporte, Brbara Arroyo, and H ctor Meja, pp. 1179-1192. Museo Nacional de Arqueologa y Etnologa, Guatemala City. Guiteras-Holmes, Calixta 1961 Perils of the Soul: The World View of a Tzotzil Indian Free Press, New Y ork. Holland, William R. 1963 Medicina maya en los altos de Chiapas Instituto Nacional Indigenista, Mexico City. Ishihara, Reiko 2008 R ising Clouds, Blowing Winds: Late Classic Maya R ain R ituals in the Main Chasm, A guateca, Guatemala. World Archaeology 40(2):169-189. 2009 Bridging the Chasm between Religion and Politics: Archaeological Investigations of the Grietas (Chasms) at the Late Classic Maya Site of Aguateca, Peten, Guatemala VDM Verlag, Saarbrcken. 2004 Construction of Sacred Spaces in Stela Cave, Cayo District, Belize. Paper presented at the 69 th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Montreal. Ishihara-Brito, Reiko, Jaime J. A we, and Arlen F Chase 2011 Ancient Maya Cave Use at Caracol, Belize. Mexi con 33:151-158. Kaplan, Jonathan 2008 H ydraulics, Cacao, and Complex Developments at Preclassic Chocol, Guatemala: Evidence and Implica tions. Latin American Antiquity 19(4):399-413. Kaplan, Jonathan and Juan Antonio Valds 2004 Chocol, an A pparent Regional Capital in: Pre liminary Findings from the Proyecto Arqueolgico Chocol (P ACH). Mexicon 26:77-86. Moyes, Holley 2001 T he Cave as a Cosmogram: T he Use of GIS in an Intrasite Spatial Analysis of the Main Chamber of A ctun T unichil Muknal, a Ceremonial Cave in Western Belize. Unpublished Masters thesis, F lorida Atlantic University, Boca Raton. Prez de Batres, Lucrecia, Carlos Batres, Ramiro Martnez, Nury Escobar de Milin, and Luis Rosada 1999 Estudio de la pintura rupestre de Chiquimula: Peas cos Los Migueles, Alonzo y Cern. In XII Simposio de Investigaciones Arqueolgicas en Guatemala, 1998 edited by Juan Pedro Laporte and Hctor L. Escobedo, pp. 696-706. Museo Nacional de Arque ologa y Etnologa, Guatemala City.
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 4 Ishihara-Brito and Guerra 60 Rissolo, Dominique 2005 Beneath the Y alahau: E merging Patterns of A ncient Maya R itual Cave Use from Northern Quintana, Roo, Mexico. In In the Maw of the Earth Monster: Mesoamerican Ritual Cave Use edited by James E. Brady and Keith M. Prufer, pp. 342-372. University of T exas Press, Austin. Robinson, Eugenia 2005 E sculturas, asentamiento y paisaje en las tierras altas de Guatemala: Una propuesta de investigacin. In XVIII Simposio de Investigaciones Arqueolgicas en Guatemala, 2004 edited by Juan Pedro Laporte, Brbara A rroyo, and H ctor Meja, pp. 517-524. Museo Nacional de Arqueologa y Etnologa, Gua temala City. Robinson, Eugenia, Marlen Garnica, Dorothy Freidel, and Patrice Farrell 1999 La cultura y el ambiente preclsico de Uras en el Valle de Panchoy, Guatemala. In XII Simposio de Investigaciones Arqueolgicas en Guatemala, 1998 edited by Juan Pedro Laporte, and Hctor L. Escobedo, pp. 477-485. Museo Nacional de Arque ologa y Etnologa, Guatemala City. Robinson, Eugenia, Marlen Garnica, and Juan Pablo Herrera 2008 Pacao, un sitio ritual en las tierras altas de Gua temala. In XXI Simposio de Investigaciones Arque olgicas en Guatemala, 2007 edited by Juan Pedro Laporte, Brbara A rroyo, and H ctor Meja, pp. 30-41. Museo Nacional de A rqueologa y E tnologa, Guatemala City. Robinson, Eugenia, Gene Ware, Mary Gallagher, and Marlen Garnica 2002 Imgenes multiespectrales de la Casa de Las Golondrinas (pintura sobre rocas). In XV Simposio de Investigaciones Arqueolgicas en Guatemala, 2001, edited by Juan Pedro Laporte, H ctor E scobedo, and Brbara A rroyo, pp. 629-641. Museo Nacional de Arqueologa y Etnologa, Guatemala City. Rowe, Marvin, and Karen Steelman 2004 El Diablo Rojo de Amatitln: Aplicacin de una tcnica no destructiva de cronologa por radiocarbono. In XVII Simposio de Investigaciones Arqueolgicas en Guatemala, 2003 edited by Juan Pedro Laporte, Brbara A rroyo, H ctor E scobedo, and H ctor Meja, pp. 1059-1070. Museo Nacional de Arqueologa y Etnologa, Guatemala City. Scott, Ann M. 2009 Communicating with the Sacred Earthscape: An Ethnoarchaeological Investigation of Kaqchikel Maya Ceremonies in Highland Guatemala Ph.D. disserta tion, Latin American Studies, University of T exas, Shook, Edwin M. temala. In Handbook of Middle American Indians Vol. 2: Archaeology of Southern Mesoamerica, Pt. 1, edited by Gordon R Willey, pp. 180-194. University of T exas Press, Austin. Smith, Mary C. 1979 Esquipulas. Amricas 31(1):26-31. Stone, Andrea, and Sergio Ericastilla Godoy 1999 R egistro de arte rupestre en las tierras altas de Guatemala: R esultados del reconocimiento de 1997. In XII Simposio de Investigaciones Arqueolgicas en Guatemala, 1998 edited by Juan Pedro Laporte and Hctor L. Escobedo, pp. 682-695. Museo Nacional de Arqueologa y Etnologa, Guatemala City. T ermer, Franz 1957  Etnologa y etnografa de Guatemala T ranslated by E rnesto Schaffer and A licia Mendoza H edited by Jorge Luis A rriola. Seminario de Integracin Social Guatemalteca Publicacin 5. E ditorial del Ministerio de Educacin Pblica, Guatemala City. Thompson, J. Eric S. 1970 Maya History and Religion University of O klahoma Press, Norman. 1975 Introduction to the Reprint Edition In The HillCaves of Yucatan by Henry C. Mercer pp. vii-xliv. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman. T ozzer, Alfred M. 1941 Landas Relacin de las Cosas de Y ucatan : A Translation Papers of the Peabody Museum of Ar chaeology and E thnology 18. H arvard University, Cambridge. Valds, Juan Antonio and Cristina Vidal 2005 Orgenes mticos, smbolos y rituales en Chocola y las tierras mayas del sur. In XVIII Simposio de Investigaciones Arqueolgicas en Guatemala, 2003 edited by Juan Pedro Laporte, Brbara Arroyo, Hc tor Escobedo, and Hctor Meja, pp. 41-50. Museo Nacional de A rqueologa y E tnologa, Guatemala City. Villacorta C., J. Antonio and Carlos A. Villacorta 1930 Arqueologa guatemalteca T ipografa Nacional, Guatemala City. Vogt, Evon Z. 1981 Some Aspects of the Sacred Geography of High land Chiapas In Mesoamerican Sites and Worldviews edited by Elizabeth P. Benson, pp. 119-142. Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, D.C. West, Robert C. and John P. Augelli 1989 Middle America: Its Lands and Peoples 3rd ed. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.
61 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 5 Brady 5 in the Maya Lowlands James E. Brady A lmost a half century ago, Evon Vogt (1964) pointed out the intimate relationship between Maya architecture and the natural environment when he suggested that pyramids represented sacred mountains. David Stuarts (1987) read ing of the kawak glyph as witz this. A s more scholarship has turned to the issue, Maya of this association as Stuart and Houston (1994: 86) note that . . the Maya name for human construction appears to be a metaphor for hill. Thus, human architecture was clearly Several years ago, I proposed that caves and mountains were two components of a single complex that represented Earth ( A guilar et al. 2005; Brady 2004; Brady and Veni 1992). T he cave beneath the Pyramid of the Sun at T eotihuacan (Manzanilla et al. 1994). If, however, there is a close link between caves and mountains, then why isnt cave also used as a metaphor for human construction? I believe that in fact considerable evidence exists to demonstrate that caves were features after which much of Maya and Mesoamerican architecture was modeled. J. Eric T hompson notes that 16 th century Y ukatek Maya speakers used the term aktun to refer to both caves and stone buildings and says that this supports Las Casass inference that caves and temples were partially interchangeable as scenes for religious rites (Thompson 1959:124). Furthermore, this lends sup with caves. Diego Duran (1971:183), for instance, describes the Aztec temple of Y opico as containing an underground Sahagun (1981:5) says explicitly, T hey cast them into a cave in the pyramid which they called Y opico. Sahaguns account is particularly interesting because it suggests that, in addition to what might have been a general association between cave and temple or stone building, ancient my distinction in no way models indigenous thinking, I am treating architectural caves for analytical purposes as a type natural caves closely by being excavated into the ground, they have been generally accepted by archaeology as models of and replacements for natural caves. A rchitecture, however, is an established category in Western thinking so archaeologists have been more reluctant to associate structures with caves even though a number of scholars have at least suggested a relationship. faades on structures across Mesoamerica as representing caves. Building on David Groves (1973) analysis of O lmec altars, the faades are recognized as employing the same motif as surrounds the niche on La Venta Altar 4. Without going into all of the associations, Schvelzon see this as a cultural invariant related to a primal myth and materialized the structure as a cave. Paul Gendrop (1980:141), while not identifying zoomorphic portals as caves, does identify the faades with earthly deities. H e also provides characteristics of the depictions across northern Y ucatan and beyond. Eliza beth Benson provides a broader pan-Mesoamerican view of architecture that she feels are metaphorical representations of caves. She notes, Schematized caves are often related to, or interchangeable with, architecture (Benson 1985:184). In the Codex Borgia, the two are merged with the entrance to a temple depicted as the open maw of an earth monster. The open serpents mouth surrounding the entrance to the as a symbolic cave (Mendoza 1977). R ichard T ownsend (1982, 1992) has argued that the structure was utilized by the Aztecs for the investiture of provincial governors. In the literature discussed above, architectural structures graphic elements that are well established motifs associated with earth openings. A second category of architectural caves that they were intended to model caves even in the absence of iconographic elements identifying them as such. to document one of these architectural caves during his second trip to Y ucatan. Interestingly, the discovery was accidental in that he had intended to explore an actual cave as he describes:
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 5 Brady 62 La Cueva de Maxcan, or the Cave of Maxcan, has in that region a marvelous and mystical reputation. It is called by the Indians Satun Sat, which means in Spanish El Laberinto or El Perdedero the Labyrinth, or place in which one may be lost. Notwithstanding its wonderful reputation and a name which alone, in any other country, would induce a thorough exploration, it is a singular fact, and exhibits more strikingly than anything I can mention the indifference of the people of all classes to the antiquities of the country, that up to the time of my arrival at the door, this laberinto had never been examined. My friend Don Lorenzo Pen would give me every facility for exploring it except joining me himself. Several persons had penetrated to some distance with a string held outside, but had turned back, and the universal belief was that it contained passages without number and without end (Stephens 1962:139). Stephens immediately recognized that the walls of the Satunsat at Oxkintok were masonry and by the end of his exploration concludes: Having heard the place spoken of as a subterraneous construction, and seeing, when I reached the ground, Figure 1. Map of Guatemala showing the location of Sabalam in re lation to the modern town of Poptun and the cave of Naj T unich. Figure 2. Plan view map of the site of Sabalam showing the locations of structures and caves (map by Allan Cobb). a half-buried door with a mass of over grown earth above it, it had not occurred to me to think otherwise; but on examin ing outside, I found that what I had taken for an irregular natural formation, like a hill-side, was a pyramid mound of the same general character with all the rest we had seen in the country. . The door of El Laberinto, instead of opening into a hillside, opened into this mound, and . instead of being subterraneous, or rather, under the surface of the earth, was in the body of this mound (Stephens 1962:143). Interestingly, Mercer (1896) took a sample of ceramic from the Satunsat during his visit. Brainerd (1958:15) reports that most of the mate dating from shortly before the Conquest, another evidence of Maya religious pilgrimage to ancient sites. It seems clear then that the indigenous view of the Satunsat as a cave was established before the arrival of the Spanish. Sabalam Sabalam is a rural settlement located some 15 km northwest of the modern town of Poptun in southeastern Peten, Guatemala ( F igure 1).
63 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 5 Brady The site consists of four small, closely-spaced hills set in a quadrilateral pattern (Figure 2). All the hills, except Hill C, have natural caves running through them. T wo archi tectural caves were discovered during the summer of 2004 located on Hill C as part of the most elaborate architectural construction at the site. Both caves were constructed in the were placed directly under surface architecture. The walls surface facing outward. The ceiling was made from crude lajas side of Hill C and formed the large platform that dominates that side of the hill. T he entrance is 125 cm high and 59 cm wide but almost immediately widens to nearly a meter. m from the entrance and a more abrupt drop of 54 cm at 2.6 m from the entrance. At this point it is possible to stand as the ceiling reaches a height of 177 cm. The cave is laid out in a backward Z form (Figure 3). T he entry passage extends for 6.15 m to a point where a line of rocks juts out 30 cm from the northern wall (Figure 4). entering the second passage. The passage then jogs to the north before continuing to the east another 5.6 meters ( F igure 5). Because of the line of stones and the off-set between the two passages, the inner passage is in the dark zone. were covered with stone that had been pulled from a large looters pit a meter and a half deep in the small chamber in most places it was not possible to check for the presence of artifacts. The two sherds that were found were both Pre Cave 2 is located on the eastern edge of the hill. O riginally, Figure 3.
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 5 Brady 64 a long low passage starting at the southern end of the platform gave access to a rectangular chamber. That passage is now T he passageway is 7.64 meters long, 1.03 m high and 0.86 m wide (Figure 6). It appears always to have been open which would preclude it from having been a tomb. At the time of so that its entire length was not passable. We entered the main chamber through an opening created when several stones were pulled from the side of the structure during recent looting activity. The chamber is 2.39 m long by 0.8 m wide and 1.54 m high. A small looters pit indicates that beneath 15 cm of soil. A single Preclassic waxy-ware sherd was found in the looters backdirt. T he ceramic, although not abundant, is equivalent to the Preclassic material recovered from the nearby site of Balam Na (Brady et al. 2003) and the burials in Cave 4 at that site are thought to be from settlement in the immediate area such as Sabalam. Since the appearance of the publication on Cave 4 (Garza et al. 2001) a radiocarbon sample (AAR9641) from a tooth yielded a two sigma range for the burial of 420 200 B.C. with the highest probability suggesting that it falls between 410 350 B.C. Sabalam is considered to be contemporaneous with Balam Na. Discussion Considerable evidence exists that an array of structures across Mesoamerica were understood by indigenous societies, either because of their form or iconographic decoration, to represent caves. Pyramids and platforms represented moun tains while enclosed spaces represented caves, especially if that space was in any way sacred. T ogether these were the embodiment of the animate, sentient Earth Why has this not been better recognized or accepted? The fault appears to lie in several intellectual traditions in Mesoamerican studies. th of archaeology trained practitioners to set up typologies as a way of organizing, understanding and explaining material. Thompson, for instance, notes that caves were one of three major focuses of Maya ritual (Thompson 1970:183), with mountains and temples being the other two. Setting up this typology appears to have erected mental barriers between the categories and prevented him from seeing the relationship between the parts. Mountains and caves are two parts of the same symbol representing Earth, while temple pyramids are the architectural expression of that symbol. Later, as processual archaeology marginalized the study of religion and cosmology (Prufer and Brady 2005), these ence of structuralism also obscured basic interrelationships between the different elements. Dichotomies generated by Western analysts were imposed on Mesoamerican data with little critical thought about the salience of those categories to the original society. Mountains and caves became op natural versus cultural. Caves became structural opposites Figure 4. Photo of the entry passage of cave 1 showing details of construction. Note the portion of the wall extending in passage Alezandra Brady). Figure 5. Photo of the inner passage with a person for scale. Note Allan Cobb).
65 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 5 Brady to mountains primarily because of secondary, very Western, meanings that generated and drove the entire analysis. This structural opposition in all senses to the pyramid, which may be built over the cave as a glorifying, sky-pointing cover. T he pyramid is, of course, an architectural mountain with secondary meanings of highness, heaven (Benson 1983:184). As already noted, cave and mountain, rather than being op posed to one another, are two potent symbols of Earth that are then replicated in architecture. T he natural versus cultural dichotomy that is so important in Western thought, does not appear to have a great deal of salience in Mesoamerican thinking. This is nowhere better illustrated than in Sahagn where tepetate quarries are mentioned as a type of cave. E ven though they were created by humans for the extraction of building material, this did not stop them from being, in indigenous thought, a place of magic, a supernatural place, a lurking place, a hiding place, a crouching place, a spying place (Sahagn 1963:276). The two architectural caves at Sabalam are interesting in calling attention to the early date of this architectural classic examples have been reported. In Central Mexico, Bodo Spranz (1967) found passages leading to a chamber containing a large basin carved from a monolithic chunk of basalt inside a major pyramid at T otimehuacan, Puebla. This architectural cave was dated to at least 200 B.C. These discoveries suggest that architectural caves had become an established and widely distributed architectural form by the close of the Middle Preclassic. There may be even earlier precedents if one considers La Venta Monument 7, the buried structure constructed from basaltic columns, as representing a cave (Figure 7). While the Sabalam architectural caves and all the Figure 6.
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 5 Brady 66 Preclassic architectural caves mentioned above are small and simple in form, they become much more elaborated during the Classic Period. Returning to the example discovered by Stephens, the Spanish Proyecto O xkintok cleared and restored the Satunsat in the 1980s. Miguel R ivera (1987, R ivera Dorado and A mador Naranjo 1993), who directed the work, (Figure 8). He pointed out the similarity of the Satunsat to Structure 19 at Y axchilan and the Palace of the Underworld at T onina. Structure 19 at Y axchilan, also referred as the black stairways passing through three levels, two of which are at least partially subterranean (T ate 1992:182-183). T hese examples of architectural caves are widely separated geographically so they do not appear to be the product of a single regional architectural style and all appear to date to Late Classic. While the form of the Sabalam caves differs markedly from those at T onina, Y axchilan and O xkintok, Late Classic examples by a millennium. A t the very least, the Preclassic date for Sabalam allows us to appreciate the fact that structures like the Satunsat are the products of a long The evidence, therefore, strongly suggests that caves were a basic model for Maya construction. T his discussion of architectural caves complements earlier work by Vogt, Stuart and H ouston that underscored the close conceptual relationship between hills and architecture. The fact that the structures I have presented were metaphorical caves often sitting on platforms or pyramids that were meta phorical hills offers tangible evidence that cave and hill, and Earth The fact that most of the examples of architectural caves have been carried out in public and elite architecture is not surprising. In his discussion of zoomorphic faades, Schvelzon draws explicit parallels with Groves analysis of O lmec thrones where the cave is a central legitimizing motif of rulership. this pattern, however. Instead, the Sabalam caves may have modern Maya the association with rain and vegetal fertility is a pivotal concern that their ancestors would have shared. T he cave is also the place of creation or origin and so is linked with the peoples claim to the land (Garza 2009:52), Figure 7. Monument 7 at La Venta, originally a buried structure constructed from basaltic columns, may have represented a cave (photograph by the author). Floor plan of the lowest level of the Satun sat or Labyrinth at Oxkintok (drawing by Nicholas Y Harp after Miguel Rivera (1987) and Ferrndiz Martn (1990)). tradition that culminated in temples like Y opico and Malinalco at the time of the conquest. T he documentation of structures whose form or decoration was designed to represent caves brings us back to the question raised at the beginning of this discussion. Did caves serve as a basic model for some forms of Maya architecture in the same way that hills were the prototype for pyramids? The use of the word aktun in 16 th century Y ucatan to refer to both caves and stone buildings is certainly sugges tive in light of Stuarts (1998) discussion of na (house and by extension, building). T he use of terms for cave in many Maya languages translates as stone house suggesting that a close conceptual as sociation between caves and stone structures may have existed across the Maya region (Stone 1995:35-36). T he question of intent is not, however, one that needs be addressed through inference. The Maya and other Mesoamerican people frequently told us exactly what their buildings were supposed to mean. The zoomor phic faades discussed earlier provide a very explicit statement: as one passes through the doorway of this structure, one enters a cave.
67 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 5 Brady another vital concern of agriculturalists. The fact that caves carried multiple important meanings that resonated with dif ferent segments of society explains why architectural caves remained a relevant form that continued to be constructed over several millennia of Mesoamerican history. Acknowledgements This study was carried out as part of the Atlas Arque olgico de Guatemala. The author wishes to thank the di rector, the late Juan Pedro Laporte for his help and support. T he project was funded in part by Danish explorer Christian Christensen. The success of this project was in a great part due to Allan Cobbs participation. Thanks is also rendered to Melanie Saldaa for her comments on an earlier draft of this paper. References Cited Aguilar, Manuel, Miguel Medina Jaen, T im M. T ucker, and James E. Brady Acatzingo Viejo. In In the Maw of the Earth Monster: Mesoamerican Ritual Cave Use, edited by James E. Brady and Keith M. Prufer, pp. 69-87. University of T exas Press, Austin. Benson, Elizabeth P. 1985 Architecture as Metaphor. In Fifth Palenque Round Table, 1983 edited by Merle Greene Robertson and Virginia M. Fields, pp. 183-188. Pre-Columbian Art Research Institute, San Francisco. Brady, James E. Role of Caves at Dos Pilas. American Anthropologist 99 (3):602-618. 2004 Constructed Landscapes: Exploring the Meaning Caves. Ketzalcalli 1:2-17. Brady, James E., Allan Cobb, Sergio Garza and Robert Burnett 2003 Balam Na: R eporte Preliminar de la Investigacin de una Cueva Asociada al Ro Poxte, Poptun. Atlas Arque olgico de Guatemala Reporte 17, edited by Juan Pedro Laporte, pp. 131-157. Ministerio de Cultura y Deportes, Direccin General del Patrimonio Cultural y Natural, Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala, E scuela de Historia, Area de Arqueologa, Guatemala. Brady, James E. and George Veni 1992 Man-Made and Pseudo-Karst Caves: The Implica tions of Sub-Surface Geologic F eatures Within Maya Centers. Geoarchaeology 7(2):149-167. Brainerd, George W. 1958 The Archaeological Ceramics of Yucatan An thropological Records 19. University of California Press, Berkeley. Durn, Diego 1971 Book of the Gods and Rites and The Ancient Cal endar translated and edited by F ernando H orcasitas and Doris Heyden. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman. (original: 16th century) Ferrndiz Martn, Francisco 1990 El Interior del Laberinto. In Oxkintok 3, series coordinated by Miguel Rivera, pp. 73-85 Misin Arqueolgica de Espaa en Mxico, Madrid. Garza, Sergio Santo in Contemporary Maya Society. In Exploring Highland Maya Ritual Cave Use: Archaeology & Ethnography in Huehuetenango Guatemala edited by James E. Brady, pp. 49-54. Association for Mexican Cave Studies, Austin. Garza, Sergio, James E. Brady and Christian Christensen 2001 Balam Na Cave 4: Implications for Understand ing Preclassic Cave Mortuary Practices. California Anthropologist 28 (1): 15-21. Gendrop, Paul 1980 Dragon-Mouth Entrances: Zoomorphic Portals in the Architecture of Central Y ucatan. In Third Palenque Round Table, 1978, Part 2 edited by Merle Greene Robertson, pp. 138-150. University of T exas Press, Austin. Grove, David C. 1973 Olmec Altars and Myth. Archaeology 26(2):128135. Manzanilla, L., L. Barba, R. Chvez, A. T ejero, C. Cifuentes and N. Peralta 1994 Caves and Geophysics: An Approximation to the Underworld of T eotihuacan, Mexico. Archaeometry 36:141-157. Mendoza, Ruben G. 1977 World View and the Monolithic T emples of Ma linalco, Mexico: Iconography and Analogy in PreColumbian Architecture. Socit des Amricanistes 64:63-80. Mercer, Henry C. 1896 The Hill-Caves of Yucatan J. B. Lippincott, Philadelphia. Prufer, Keith M. and James E. Brady Stone Houses and Earth Lords: Maya Religion in the Cave Context Rivera Dorado, Miguel 1987 El Satunsat o Laberinto. Oxkintok I series coor dinated by Miguel Rivera, pp.18-29. Misin Arque olgica de Espaa en Mxico, Madrid. Rivera Dorado, Miguel and Ascensin Amador Naranjo 1993 El Laberinto de Oxkintok. In VII Simposio de In vestigaciones Arqueolgicas en Guatemala edited by Juan Pedro Laporte and Hctor L. Escobedo, pp. 727-735. Ministerio de Cultura y Desportes, Insti tuto de A ntropologa e H istoria, A sociacin T ikal, Guatemala. Sahagn, Bernardino de 1963 General History of the Things of New Spain, Book
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 5 Brady 68 11: Earthly Things translated by Charles E. Dibble and A rthur J. O A nderson. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City. 1981 General History of the Things of New Spain, Book 2: The Ceremonies translated by Arthur J. O. A nderson and Charles E Dibble. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City. Schvelzon, Daniel 1978 Templos, Cuevas o Monstruos: Notas Sobre las Fachadas Zoomorfas en la Arquitectura Prehispanica E diciones de la R evista Punto de Partida, No. 15, Direccin General de Difusin Cultural. Universidad Nacional Autnoma de Mxico, Mexico. 1980 T emples, Caves, or Monsters? Notes on Zoomor phic Facades in Pre-Hispanic Architecture. In Third Palenque Round Table, 1978, Part 2 edited by Merle Greene R obertson, pp. 151-162. University of T exas Press, Austin. Spranz, Bodo 1967 Descubrimiento en T otimehuacan, Puebla. Boletn del Instituto Nacional de Antropologa e Historia 27:19-22. Stephens, John Lloyd 1962 Incidents of Travel in Yucatan University of Okla homa Press, Norman. (original 1843). Stone, Andrea J. 1995 Images from the Underworld: Naj Tunich and the Tradition of Maya Cave Painting University of T exas Press, Austin. Stuart, David 1987 Ten Phonetic Syllables. Research Reports on An cient Maya Writing 14. Center for Maya Research, Washington, D.C. 1998 T he F ire E nters H is H ouse: A rchitecture and Ritual in Classic Maya T exts. In Function and Mean ing in Classic Maya Architecture edited by Stephen D. H ouston, pp. 373-425. Dumbarton O aks R esearch Library and Collection, Washington, D.C. Stuart, David and Stephen D. Houston 1994 Classic Maya Place Names. Studies in Pre-Columbi an A rt and A rchaeology 33. Dumbarton O aks R esearch Library and Collection, Washington, D.C. T ate, Carolyn E. 1992 Yaxchilan: The Design of a Maya Ceremonial City University of T exas Press, Austin. Thompson, J. Eric S. 1959 The Role of Caves in Maya Culture. Mitteilungen aus dem Museum fr Vlkerkunde im Hamburg 25:122-129. 1970 Maya History and Religion University of O klahoma Press, Norman. T ownsend, Richard F 1982 Malinalco and the Lords of T enochtitlan. In Art of Late Post-Classic Central Mexico edited by E lizabeth P. Benson, pp. 111-140. Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, D.C. 1992 Introduction: Landscape and Symbol. In The An cient Americas: Art from Sacred Landscapes edited by Richard F T ownsend, pp. 29-47. Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago. Vogt, Evon Z. 1964 Ancient Maya and Contemporary Tzotzil Cosmol ogy: A Comment on Some Methodological Problems. American Antiquity 30:192-195.
69 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 6 Helmke and Wrobel 6 Jereftheel, R oaring Creek Works, Belize Christophe G. B. Helmke and Gabriel D. Wrobel Figure 1. Map of the Caves Branch and Roaring Creek Valleys, showing the location of Jereftheel and neighboring archaeological sites. Map by Shawn Morton.
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 6 Helmke and Wrobel 70 Figure 2. Plan of Jereftheel indicating the location of archaeological features.
71 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 6 Helmke and Wrobel Account of Investigations in situ Artifacts and Features Oliva Figure 3. The olive shell tinkler that forms Feature 2. Left: Drawing of the shell tinkler. Drawing by Gustavo Valenzuela. R ight: Photo of the tinkler, in situ onto a brecciated limestone shelf. Photograph by Christophe Helmke.
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 6 Helmke and Wrobel 72 Figure 4. Chert lanceolate biface, from Chamber 4. Drawing by Gustavo Valenzuela. Figure 5. Pictures of Feature 3 taken in 2003 (left) and covered by guano in 2009 (right).
73 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 6 Helmke and Wrobel Figure 6. Panoramic view of Feature 5 within Chamber 3 (look ing south-east from Passage 3). Composite photo-mosaic by Christophe Helmke. Figure 7. The concentrations of perforated shell tinklers, Feature 5, Chamber 3. a) A concentration of shells asso ciated with pelvic bones (en circled). b) Close-up view of the shell tinklers in situ Photos by Christophe Helmke. in situ Olivella adornos
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 6 Helmke and Wrobel 74 Belts of shell tinklers in Late Classic Maya iconography, associated with military regalia. a) The ruler Itzamnaaj Bahlam III ( A D 681-742) in battle, grasping the hair of a vanquished foe (Lintel 46, Y axchilan). b) The ruler Kahk Tiliw Chan Chaahk (AD 693-728) in military regalia, possibly dressed as a Yajaw Kahk or Vassal of Fire, a priestly military order (Stela 2, Naranjo). Black triangles point to the belts of shell tinklers. Drawings by Ian Graham. Figure 9. An olive shell bracelet around an articulated wrist from Feature 5, Chamber 3. Photo by Gabriel Wrobel. Figure 10 (above) L-shaped ear adorn ments from Feature 5, Chamber 3.
75 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 6 Helmke and Wrobel plazuela Figure 11. Stemmed biface from Feature 5, Chamber 3. Figure 12. T he archaeological materials that together form F eature 6, within the solution funnel at the south-eastern corner of Alcove 1, Chamber 2. Composite photo-mosaic by Christophe Helmke, based on photographs by Gabriel Wrobel.
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 6 Helmke and Wrobel 76 of social group in which sex and age were Figure 13. The pair of jars that form the western most extent of F eature 7, A lcove 1, Chamber 2. a) Vessel 3 (Cayo Unslipped). b) Vessel 4 (T inaja Red). Drawings by Elmer and Juan Ramirez. c) Vessels 3 and 4 as found in situ Note how the rim of Vessel 3 has been terminated by chipping at the rim and how the fragmented Vessel 4 has a small stalagmitic formation growing inside. Photograph by Christophe Helmke. Because of the excellent preservation and nearly com plete collection of the F eature 5 assemblage, our preliminary and/or dental remains. Ongoing lab analysis seeks to match and assign postcranial elements to the skulls. An analysis of all cranial material from Feature 5 shows the presence of both sexes and of both adults and sub-adults. Thus, clearly, the rules governing interment within Jereftheel did not
77 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 6 Helmke and Wrobel in situ in situ in situ Spatial Distribution T he features containing artifacts and human bones encountered in Jereftheel were all readily visible on the surface and minor test excavations conducted throughout the cave, for the extraction of matrix samples (for the recovery Figure 14. Fragments of top half of a poorly preserved globular vessel beneath Level 2, in Feature 7.
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 6 Helmke and Wrobel 78 the few areas exhibiting accumulations of matrices were quite shallow (c. 10-15 cm). Consequently, the features visible on the surface amount to the bulk of the assemblage for the entire cave. Nevertheless, some artifacts and human skeletal elements are undoubtedly still concealed in these tions of Features 5 and 7; these, however, are deemed to be negligible constituents. With the exception of Jereftheels termini (Chambers 3 and 4, as well as A lcove 1 and the solution funnel that stems from it), one section of the cave leads to another in an extremely linear fashion. It thus stands to reason that the majority of the cave was solely used for ingress to, and egress from, the deeper areas. In fact, the only evidence of human activities encountered in the areas proximate to the entrance is F eature 12, a stack of splintered speleothems that appear to have been moved out of the path solely to facilitate access. T he remaining cultural features of Jereftheel are otherwise distributed nearly equally in three principal areas: Chamber 1, Chamber 2 and collectively the termini of the cave. Chamber 1 and Chamber 2 are the only two areas of the cave that provide room for standing and the gathering of small groups of people. The presence of larger groupings of artifactual features in these areas thus appears to be a direct consequence of this fact. The termini in contrast, are all low-lying areas, which require crawling given time. T he features present at these termini thus appear to have been deposited by solitary individuals. Despite these differences, if the number of features is taken as an indica tion of the intensiveness or extensiveness of ancient usage, then Chambers 1 and 2 as well as all the termini appear to have witnessed the same amount of usage and no true focal point of activities can be discerned. Temporal Distribution of Ceramics T he ceramic remains found within Jereftheel were few and comprise a small sample. Compared to those from nearby caves, the ceramic assemblage of Jereftheel is rela tively small in terms of frequency, types represented, and temporal breadth, and thus can be characterized as being highly homogeneous throughout. T he few vessels found within the cave are all jars (Brown) vessels, which are all stout, wide-mouthed, jars their bases, and T inaja Red: T inaja Variety vessels, which are all larger, red-slipped, highly oxidized, narrow-mouthed jars. Unlike other caves where the ceramic assemblage tends to be dominated by jars, that of Jereftheel is comprised exclusively of such jars. No other forms were documented amongst the ceramic remains. exploration, we are also in the advantageous position of discussing the complete ceramic assemblage, rather than a sub-set thereof. All ceramics deposited in the cave belong exclusively to the Late Classic ( A D 550-950) Spanish Lookout Complex; however, no clear evidence has been found to indicate if these specimens belong to the early facet (LC2) or late facet (LC3) of the Spanish Lookout Complex, because the types represented occur during the entirety of the complex. While these types tend to be slightly more commonplace in the late facet Spanish Lookout (AD 830-950, T erminal Classic), the forms and sizes of the ves sels are more in keeping with those of the early facet (AD specimens to any particular facet of the Spanish Lookout. An AMS date derived from a carbon sample demonstrates a 2-sigma range of AD 680-890, which spans both facets and thereby does not conclusively help to resolve to which facet the deposits belong. The form modes and the sizes of the vessels are consistent throughout the small assemblage and thus, irrespective of the facet to which these should be assigned, these are clearly and squarely contemporaneous demonstrated by the A MS date. A s such, we can see the cave being utilized for a short period of time in the Late Classic, probably somewhere within the same century or century and a half, at which point presumably all archaeological features were formed. Form Distribution One interesting peculiarity is the fragmentation of jars and the subsequent dispersal of sherds into discrete clusters partial jars during analyses). Vessel 4 ( T inaja R ed) was found as a partial jar, as part of Feature 7, while the sherds of its fragmented side cluster 1.7 m away as Feature 8. The partial Vessels 5 (T inaja) and 6 (Cayo) were found nestled into one another as the central portion of Feature 11, while a scatter of sherds of Vessel 5 were found 1 m to the south, and the remaining commingling sherds of Vessels 5 and 6 were found as another cluster, set in a small niche at ground level, less than a meter to the north. T he smashing of jars and the deliberate dispersal of sherds into neat clusters or stacks is a practice that has also been observed at Actun T unichil Mucnal ( H elmke 2009: 390-392, 456-458) and E duardo Quiroz Cave (Pendergast 1971: 9). This practice appears to be part and parcel of a particular type of termination ritual that formally closed the activities conducted in the caves alternate form of termination appears to have been to chip away at the rim of a jar, and this practice is seen on Vessel 3 (Cayo) that forms part of Feature 7 (Figure 15). Similar chipping has also been observed on otherwise complete jars found within the unlooted section of the Laberinto de las T arntulas, where a comparable termination function has been invoked ( H elmke 2009: 60, 247). T he complete smashing of a jar is represented by Vessel 2 (Cayo) that appears to have been cast down the solution funnel of Alcove 1. This leaves Vessel 1 of F eature 5 as the sole complete vessel in the caves assemblage. This vessel is also the smallest of the caves assemblage, but otherwise all the other vessels found within Jereftheel have witnessed some sort of termination. T he other noteworthy feature of the spatial form
79 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 6 Helmke and Wrobel distributions is the occurrence of jars in pairs. T his is clearly seen by the paired T inaja and Cayo jars of F eature 7 ( F igure 13) and the similarly paired T inaja and Cayo jars of Feature 11. This then leaves Vessels 1 and 2. Vessel 1 was found complete and apparently in situ as part of F eature 5 in Cham ber 3. We therefore suspect that Vessel 1 (T inaja) was left in the position where it has originally been deposited. This also leads us to suspect that Vessel 2 (Cayo) was originally paired to Vessel 1 and was only divorced from its original pairing when it was cast down the solution funnel as part of a termination event. With this reconstruction the salient pattern that emerges is that there were three discrete pairings of jars, one in Chamber 1 (Feature 11), one in Chamber 2 (Feature 7) and the other in Chamber 3 (Feature 5). T he other important aspect is that these pairings are each composed of a wide-mouthed jar (that presumably contained semi-liquid food or stews) and a narrow-mouthed jar (that probably contained liquids, such as a type of beverage). set for Jereftheel. T his activity set is remarkably similar to that reconstructed for the unlooted Upper Passages of the Laberinto de las T arntulas where jars (one wide-, one narrow-mouthed), dishes and bowls occurred according to a predominant ratio of 2:1:1 (Helmke 2009). At the Laber into de las T arntulas and A ctun T unichil Mucnal, bowls and dishes also co-occur in nearly equal frequencies. The one major omission in the case of Jereftheel, therefore are the bowls and dishes that appear to have been used as secondary containers, into which the contents of wideand narrow-mouthed jars would have been poured. If these were indeed utilized in Jereftheel, then it stands to reason that perishable bowls were used (presumably made of gourds), or that these were carried back out of the cave. H owever, the presence of paired jars at both Jereftheel and the Laberinto proximity of the two sites may be the underlying factor. A s is the case at the Laberinto de las T arntulas, the pertain to discrete events that took place at the site. Since Jereftheel, it would thus seem that these are the remains of three discrete events. If this is the case, then it is possible that the deposition of human remains may also follow this pattern and data from the excavation of human remains shed further light on the timing of mortuary activities within Jereftheel. A s discussed above, the distribution of bones within the features demonstrates the presence both of primary interments and of secondary manipulation and movement of elements. It is likely that the majority (if not all) of the individuals were originally interred as whole bodies. F eatures 5 and 7 clearly show that some of the movements of bone were related to disturbance by later intrusive interments, and thus we can rule out the notion that each chamber represented a single, discrete deposition event. T he secondary burials of F eatures 3 and 11 demonstrate bundling and/or stacking practices. A t present, we cannot be sure if the primary interments of these individuals occurred within Jereftheel or if the individuals were relocated there as secondary burials from other sites, though further lab analysis may help to resolve this issue. F or instance, a cranium found within F eature 4 (Chamber 4) matched a mandible and 2 maxillary incisors found within Feature 5 (Chamber 3), suggesting secondary movement of elements following natural decomposition. In general, the presence of secondary burials, along with the partial commin gling found in F eatures 5 and 7, suggest a pattern of periodic revisitation and manipulation of previous interments. Thus, the variations in the observed patterns of deposition between ceramics and human remains may imply that they represent different, though undoubtedly related, rituals. Distribution of Human Remains A ll areas that exhibit artifactual features also contain human remains, and this congruity suggests that the distribu tion of human remains should also be considered in spatial terms. In addition, the spatial incidence of artifacts with human remains suggests that the former were integrated into the activities that resulted in the deposition of the latter. entrance, relatively few are located in Chambers 1 and 2, and the vast majority are found in the four termini of the cave. T his notable increase in human skeletal materials as one F irst, it suggests that the focal point of the caves usage may have been the termini and that the primary activity was the one resulting in the deposition of human remains. Second, it implies that the termini were viewed as locations that differed in type from all other portions of the cave, and Figure 15. Plan photograph of Vessel 3, Feature 7. Note the hu man phalange in the jar, and the chipped rim, presumably a form of termination. Photograph by Christophe Helmke.
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 6 Helmke and Wrobel 80 that these termini were more amenable, or suitable, to the activities that resulted in the deposition of human remains. Consequently, three different types of activity areas can be isolated for Jereftheel: 1) entrance areas for ingress and egress, 2) chambers for gatherings and the deposition of the bulk of artifactual materials, and 3) termini that were the preferred areas for the deposition of human skeletal remains. T he distinction between entrance(s), gathering chambers and termini has also been documented for the other sites in the area (e.g. Stone 2000; Helmke 2009), although with some differences in the constituent archaeological features. On account of the contemporaneity of all ceramic ma terials within the cave, the gradual ingress into the cave is not observed, as is otherwise the case with the other caves examined. This attribute is probably also brought about by the relatively small size of the cavern and the little distance that separates each of the areas within the cave. One inter esting peculiarity, however, is the fact that all materials in Jereftheel date to the Late Classic, which is precisely the span to which the majority of materials from almost all other caves in the surrounding area date (Pendergast 1969, 1970, 1971, 1974; McNatt 1996; Helmke 2009; Moyes et al. 2009). In this case we appear to be looking at a site that had not witnessed utilization until the peak of cave usage in the Late Classic. Thus, it is not only caves that had already been used in earlier periods that saw continued and more intensive usage in the Late Classic, but new and previously unused caves that were also drawn into the roster to serve as the loci of activities. In much the same way as previously Late to T erminal Classic, Jereftheel as a cave of more tech nical access, also only witnessed usage at that time period. Conclusion Jereftheel provided us with the rare opportunity to inves tigate an unlooted cave site. Our documentation and excava tion efforts have also revealed that the site was intensively utilized during the Late Classic, demonstrated on the basis of ceramic types and corroborated by an A MS date. Whereas at present we are unable to conclusively narrow down the dates of the caves utilization, it seems to be restricted to a relatively short period of time. Furthermore, no evidence exists to suggest that the cave saw usage before or after the Late Classic period and thus emerges as a cave site that was used intermittently for a series of ritual events during the course of perhaps no more than just a few generations. The large quantity of skeletal material found within the site indicates that the cave served as an important repository for human remains. O n-going osteological analyses are already beginning to suggest that the cave served as the locus of a particular type of funerary ritual, rather than the assemblage was found to be relatively small, and aside from the lanceolate points and items of personal adornment, is dominated by ceramic jars. These were found to be entirely homogeneous in terms of dating, with varying forms being taken as indicative of original function. The spatial pat of a functionally simple, but complete, ceramic activity set, formed by a pair of wideand narrow-mouthed jars. Each of the activity sets was found in discrete areas of the caves in close association with important deposits of human remains and it seems likely that these were closely related in terms of the events that led to the deposition of these archaeological features. T he continuities and discontinuities of the Jereftheel assemblage with the assemblages from other caves were scrutinized with an eye to identifying the different types of activities responsible for the formation of these respective deposits. These indicate that Jereftheel forms part of a coherent regional tradition of cave utilization, although the minor differences noted suggest that it likely Acknowledgments We extend our warm thanks to Jaime A we, Sherry Gibbs, Bridget E beling, James Stemp, Shawn Morton, Kip A ndres, Rebecca Shelton, Julie Nehammer Knub, Kristi Bowman, Ian Anderson and the staff from Caves Branch Lodge, the Belize Institute of A rchaeology, and the students of the 2009 Brady for his thorough review of this paper. References Cited Andres, Christopher R. and Rebecca Shelton 2010 Surface Site Investigations In and A round the Caves Branch River Valley in 2009. In The Caves Branch Archaeological Survey Project: A Report of the 2009 Field Season edited by Christopher R. Andres and Gabriel D. Wrobel, pp. 4-20. Belize Archaeological R esearch and E ducation F oundation O ccasional Report #1, Oxford, MS. Andres, Christopher R., Gabriel D. Wrobel, Jason J. Gonzalez, Shawn G. Morton, and Rebecca Shelton 2011 Power and Status in Central Belize: Insights from the Caves Branch Archaeological Survey Projects 2010 Field Season. Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology 8: 101-113. A we, Jaime J., Douglas M. Weinberg, and Rafael A. Guerra 2005 Belize Valley A rchaeological R econnaissance Macal River Project Archaeological Mitigation in the Upper Macal Valley: R eport of Investigations Conducted between June December 2003 and January March 2004. Report Submitted to the Be lize Institute of Archaeology and the Belize Electric Company Limited. Brady, James E. 1989 A n Investigation of Maya R itual Cave-use with Special Reference to Naj T unich, Peten, Guatemala Ph.D. dissertation. A rchaeology Program, University
81 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 6 Helmke and Wrobel of California, Los Angeles. Brady, James E. 2009 Midnight T error Cave R eport 2009 Season. R eport submitted to the Belize Institute of A rchaeology, Belmopan. 2010 An Archaeological Survey of the Upper Passage of Actun Y axteel Ahau, Belize. 2009 Season Re port. Report to the Belize Institute of Archaeology, Belmopan. Chase, Diane Z. 1994 H uman O steology, Pathology, and Demography as R epresented in the Burials of Caracol, Belize. Studies in the Archaeology of Caracol, Belize edited by Diane Z. Chase and Arlen F Chase, pp. 123-138. Pre-Columbian Art Research Institute, Monograph 7, San Francisco. Coe, William R. 1959 Piedras Negras Archaeology: Artifacts, Caches, and Burials University Museum, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Healy, Paul F ., Jaime J. A we, and Hermann Helmuth 1998 A n A ncient Maya Multiple Burial at Caledonia, Cayo District, Belize. Journal of Field Archaeology 25(3): 261-274. Helmke, Christophe G.B. 2009 A ncient Maya Cave Usage as A ttested in the Glyphic Corpus of the Maya Lowlands and the Caves of the R oaring Creek Valley, Belize. Ph.D. Dissertation, University College London Institute of Archaeol ogy, London. Helmke, Christophe, Jaime J. A we, Shawn G. Morton, and Gyles Iannone 2011 Messages from the Dark: A rchaeological and Belize. 9 th Annual Belize Archaeology Symposium, San Ignacio Hotel, San Ignacio, June 29 th McNatt, Logan 1996 Cave Archaeology of Belize. Journal of Cave and Karst Studies Vol. 58(2): 81-99. Morehart, Christopher T ., David L. Lentz, and Keith M. Prufer 2005 Wood of the Gods: The Ritual Use of Pine ( Pinus spp.) by the Ancient Lowland Maya. Latin American Antiquity 16(3): 255-274. Moyes, Holley Moyes, Holley, Jaime J. A we, George A. Brook, and James W. Webster 2009 T he A ncient Maya Drought Cult: Late Classic Cave Use in Belize. Latin American Antiquity 20(1): 175-206. Owen, Vanessa and Sherry Gibbs 1999 Preliminary Report of Investigations on Ledge 2, Actun Y axteel Ahau. In The Western Belize Regional Cave Project: A Report of the 1998 Field Season edited by Jaime J. A we, pp. 186-204. Department of Anthropology, Occasional Paper, No. 2, University of New Hampshire, Durham. Pendergast, David M. The Prehistory of Actun Balam, British Honduras o A. H. Andersons Excavations at Rio Frio Cave E, British Honduras (Belize) Excavations at Eduardo Quiroz Cave, British Honduras (Belize) Excavations at Actun Polbilche, Belize Excavations at Altun Ha, Belize, 1964-1970, Volume 3 Peterson, Polly Reents-Budet, Dorie and Barbara MacLeod The Archaeology of Petroglyph Cave Cayo District, Belize. Reese-T aylor, Kathryn, Marc Zender, and Pamela Geller Sacred Bundles: Ritual Acts of Wrapping and Binding in Mesoamerica, Stone, Andrea J. 2000 Spiritual Journeys, Secular Guises: Rock Art and E lite Pilgrimage at Naj T unich Cave, Guatemala. Paper presented at the Dumbarton Oaks Conference on Pre-Columbian Studies : Pilgrimage and Sacred Landscape in Pre-Columbian America, Dumbarton O aks R esearch Library & Collection, Washington D.C., October 7-8. Weiss-Krejci, Estella 2004 Mortuary R epresentations of the Noble H ouse: A Cross-Cultural Comparison between Collective T ombs of the Ancient Maya and Dynastic Europe. Journal of Social Archaeology 4: 368-404. Wrobel, Gabriel D., Christophe Helmke and Jaime J. A we 2011 Caves as T ombs: A Bioarchaeological E xample from the Maya Cave Site of Jereftheel, Caves Branch, Belize. Current Research in Maya Bioarchaeology 76 th A nnual Meeting of the Society for A merican Archaeology, Sacramento, March 31 st
83 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 7 Morton, Helmke, and Awe 7 Investigations at A ctun Neko, Caves Branch R iver Valley, Belize Shawn G. Morton, Christophe Helmke and Jaime J. A we Caves Branch River Valley, Central Belize (Figure 1), pro vides a landscape rife with caves, sinkholes and rockshelters that were intensively used by the ancient Maya. Fieldwork at A ctun Neko was conducted in 2007 under the auspices of the Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance (BV AR) project, directed by Jaime A we, and has been incorporated into the continuing work of the Caves Branch A rchaeological Survey (CB A S) project, a sister project of BV AR co-directed by Gabriel Wrobel and Christopher A ndres. T he underlying goal is the same: to produce a broad regional reconstruction of pre-Hispanic cultural patterns in and around the Caves of sites of different types and sizes. Such a regional approach holds true that one cannot adequately understand any one portion of the archaeological record without attempting to contextualize it among its broader integrated parts. With this overarching objective in mind, Actun Neko serves as a keystone site in the dissertation research of the senior author and may best be tentatively contextualized in this light. In this paper we describe the morphology and material culture of A ctun Neko and explore its position within a regional socio-political and ritual context, paying particular mind to an elaborately incised and inlaid shell disc found within. Work in the Caves Branch region is only now begin strategic frontier niche as a likely resource acquisition zone and transportation corridor between the resource rich Maya Mountains and the major civic-ceremonial center of Caracol to the southwest (increasingly important during the Late Classic period, see Graham 1987; Lentz et al. 2005; H elmke and A we 2008) and coastal trade routes to the east. While sporadic research at a number of large and easily accessible cave and surface sites within the valley has been conducted the Caves Branch and its peripheral uplands are only now civilization in its own right. Recently, more comprehensive reconnaissance has revealed both numerous additional caves (e.g. Brady 2009; Morton 2008; Wrobel 2008; Wrobel et al. 2009), as well as sizeable civic-ceremonial centers, includ ing Cahal Uitz Na in the neighboring Roaring Creek Valley (Conlon and Ehret 1999; Helmke 2009; Helmke and A we 1998), Deep Valley in the Caves Branch River Valley (Jor dan 2008), and T ipan Chen Uitz and Y axbe in the Roaring Creek Works (the dissected upland watershed separating the Caves Branch from the Roaring Creek; Andres et al. 2010). T his region was unusually well integrated via a series of sacbeob connecting the aforementioned centers. Based on recent assays, it appears that these centers, while likely longamidst the generalized collapse of the Late/ T erminal Classic (A.D. 700-900). Further research into the Valleys archaeol ogy with particular attention paid to processes of regional development and interaction during this period can greatly aid us in understanding the complex relationships between this and neighboring regions during a pivotal time in the history of one of the worlds great ancient civilizations. Given the well-documented incorporation of subterranean sites in rites of political accession, aggrandizement, legitimization, and social incorporation (Bassie-Sweet 1996; Prufer and Brady 2005; Vogt and Stuart 2005), they serve as proxy contexts for the investigation of these systems and changes occur ring therein. And while still in its early stages, continuing research in the subterranean sites of the Caves Branch viver valley and the Roaring Creek Works bolsters parallel work conducted by others in the neighboring Roaring Creek and Sibun Valleys (e.g. Helmke 2009; Peterson 2006). Site Description: Geomorphology and General Archaeology of Actun Neko by the ancient Maya were neither large, nor spectacular in terms of their geomorphology or speleological formations. Subterranean sites in the Caves Branch region fall within a wide range of spatial contexts based on the size and form of their interior spaces as well as their location in the wider landscape and relative associations with other sites. Whereas larger caves have traditionally attracted the attention of archaeologists, more modest contexts, such as Actun Neko (Figure 2), were also heavily utilized in antiquity. Entrance 1 and Chamber 1 E ntrance 1 is horizontal, partially blocked with colluviums including rockfall, eroded sediment, and active speleothems. This entrance measures 8.54 m wide by approximately 1.5 m high. All portions of Entrance 1 lie within the light zone of the cave. T he entrance faces northeast into a partially south and a tall limestone outcrop to the west and north. T he
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 7 Morton, Helmke, and Awe 84 Figure 1. Map of Caves Branch Area (map by Morton, courtesy Christopher Andres and Gabriel Wrobel, Directors, Caves Branch Archaeological Survey).
85 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 7 Morton, Helmke, and Awe Figure 2. Plan View of Actun Neko (plan by Morton).
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 7 Morton, Helmke, and Awe 86 area provides a natural shelter and while it does not exhibit number of positive handprints painted on the wall inside the drip line; as these were not noted upon initial investigation, it is possible that these marks were left by still-more-recent visitors. Five meters into the cave, the passage narrows to ap the cave wall. Past this point, Chamber 1 opens as a space oriented SW-NE, approximately 16 m long by 5.5 m at its widest point. The ceiling height rises to around 4 m. The nearly level surface of sedimentary deposits. Flowstone is evident on the walls of the chamber and at various places of an armadillo were found near the center of the chamber. While natural light entering this chamber is limited by the low, deeply overhanging entrance and restricted access, it is possible to navigate through this chamber without aid of additional illumination during the morning hours. T he chamber ends in another small choke. A number of discrete artifact scatters were found in Chamber 1. T wo Spanish Lookout complex rim fragments (Cayo Unslipped, Late Classic Period, ca. A.D. 680 880; Gifford 1976:276, 282), from two different vessels, were found sitting on a rock just inside Chamber 1 (Ceramic Scatter 1, east end of chamber). The guides from the Caves Branch Lodge occasionally take visitors to the cave; based on their unusual placement these fragments likely represent modern secondary deposition, though neither sherd appears temporally inconsistent with the rest of the chamber. T wo complex sherds were documented (Ceramic Scatters 2 and 3, consisting mostly of individual sherds from dissimilar vessels in varieties of Cayo Unslipped, Alexanders Unslipped, and R ubber Camp Brown types; Gifford 1976:233, 282, 283). Both scatters likely represent Pre-Columbian secondary deposition heavily fragmented. T est probes in the area of the scatters Chamber 2 Access to Chamber 2 is via two small openings, ap proximately 80 cm wide and 70 cm tall, at the southwest end corresponding rise in the ceiling height to approximately 4 passage (2 m wide at this point) continues to the west. This Ceramic Scatter 4 consists of a thin surface scatter of ceramic remains measuring approximately 2 m (N-S) by 3 m (E-W). Most of the scatter is located on top of a small ledge just inside the northern entrance to Chamber 2 though some has apparently slid to the bottom. Consistent with Chamber 1, diagnostic sherds appear to date entirely to the Spanish Lookout complex. Again, the deposit is characterized by a clustering of dissimilar sherds. Chamber 3 From Chamber 2 to Entrance 2 (and with the exception of Chamber 5), the character of the cave in general is that of a phreatic passage. For the purposes of facilitating descrip tions of archaeological areas, this passage is here broken up into various ad-hoc chambers, usually based on changes in passage bearing or grade. In Chamber 3, approximately 6 m from Chamber 2, the water. T he ceiling reaches approximately 5.5 m high and the formations dominate the southeastern side of the chamber. Chamber 3 is approximately 9 m long, and terminates as speleothems. the northern end of Chamber 3. T hree diagnostic sherds were collected from a scatter less than 1 m by 1 m. While the sherds were not cemented in place an accumulation of calcium carbonate on their surfaces, likely from the nearby active formations suggests that they have been resting in place for some time. T wo of these sherds, consistent with the now-expected Cayo Unslipped: Cayo Variety (Gifford as part of the Early Classic Hermitage complex (ca. A.D. 280 590; Gifford 1976:186) was also recovered. Chamber 4, Breakdown 1 and the Southwest Passage the southeast entrance into Chamber 4. The chamber, ap proximately 11 m long by 6 m wide, is separated into two distinct, low bowl-like depressions. The ceiling reaches a of soft, damp, sediments and eroded limestone; the walls entering the chamber from the east is a vertical drop of ap proximately 8 m adjacent to the southwest wall. While the reconnaissance team did not investigate this drop, a number of Caves Branch guides indicated that it ends in a sump just out of sight from the top. T he sump is non-navigable, simply a slow-draining pooling point for water after heavy rains. Breakdown 1 dominates the northeast corner of the chamber; thick depositions of sediment on these stones suggest that the collapse event is not recent. A t the western end of Chamber 4, the passage splits. A wall of speleothems restricts access to Chamber 5 to the northwest. A narrow (1 m wide) passage extends to the southwest at an initially steep positive inclination of 16 degrees before leveling. The ceiling is rarely more than 1
87 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 7 Morton, Helmke, and Awe choking off in a tightly restricted phreatic passage too tight that of Chamber 4, namely damp, soft sediment. However, loose; a disturbance in the sediment at this end evidences recent rodent activity. F rom this location auditory contact was made with the nearby Caves Branch R ockshelter 4 (CB R 4). The shell disc, mentioned in the introduction, was found in the disturbed sediment at the southwest end of this passage. 1976:161) was one of three additional artifacts (the other two being non-diagnostic ceramic body sherds) discovered in this section of the cave, making the isolated placement of Chamber 5 and Breakdown 2 Chamber 5 is large at 21.39 m long with a maximum width of 6.5 m, oriented northeast southwest. From Cham and guano) drops sharply (1.5 m), and is negatively graded to the west at 15 degrees. The maximum ceiling height in the chamber is approximately 4.5 m. The north half of the chamber is littered with large breakdown (Breakdown 2). A tight opening in the north wall descends a short distance fountain formation, consisting of one large rimstone dam above another, dominates the center of the chamber and was active during the time of the survey. T his formation restricts passage through the chamber and effectively isolates the northern half from the southern half. T he southern half, most easily accessed by passing directly under the fountain less than 1 m wide extends to the southwest from the southern half of Chamber 5. Only two isolated sherds were found in Chamber 6 and Entrance 2 From Chamber 5, a narrow passage approximately 1 m wide with a 2.5 m high ceiling extends 5 m to the southwest into a small sandy chamber (Chamber 6). Chamber 6 is maximally 1.8 m wide by 4.7 m long, with a ceiling height of approximately 2 m. A low (40 cm high) alcove extends a further meter to the north. Initial inspection of the chamber suggested considerable depth to the ceramic scatter (Ceramic Scatter 6) concentrated on the chambers western end and within the alcove. A very limited amount of natural light is admitted to the chamber from the southwest through the long and restricted passage from Entrance 2. The dry matrix of eroded limestone and sandy sediment as well as the chambers proximity to E ntrance 2 made excavation conditions favorable. It was therefore decided to place a 3 x 3 m excavation within Chamber 6 (a size that ensured total coverage of the loose sediment in the western portion of the chamber). The goal of this excavation was to test deposition depth and to recover a larger sample of ceramic materials. Excavated material was placed in bags and screened through 1/4-inch mesh outside Entrance 2. Allin-all 32 cm of matrix were excavated, recovering some 913 ceramic sherds. While these sherds await detailed analysis by the senior author, surface materials from Chamber 6 date without exception to the H ermitage complex, including varieties of both Socotz Striated (Gifford 1976:187, 189) and Minanha Red (Gifford 1976:157). A very low opening, approximately 25 cm high by 50 cm wide divides Chamber 6 from the long (6 m) passage of E ntrance 2. F rom the exterior, E ntrance 2 extends horizontally toward the northeast into the base of the same ridgeline as Entrance 1, and only a dozen or so meters west of CBR4. The passage rapidly constricts from 6.4 m wide at the drip line to 2.5 m by 1 m high; the associated passage narrows in places to less than a meter. Ceramic Scatter 7 was found along the southern wall of the passage between Chamber 6 and the opening of E ntrance suggest possible damage due to travel through the passage. T he scatter measured approximately 1 m east to west by 50 cm north to south and again consisted entirely of Early Classic, Hermitage complex, ceramics. Archaeological Summary While work on the materials recovered from A ctun Neko continues, a number of interesting patterns have emerged that shed light on the particular ways that the ancient Maya used this cave. First, there appears to be a strong temporal division in this cave, suggesting a shift in focus over time from the Early Classic at Entrance 2 (Hermitage complex) to the Late Classic at E ntrance 1 (Spanish Lookout com plex). With scant material evidence for use-area overlap in the intervening chambers it appears that Actun Neko may have functioned, not as one cave, but as two distinct loci. T his observation stands as a yet poorly understood quirk of the cave, particularly as both entrances lie within close proximity to Caves Branch Rockshelter 4, a site that was the focus of ritual activity from the Prototo the T erminal Classic (Hardy 2009:111). Second, it appears that the particular ways in which spaces were used differed, particularly between Entrance 2/ Chamber 6 and Entrance 1/Chamber 1. While at both ends of the cave, the artifact assemblage is highly fragmented, vessels found at Entrance 2/Chamber 6 are far more com plete. It appears that whole, or nearly whole vessels were shattered in the relatively restricted Chamber 6, resulting in a much denser, thickly layered build-up of cultural ma terial. The highly fragmented nature of the deposit in this case may simply be a secondary consequence of the use of these particularly restricted spaces, much as Digby (1958; cited in Thompson 1975:xviii) notes of a small cave near Las Cuevas, Belize (See Moyes this volume). In contrast, the deposits from Entrance 1/Chamber 1 are more in line with a broader pattern of cave use that we are documenting throughout the valley and beyond (Helmke et al. n.d.; Wro bel et al. 2010); that is, the incorporation of multiple loci, at least some subterranean, into a single extended ritual act
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 7 Morton, Helmke, and Awe 88 or circuit. In this formulation, deposits are created that are characterized by the deposition of single sherds (or several), but never whole vessels, resulting in a highly fragmented and diverse assemblage such as that noted in Chamber 1. F urther, while E ntrance 2 and Chamber 6 were spatially restricted (potentially limiting the ability of ritual practi tioners to perform in situ ), Entrance 1 and Chamber 1 are in the form of wall-side scatters of the ritual cleansing of spent cultural materials (see Brady et al. 2009:55-56; Brown 2004:36; MacLeod and Puleston 1979:72; Vogt 1976:102; H elmke et al. n.d.). R ather than functioning as a simple dumping ground, Entrance 1 and Chamber 1 served as the locus for structured, repetitive, ritual acts. With this in mind we turn to a discussion of the shell disc, arguably the most The Shell Disc the inlaid shell disc (Figure 3) found at the terminus of the southwest passage. The disc was exposed by rodent burrow ing, which might account, in part, for some of the missing inlays. H owever, considering that artifacts deposited in caves are frequently terminated, it also seems probable that some of the inlays were purposefully removed by the ancient Maya, as a means of ritual breakage, prior to deposition. Below we provide a description of the shell disc, comments on the iconography, as well as a preliminary assessment of its date of manufacture. Description measures on average 5.7 cm in diameter. Its decorated surface is convex and exhibits two drilled holes for suspension or fastening. One perforation has penetrated from the obverse to the frontal (decorated) surface. Decorations are twofold, ing, to create sockets for inlays that were in turn incised with additional details. Only two inlays were recovered with the shell disc, one of greenstone (presumably jadeite), the other of red shell ( Spondylus sp.). Anywhere between 12 (simply counting large sockets) and 23 (attempting to estimate col oration and form) of the original inlays are clearly missing considering the many sockets visible on the decorated surface sieved for additional inlays, none were recovered, suggesting that these were removed from the disc prior to deposition. Owing to its circular design the decorations presented on the shell disc conform to this shape and are accentuated by an incised circular frame. Since all incised details run straight up to the edge of the frame it is clear that the frame subsequently that certain areas were selected to receive in lays. Minor chipping is evident along the left circular edge of the disc, which is suggestive of use wear. Otherwise the disc was recovered in a very good state of preservation and was clearly executed by a skilled craftsperson. Iconography Main Figure The iconography represents an anthropomor and facing to the viewers left (Figure 4). The toes of the right foot are visible below the left thigh. The kilt of this necklace and tubular pectoral. Only the greenstone bracelet of the left arm remains, which was apparently fashioned by three strands of beads as suggested by the two parallel and vertical incisions of the inlay. With the exception of the tip of the nose, the lips and the extremities of the headdress, the also executed by a series of inlays. Differing outlines and depth of inlay sockets give the impression of a somewhat corpulent the tip of the nose is an ovoid shape with a small notch at the end, which undoubtedly signals two nose beads. T he indicated by a transversal incision. The nose beads and the execution of the hand are temporally diagnostic and these will be accounted for in the dating section, below. The little that remains of the headdress suggests that it was made of cloth, or some other pliable material, with a pointed edge over the face. A big knot, indicated by the large circular inlay socket at the back of the head, from which extends a fringed sash-like element, apparently fastened the headdress. This type of headdress is seen in the iconography of several sites in the central Lowlands, but particularly close examples are found at Uaxactun and Ro Azul (Stuart 2005: Fig. 109a). Figure 3. Photograph of Inlaid Shell Disc (photo by Helmke).
89 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 7 Morton, Helmke, and Awe The same headdress is also found in the writing system of named the Banded Bird) that serves as a logogram refer Y uriy Polyukhovich (personal communication July, 2008) and Helmke (May, 2008) have independently suggested the tentative reading NAAT lit. thinker, knower, wiseman for the Banded Bird logogram based on phonetic complementa tion ta and ti and eastern Cholan sources (Morn 1695: 164; Wisdom 1950: 539). As a result it would seem that the individual depicted on the shell disc from Actun Neko is an particular type of headdress. Masquette Another key element of the iconography is masquette, worn at the small of the back, as is seen in other Classic Maya examples. Below such masquettes is a band of plaited clothor a mirror signand a group of three hanging celts; a standard of belt assemblages. H ere the band of plaited cloth, or mirror element, below the masquette is rendered as a rectangular form with three diagonal incisions. Below is a socket that would have held a greenstone inlay representing the three celts that are normally rendered in this position (see Stuart 2004a for the incised and inlayed shell from Dzibanche where this inlay is preserved). Much like with a nose bead, a feature that is seen on other masquettes upper element, rendered with incising, is a scroll of cloth element is now missing and is indicated by a circular inlay of bead, serving as a counterweight, sometimes rendered (i.e. T534; see Thompson 1962: 149-152, 452). now lost, since it was rendered on a missing inlay. F requently such masquettesand headdresses in generaldepict either supernatural entities or serve to spell out the name of a dei 2000: II-30, 34, 37; Martin and Grube 2000: 34, 77; Stuart and Stuart 2008: 111). The masquette is shown wearing a particular type of headdress, here composed of a small and ajaw glyph as its central element surrounded by three leafy projections. The leafy elements of the headdress indicate that it is a so-called Jester God or Hunal type headdress (see Schele and Miller 1986: 53, 68; Freidel and Schele 1988: 552-555), the mark of a regal headband or diadem ( T aube 2006). In the Classic period, this type of headdress appears to have been referred to as an ux-yop-hun lit. three-leaf-headdress, as indicated by complete spell ings in the text of Palenque (see Stuart 2004a: 135; Stuart and Stuart 2008: 216). In the texts of Copan and Pusilha there are references to mythico-historical individuals whose names are rendered glyphically by the same combination of Jester God headdress and ajaw sign. Very little is known about these individuals, who have been nicknamed F oliated Ajaw, or Three Leaves Ajaw, except for a period-ending (188.8.131.52.0), and another such commemoration connected to the latter, dated to A .D. 376 (184.108.40.206.0) (Schele and Looper 1996: 94-95; Martin and Grube 2000: 193; Grube and Mar tin 2001: II-9-11; Stuart 2004a: 136-137, F ig. 7; 2004b: 223). There is too little information at present to determine whether the headdress of the masquette referred to such a F oliated A jaw. Nonetheless, it has been suggested that the so-called chi-Bent Kawak toponym that is associated with F oliated A jaw, is a locality in the Central Lowlands (Stuart 2004a: 136, F ig. 7; 2004b: 221), making an apt (if tentative) connection to the A ctun Neko shell disc. A lternatively, it is also plausible, that the combination of Jester God and ajaw originally depicted was that of an ancestral king. The use of a similar headdress as a marker of royalty, can be found from Holmul, the carved jade boulder from T omb B-4/7 at A ltun H a (Pendergast 1982: F ig. 33, 57-59), and the so-called Po Panel from the Bonampak area (see Stuart 2004a: Fig. 6). Based on present evidence, the second author takes the example from Actun Neko to duplicate these patterns and Offering Held in the extended left hand of the seated masquette it was rendered predominantly with a series of inlays and therefore remains indistinct. Nonetheless, based on the outline of the various inlays and the overall shape it appears to have represented a head of some sort. Analogous examples suggest that this was the head of a supernatural Figure 4. Illustration of Inlaid Shell Disc (drawing by Helmke).
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 7 Morton, Helmke, and Awe 90 entity, since in one example the head of God K ( kawiil ) and in the other the head of Jaguar God of the Underworld ( chuwaaj? ) are held in outstretched hands (K6031b; Fine A rts Museum of San F rancisco, Cat. no. 2002.84.1.20). T he nose of the head also appears to be embellished by nose beads, as in all the other instances on the disc. A pair a series of three wedged-shaped items, the central one of which is represented by a red Spondylus sp. inlay, adorns the shrine that together serve as a headdress to a feline head on Stela 31 at T ikal. Below the head on the Actun Neko disc is a knot that resembles the logogram HUN for hun paper, headdress ( T 60, see T hompson 1962: 46, 446). T he circular inlay socket below the knotted sign presumably rendered a bead. T hree parallel lines extend out from the circular socket and connect to the scenes frame. In addition to the comparisons made with the other shell discs, the iconography of the Actun Neko shell disc is also strongly reminiscent in preserved Altar 4 of El Cayo. This monument depicts Ajchak Wayaab Kutiim the sajal of El Cayo (see Zender 2002), holding a pouch and scattering pellets of incense onto an altar that supports an unlit censer (see Martin and Grube 2000: 150). The face of a skeletal supernatural entity is mod eled onto the censer with a spotted feline ear. Since similar censersof the Pedregal Modeled type-varietyfrequently depict the Jaguar God of the Underworld (see Sabloff 1975: 114-116; Rice 1999), the composition is quite comparable to that rendered in Figure 3. These points of analogy lead us to speculate that the Jaguar God of the Underworld was also depicted on the disc from Actun Neko. Dating A preliminary dating for the A ctun Neko shell disc is based on the presence of certain temporally diagnostic icono graphic elements, as well as the stylistic execution of other features. We will not rely on the dating of ceramic materials, since the shell disc was not found in a sealed context and was not directly associated with any ceramic remains, which could otherwise make such an exercise a useful application. F urthermore, the full chronological spectrum covered by the ceramics found within A ctun Neko remains to be determined, since the analyses are still on going. Most salient among the temporally diagnostic iconographic elements are the nose the head that is held in outstretched hands. Such nose beads are a characteristic feature of Early Classic art, where these occurs in high frequencies, and are typically absent in the Late Classic (Kettunen 2005: 59, 179, 192-193, 197-201). Based on the presence of this iconographic feature alone, it is clear that the shell disc can be dated to the Early Classic. This conclusion is further supported by the execution of the outlines. T he rendition of hands with squared features in both iconography and glyphs is another typical feature of the E arly Classic, since Late Classic examples represent conducting an extensive paleographic analysis of the hand signs involved it is unclear at present to which portion of the E arly Classic this feature belongs. T he scalloped, or trilobate, outline of the ajaw sign in the headdress to the masquette has, however, already succumbed to paleographic analyses by A lfonso Lacadena Garca-Gallo (1995). A s part of his work, he has found that this type of ajaw sign predominates between c. 220.127.116.11.0 and 18.104.22.168.0, which is to say between A.D. 396 and 652 (Lacadena Garca-Gallo 1995: 297). As a result of these parameters it seems safe to assign the shell disc to an interval between A.D. 400 and 650, which also accords well with a similar specimen found at Blue Creek, dated to a comparable time period on the basis of associated ceramics (Thomas Guderjan, personal from the carved and inlayed shell from Dzibanche. On the basis of stylistic attributes the similar shell from Dzibanche has been dated to c. A .D. 450-550 (Stuart 2004a: 140). Finally, two fragmentary specimens that are very similar in size, style and execution to the Actun Neko disc have been found in general excavations and in Problematical Deposit 275 at T ikal (Moholy-Nagy & Coe 2008: 30, Fig. 181f-h). T hese are dated to between the E arly Classic ( A .D. 250-554) and Late Early Classic (A.D. 554-692) (Moholy-Nagy and Coe 2008: see T able 3.46-3.50). For the T ikal examples the of termination described as obliterations by shallow drilled depressions ( ibid .). In sum, on the basis of available data, the shell disc of Actun Neko can be dated to between 5 th and 7 th centuries, and proves to be an important addition to the corpus of Maya iconography. Discussion Data from cave contexts suggests that the Caves Branch River Valley was occupied at least as early as the Archaic period, however, consistent use of the caves and rock shel ters in the region is not demonstrable until after the Middle/ Late F ormative periods (ca. 300 B.C.). Use of these contexts continued until the end of the Classic period (ca. A.D. 900) with a brief hiatus or period of decreased use in the early part of the Late Classic. The scant evidence for habitation (i.e. surface sites) prior to the Late Classic period prompted McAnany to suggest that this region of central Belize was a long-distance pilgrimage destination (Mc A nany et al. 2004:296-297). While evidence for early settlement is still negligible, the use of caves/rock shelters does not accord with what would normally be expected for a long-distance pilgrimage site: That is, evidence for the ritual use of caves in the region prior to the Late/ T erminal Classic period is nearly ubiquitous (rather than focused on several prominent sites as might otherwise be expected), includes locales of various sizes (suggesting ritual at a variety of scales; Mor ton 2008; Wrobel et al. 2010) and provides few examples of the architectural elaboration seen at other long-distance pilgrimage sites (e.g. H ammond and Bobo 1994). While the black gloss ware types associated with the Southwest
91 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 7 Morton, Helmke, and Awe Passage, Chamber 6 and E ntrance 2 (Gifford 1976:191) and distinctive iconography of the shell disc speak to longranging ritual and economic ties with the Petn, following Hammond and Bobo (1994:19), it is more likely that these cave sites were incorporated into short-distance pilgrimage nonetheless tied to a broader web of socio-economic interac tion (see also Peterson 2006). At present, it appears that the region was inhabited by a dispersed population, minimally focused around the small Formative centers of Cahal Uitz Na in the Roaring Creek Valley ( F erguson 1999), T ipan Chen Uitz (Morton and A ndres 2011), and the Hershey site in the neighboring Sibun Valley (Peterson 2006:111). T he probability that earlier occupations similarly predate the Late/ T erminal period Deep Valley and Y axbe sites should be acknowledged though this question awaits further excavation. Nonetheless, it appears that strongly Late Classic Period (ca. A.D. 700-800) (Andres et al. 2010; Peterson 2006; Wrobel et al. 2010). T he establishment and/or the expansion of complex socio-political centers in the Caves Branch/Roaring Creek micro-region was apparently rapid. Examples from the Early/ Middle F ormative (ca. 1100 B.C.) Belize Valley and the Late/T erminal Classic north Vaca Plateau serve as instruc tive illustrations of this process. During the Kanocha Phase (1100-900 B.C.) at Blackman Eddy (Garber et al. 2004:2931) and the contemporary Cunil Phase at Cahal Pech (A we 1992), nucleation of domestic centers on the periphery of F ormative complex societies in the western southern lowlands and northern lowlands was accompanied by the presence of non-local exotics and a well-developed ceramic tradition. T he presence of these materials speaks to economic contact with complex socio-political institutions from regions as far away as southeastern H onduras. T he relatively rapid construction of centralized (though small) civic-ceremonial architecture in the following phase (900-700 B.C.) has been used to sug more complex peoples as well as the possible movement of secondary elites from neighboring regions (Garber et al. 2004:28) fostered the transplantation of familiar complex institutions into the Belize Valley. A similar process is described by Iannone (2005:29-33) Located between the major Classic period centers of Caracol and Naranjo, Minanha appears to have existed throughout the majority of the Classic period as a minor center in this internal frontier zone (Kopytoff 1987, 1999). T he familiarity of Minanhas secondary elite with paramount elite institutions allowed them to take advantage of the declining fortunes of these surrounding polities during the Late Classic and implement a spectacular century-long building program in the site core as well as the establishment of a number of peripheral minor centers (Iannone 2005:29). The result was a brief period of micro-regional dominance before it, like many other centers in the southern lowlands lapsed into a terminal decline (A.D. 810-900). Much the same picture can be painted for the Caves Branch and Roaring Creek valleys. Based on artifact as semblages from A ctun Neko and other cave contexts ( R eents-Budet 1980), it appears that this region had long been an active consumer of goods associated with the more centralized centers of the neighboring Belize Valley and Maya cence of T ipan Chen Uitz Cahal Uitz Na and Deep Valley, as well as the establishment of the myriad minor centers in the valleys, coincides with a general period of balkanization in the Southern and Central Maya Lowlands. It seems likely that such processes encouraged the movement of secondary elites, or cadet lineages, from core Maya regions (likely the Belize River Valley or Vaca Plateau) and/or the opportune assertion of authority from lesser elite already inhabiting the region. In either scenario, the rapidity of center expansion illustrates a pre-existing familiarity with the institutions and symbols of paramount elite authority. Summary and Conclusions the small but well-utilized Actun Neko. In the process, we have attempted to incorporate the cave and those who used it into an emerging picture of the Caves Branch during the Classic Period. T he cave saw two distinct periods of use with Early Classic ceramics deposited en masse in an en trance chamber located a scant 20 m from an actively used rockshelter. In addition, it appears that these Early Classic explorers penetrated the furthest depths of this cave (such as they are) to deposit an astonishing shell disc. Both the shell disc and ceramic evidence speak to the broad regional socio-economic incorporation of the Caves Branch at this time. During a period for which we have no evidence of complex nucleated settlement in the valley, this disc may political incorporation of this region into the high culture of its neighbors. Further, it is worth noting that the disc was found at a point of auditory, if not physically navigable, contact with a nearby rockshelter. T o our knowledge, the implications of soundscape on Maya cave use have not been well explored. Later, after an appreciable gap, the focus of activity in Actun Neko shifted to the larger chambers near Entrance 1, where ritual acts paralleled established patterns elsewhere in the region. These consist of repetitive in situ acts punctuated by ritual cleaning and either the deposition of a fragmentary ceramic assemblage, or else the subsequent removal of large quantities of ceramic materials, resulting in a highly fragmented ceramic assemblage drawn from a wide sample gests a material shift in ritual fodder (Cayo Unslipped and Alexanders Unslipped both being produced much more lo cally, though still related to examples from the central Petn; Gifford 1976:288). If this interpretation holds, then Actun Neko should be understood, not as an isolated ritual locus, but as one point on a web of interrelated loci and supports the emerging picture of the Caves Branch/ R oaring Creek
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 7 Morton, Helmke, and Awe 92 Works as a late-blooming frontier region that was able to take advantage of the swiftly crumbling institutions and traditional power structures of the neighboring Belize Valley. Acknowledgements We would like to thank the following individuals and institutions for their support and assistance: F irstly, Dr. Gabriel D. Wrobel and Dr. Christopher R A ndres, Directors of the Caves Branch Archaeological Survey without whose direction, support and continuing dedication to uncovering the ancient past of this region this paper could not have been written; Dr. John Morris, Rafael Guerra, and the rest of the Medrano, Ian Anderson and all the staff and guides at the Caves Branch A dventure Lodge; the villages of A rmenia and References Cited Andres, Christopher R., Gabriel D. Wrobel and Shawn G. Morton 2010 Tipan Chen Uitz ( Fortress Mountain Well): A Major New Maya Center in the Cayo District, Belize. Mexicon 32:88-94. A we, Jaime. J. 1992 Dawn in the Land between the Rivers: Formative Occupation at Cahal Pech, Belize and Its Implica tions for Preclassic Occupation in the Central Maya Lowlands Ph.D. dissertation, Institute of A rchaeology, University College London, London. Bassie-Sweet, Karen 1996 At the Edge of the World: Caves and Late Classic Maya World View University of O klahoma Press, Norman. Brady, James E. 2009 A Preliminary A rchaeological A ssessment of Midnight T error Cave, Belize. Paper presented at the 74 th A nnual Meeting of the Society for A merican Archaeology, Atlanta, April 22-26. Brady, James E., Allan Cobb, Ann M. Scott, Eden Chavez, Mario Giron and Idi Okilo 2009 Insights and T entative Conclusions. Midnight Ter ror Cave. Report 2009 Season edited by James E. Brady, pp. 51-67. Report submitted to the Institute of Archaeology, Belmopan. Brown, Linda A. 2004 Dangerous Places and Wild Spaces: Creating Meaning with Materials and Space at Contemporary Maya Shrines on El Duende Mountain. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 11(1):31-58 Conlon, James M. and Jennifer J. Ehret 1999 Survey at the Major Center of Cahal Uitz Na Cayo District, Belize In The Western Belize Regional Cave Project: A Report of the 1998 Field Season edited by Jaime J. A we, pp. 33-44. Department of Anthro pology Occasional Paper No. 2. University of New Hampshire, Durham. Davis, Clinton Emerson 1980 A rchaeological Investigations in the Caves BranchDeep Valley R egion of Belize, Central A merica. M. A thesis, Department of Anthropology, University of T exas at Austin, Austin. Ferguson, Josalyn 1999 Salvage Excavations of the Ballcourt at Cahal Uitz Na. In The Western Belize Regional Cave Project: A Report of the 1998 Field Season edited by J. J. A we, pp. 45-52. Department of A nthropology O ccasional Paper No. 2. University of New Hampshire, Durham. Fields, Virginia M. and Dorie Reents-Budet 2005 Lords of Creation: The Origins of Sacred Maya Kingship Los A ngeles County Museum of A rt & Scala Publishers Ltd, Los Angeles & London. Freidel, David A. and Linda Schele 1988 Kingship in the Late Preclassic Maya Lowlands: The Instruments and Places of Ritual Power. American Anthropologist, 90(3):547-567. Garber, James F ., M. Kathryn Brown, Jaime J. A we and Christopher J. Hartman 2004 Middle F ormative Prehistory of the Central Belize Valley: A n E xamination of A rchitecture, Material Culture, and Sociopolitical Change at Blackman Eddy In The Ancient Maya of the Belize Valley: Half a Century of Archaeological Research edited by James F Garber, pp. 25-47. University Press of Florida, Gainesville. Gibbs, Sherry A. 1998 H uman Skeletal R emains from A ctun T unichil Muknal and Actun Uayazba Kab In The Western Belize Regional Cave Project: A Report of the 1997 Field Season edited by Jaime J. A we, pp. 71-96. Department of Anthropology Occasional Paper No. 1. University of New Hampshire, Durham. Gifford, James C. 1976 Prehistoric Pottery Analysis and the Ceramics of Barton Ramie in the Belize Valley Memoirs of the Peabody Museum of A rchaeology and E thnology 18. Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. Graham, Elizabeth 1987 Resource Diversity in Belize and Its Implications for Models of Lowland T rade. American Antiquity 52(4):753-767. Graham, Elizabeth, Logan McNatt, and A. Mark Gutchen 1980 Excavations at Footprint Cave, Caves Branch, Be lize. Journal of Field Archaeology 7(2): 153-172. 1998 E xcavations and Salvage O perations in A ctun T unichil Muknal and Actun Uayazba Kab, Roaring Creek Valley, Belize In The Western Belize Regional Cave Project: A Report of the 1997 Field Season edited by Jaime J. A we, pp. 37-70. Department of A nthropology O ccasional Paper No. 1. University of New Hampshire, Durham. Grube, Nikolai and Simon Martin 2000 T ikal and its Neighbors. Notebook for the XXIVth Maya Hieroglyphic Forum at Texas edited by Nikolai Grube, pp. II. 1-II. 78. The University of T exas at
93 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 7 Morton, Helmke, and Awe Austin, Austin. 2001 The Coming of Kings. Notebook for the XXVth Maya Hieroglyphic Forum at Texas edited by Nikolai Grube, pp. II. 1-II. 53. The University of T exas at Austin, Austin. Hammond, Norman and Matthew R. Bobo 1994 Pilgrimages Last Mile: Late Maya Monument Veneration at La Milpa, Belize. World Archaeology 26(1):19-34. Hardy, Jessica L. 2009 Understanding Functional and Symbolic Variation in Rockshelters of the Caves Branch River Valley of Western Belize, Central America. M.A. thesis, De partment of Sociology and A nthropology, University of Mississippi, Oxford. Helmke, Christophe 2009 Ancient Maya Cave Usage as Attested in the Glyphic Corpus of the Maya Lowlands and the Caves of the Roaring Creek Valley, Belize Ph.D. dissertation, Institute of Archaeology, University of London, London. Helmke, Christophe and Jaime A we 1998 Preliminary R eport on the R econnaissance of Cahal Uitz Na R oaring Creek Valley, Cayo District, Belize In The Western Belize Regional Cave Project: A Report of the 1997 Field Season edited by Jaime J. A we, pp. 205-222. Department of Anthropology Occasional Paper No. 1. University of New Hamp shire, Durham. 2008 Organizacin territorial de los antiguos mayas de Mayab No. 20: 65-91. Helmke, Christophe, Jaime A we, Shawn Morton and Gyles Iannone n.d. A rchaeological and E pigraphic Significance of Cuychen, Macal Valley, Belize. Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology Submitted May 2011. Iannone, Gyles 2005 The Rise and Fall of an Ancient Maya Petty Royal Court. Latin American Antiquity 16:26-44. Jordan, Jillian M. 2008 Persistence in the Periphery: Archaeological In vestigations at Baateelek, Caves Branch River Val ley, Belize M. A thesis, Department of Sociology and A nthropology, T he University of Mississippi, Oxford. Kettunen, Harri 2005 Nasal Motifs in Maya Iconography Ph.D. disserta tion, Helsinki University Printing House, Helsinki. Kopytoff, Igor 1987 The African Frontier: The Reproduction of Tradi tional African Societies Indiana University Press, Bloomington. 1999 T he Internal A frican F rontier: Cultural Conservatism and Ethnic Innovation In Frontiers and Borderlands: Anthropological Perspectives edited by Michael R sler and T obias Wendl, pp. 31-44. Peter Lang, New Y ork. Lacadena Garca-Gallo, Alfonso 1995 E volucin formal de las grafas escriturarias mayas: implicaciones histricas y culturales. Ph.D. disser tation, Department of the History of the Americas, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid. Lentz, David L., Jason Y aeger, Cynthia Robin and Wendy A. Ashmore 2005 Pine, Prestige and Politics of the Late Classic Maya at Xunantunish, Belize. Antiquity 79:573-585. MacLeod, Barbara and Dennis E. Puleston 1979 Pathways into Darkness: the Search for the Road to Xibalba. In Tercera Mesa Redonda de Palenque, 1978 edited by Merle Greene R obertson and Donnan Call Jeffers, pp. 71-78. Hearld Peters, Monterrey. Martin, Simon and Nikolai Grube 2000 Chronicles of the Maya Kings and Queens: Deci phering the Dynasties of the Ancient Maya Thames & Hudson, London & New Y ork. McAnany, Patricia A., Eleanor Harrison, Polly A. Peterson, Steven Morandi, Satoru Murata, Ben S. Thomas, Sandra L. Lpez Varela, Daniel Finamore, and David G. Buch 2004 T he Deep H istory of the Sibun R iver Valley. Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology 1:295310. Miller, Thomas E. 1981a Houses of Stone: Caving in Belize. Caving Inter national 11:16-24. 1981b Hydrochemistry, Hydrology, and Morphology of the Caves Branch Karst, Belize Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Geography, McMaster University, Hamilton. Moholy-Nagy, Hattula and William R. Coe 2008 The Artifacts of Tikal: Ornamental and Ceremonial Artifacts and Unworked Material T ikal R eport, No. 27A. University Museum Monograph 127. Univer sity of Pennsylvania Museum of A rchaeology and Anthropology, Philadelphia. Morn, Fray F 1695 milperos A merican Philosophical Society, Manu script: Class 497.4, No. M79, Philadelphia. Morton, Shawn G. 2008 Preliminary R econnaissance of T hree Caves in the Caves Branch River Valley, Cayo District, Belize In The Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance Project: A Report of the 2007 Field Season edited by Christophe G. B. Helmke and Jaime J. A we, pp. 49-68. Report submitted to the Institute of A rchaeol ogy, Belmopan, Belize. 2010 Investigations in Actun Lubul Ha In The Caves Branch Archaeological Survey Project: A Report of the 2009 Field Season edited by Christopher R. A ndres and Gabriel D. Wrobel, pp. 41-49. Belize A rchaeological R esearch and E ducation F oundation Occasional Report 1, Oxford, MS. Morton, Shawn G. and Christopher Andres 2011 T ipan Chen Uitz: The Development of an Ancient
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 7 Morton, Helmke, and Awe 94 Centre as A ttested in Subterranean Site Contexts. Paper presented at the 76 th A nnual Meeting of the Society for A merican A rchaeology, Sacramento, March 30 April 3. Peterson, Polly 2006 Ancient Maya Ritual Cave Use in the Sibun Valley, Belize Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Archaeol ogy, Boston University, Boston. Pendergast, David M. 1979 Excavations at Altun Ha, Belize, 1964-1970, Volume 2 Royal Ontario Museum, T oronto. Prufer, Keith M. and James E. Brady 2005 R eligion and R ole of Caves in Lowland Maya Archaeology In Stone Houses and Earth Lords: Maya Religion in the Cave Context edited by Keith M. Prufer and James E. Brady, pp. 1-24. University Press of Colorado, Boulder. Reents, Doris Jane 1980 Prehistoric Pottery from Petroglyph Cave, Caves Branch Valley, E l Cayo District, Belize, Central America M. A thesis, Department of A nthropology, University of T exas at Austin, Austin. 1981 The 1978 Caves Branch Cave Archaeological Project: Ceramic Analysis Report submitted to the Institute of Archaeology, Belmopan. Reents-Budet, Dorie and Barbara MacLeod 1986 The Archaeology of Petroglyph Cave, Belize R eport submitted to the Institute of A rchaeology, Belmopan. Rice, Prudence M. 1999 Rethinking Classic Maya Pottery Censers. Ancient Mesoamerica 10(1):25-50. Sabloff, Jeremy A. 1975 Excavations at Seibal, Department of Petn, Gua temala: The Ceramics Peabody Museum Memoirs, Vol. 13 (2), Harvard University, Cambridge. Schele, Linda and Matthew Looper 1996 The Inscriptions of Quirigua and Copan. In Note book for the XXth Maya Hieroglyphic Forum edited by Linda Schele, pp. 90-226. University of T exas, Austin. Schele, Linda and Mary E. Miller 1986 The Blood of Kings: Dynasty and Ritual in Maya Art Sothebys & Kimbell Art Museum, New Y ork & Fort Worth. Sharer, Robert J. 1994 The Ancient Maya Fifth edition. Stanford University Press, Stanford. Stuart, David 2004a La concha decorada de la tumba real del T emplo del Bho, Dzibanch. Los Cautivos de Dzibanch edited by Enrique Nalda, pp. 132-140. Instituto Nacional de Antropologa e Historia, Mxico D.F 2004b T he Beginnings of the Copan Dynasty: A R eview of the Hieroglyphic and Historical Evidence. In Un derstanding Early Classic Copan edited by E llen E Bell, Marcello A Canuto and R obert J. Sharer, pp. 215-248. University of Pennsylvania Museum, Philadelphia. 2005 The Inscriptions from Temple XIX at Palenque: A Commentary Pre-Columbian A rt R esearch Institute, San Francisco. Stuart, David and George Stuart 2008 Palenque: Eternal City of the Maya T hames & Hudson, London. T aube, Karl A. 2006 The San Bartolo Murals and the Origins of Maya Creation Mythology. Paper presented at the New Perspectives on the Origins of Maya Art, Writing and Mythology symposium. University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, December 11. Thompson, J. Eric S. 1962 A Catalogue of Maya Hieroglyphs University of Oklahoma Press, Norman. 2005 Introduction to the Reprint Edition In The HillCaves of Yucatan edited by Henry C. Mercer, pp. vii-xliv. A ssociation for Mexican Cave Studies, A ustin [original 1975]. Vogt, Evon Z. 1976 Tortillas for the Gods: A Symbolic Analysis of Zinacanteco Rituals H arvard University Press, Cambridge. Vogt, Evon Z. and David Stuart 2005 Some Notes on R itual Caves among the A ncient and Modern Maya In In the Maw of the Earth Monster: Mesoamerican Ritual Cave Use edited by James E. Brady and Kieth M. Prufer, pp. 155-185. University of T exas Press, Austin. Wisdom, Charles 1950 Chorti Dictionary T ranscribed and transliterated by Brian Stross. Electronic typescript in possession of the author. Wrobel, Gabriel D. 2008 Report on the Caves Branch Rockshelter Excava tions: 2006 and 2007 Field Seasons In The Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance Project: A Report of the 2007 Field Season edited by C. G. B. Helmke and J. J. A we, pp. 1-20. Report submitted to the Institute of Archaeology, Belmopan, Belize. Wrobel, Gabriel, Shawn Morton, Christopher Andres and Rebecca Shelton 2010 R itual and R eligion in the Caves Branch R iver Valley. Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology 7:73-84. Wrobel, Gabriel D., Rebecca Shelton, Joshua Lynch, Shawn Morton and Christopher Andres n.d. T he View of Maya Mortuary Cave R itual from Overlook Rockshelter (OVR), Caves Branch River Valley, Central Belize. Journal of Cave and Karst Studies (in press). Zender, Marc 2002 The T oponyms of El Cayo, Piedras Negras, and La Mar. In Heart of Creation: The Mesoamerican World and Legacy of Linda Schele edited by A ndrea Stone, pp.166-184. University of A labama Press, T uscaloosa.
95 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 8 Moyes 8 Constructing the Underworld: T he Built E nvironment in A ncient Mesoamerican Caves Holley Moyes Kaax not
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 8 Moyes 96 Figure 1. Map of the site of Las Cuevas illustrating the cave that runs beneath buildings in the site core. The cave entrance sits below the eastern structure of Plaza A, and is accessed via a dry sinkhole (Map courtesy of the LCAR).
97 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 8 Moyes ). Numyaj Naj (House of Pain), located in western Belize near the site of Minanha Figure 2. (a) Constricted entrance to Chechem H a Cave was closed with limestone boulders and reopened by the landowners who placed the gate, (b) Actun Luubul entrance was blocked with loose rock after its last usage until it was reopened by locals, (c) Moth Cave viewed from interior. Entrance was blocked from the inside (Photos by author).
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 8 Moyes 98 Popol Vuh Caves as Underworld Entrances Figure 3. (a) Constructed doorway in wall blocking entrance at Numyaj Naj (House of Pain), (b) Entrance blockage at to Alvins Cave, (c) Well-constructed mortared wall at Cormorant Cave forces one to crawl through the doorway (Photos by author).
99 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 8 Moyes Popol Vuh Tzuultaqas Mictlan Xibalba Popol Vuh Popol Vuh Popol Vuh Figure 4. Illustration from a painted Late Classic vase depicting 3-1, adapted from Coe 1978:78, no.11).
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 8 Moyes 100 Mictlan Opochcalocan Popol Vuh Metnal below Figure 5. Map showing location of Las Cuevas site (Courtesy of LCAR). Olontik
101 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 8 Moyes Popol Vuh. The Tzuultaqas The Cave at Las Cuevas
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 8 Moyes 102 Figure 6. Map of the Las Cuevas Entrance Chamber (Courtesy of LCAR).
103 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 8 Moyes Figure 7. Wall 1 blocks the en trance to the tunnel system. A constructed doorway restricts access (Photo by author). (below) Map of Las Cuevas tunnel system show ing locations of constructions (Courtesy of LCAR).
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 8 Moyes 104 Figure 9. View from the window at the termination of the tunnel system looking down onto the Las Cuevas Entrance Chamber (photo courtesy of LCAR). ( ) Figure 10 (facing page) (a) Blockage 1 separates Chambers 3 and 4, (b) Blockage 2 entrance, (c) E xterior of Wall 2 with constructed doorway, (d) Wall 3 blocks off the larger natural entrance to Chamber 8, (e) Blockage 3 forces one to crawl into Chamber 8. Justine Issavi pictured. (Photos courtesy of LCAR).
105 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 8 Moyes
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 8 Moyes 106 Figure 11. (a) James Brady stands in front of wall that does not extend to ceiling in twilight area of Las Pinturas cave near Flores in Guatemala (Photo by author), (b) Holley Moyes stands in front of wall that does not extend to ceiling in twilight area at Bird T ower Cave located near Las Cuevas (Photo courtesy of LCAR), (c) Christophe Helmke stands in front of wall that does not extend to ceiling in twilight area of Actun Chapat (Photo by Author), (d) Wall at entrance to Skull Cave (Actun T sek) in the Macal Valley, Belize near the site of Minanha.
107 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 8 Moyes Discussion Popol Vuh Conclusion Acknowledgments I would like to thank the Belize Institute of A rchaeology, especially Dr. John Morris and Dr. Jaime A we, for granting the permit to work at Las Cuevas and to the hardworking staff at the institute. Funding for the Las Cuevas project as well as the Minanha Cave Project was provided by Alphawood Foundation and the University of California, Merced. I am also grateful to the students and staff of the Las Cuevas proj ect and our local team members Carlos Cano, Saul Haines, E liceo and E dgar Suntecum, and Jeremia Lopez. Special thanks go to the project supervisors Laura Kosakowsky, Barbara Voorhies, and Mark Robinson and to the mapping team Justine Issavi, Nicholas Bourgeois, E rin R ay and Pedro
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 8 Moyes 108 Carvajal. I also would like to extend my gratitude to Mat thew Bols and family, our gracious hosts at the Las Cuevas research station. F inally thanks to Mark A ldenderfer and James Brady for helpful comments on the manuscript. References Cited Aguilar-Moreno, Manuel 2007 Handbook to Life in the Aztec World. Oxford Uni versity Press, NY A we, Jaime J. 1985 A rchaeology Investigations at Caledonia, Cayo District, Belize. Masters T hesis, Department of Anthropology, T rent University. 1992 Dawn in the Land Between the Rivers: Formative O ccupation at Cahal Pech, Belize and Its Implications for Preclassic Development in the Maya Lowlands. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of London, UK. A we, Jamie J., Mark D. Campbell, and Jim Conlon of the Site Core at Cahal Pech, Belize, and Its Im plications for Lowland Maya Social O rganization. Mexicon 13 (2): 25-30. Ashmore, Wendy 1991 Site Planning Principles and Concepts of Direc tionality Among the Ancient Maya. Latin American Antiquity 2(3):199-226. Berdan, Frances F 2005 The Aztecs of Central Mexico: An Imperial Society, 2 nd Edition. Thomson Wadsworth, Belmont, CA. Brady, James E. 1989 Investigation of Maya R itual Cave Use with Special Reference to Naj T unich, Peten, Guatemala. Ph.D. Dissertation, A rchaeology Program, University of California, Los Angeles. Brady, James E., Ann Scott, Allan Cobb, Irma Rodas, John Fogarty, and Monica Urquiz 1997 Glimpses of the Dark Side of the Petexbatun R egional A rchaeological Project: T he Petexbatun R egional Cave Survey. A ncient Mesoamerica 8 (2):353-364. Brady, James E. and Andrea Stone 1986 Naj T unich: E ntrance to the Maya Underworld. Archaeology 39 (6): 18-25. Christenson, Allen J. 2007 Popol Vuh: The Sacred Book of the Maya [T ransla tion] University of Oklahoma Press, Norman. 2008 Places of Emergence: Sacred Mountains and Cof rada Ceremonies. In Pre-Columbian Landscapes of Creation and Origin edited by John E dward Staller, pp. 95-121. Springer, New Y ork. Coe, Michael 1978 Lords of the Underworld Princeton University Press, Princeton. de Certeau, Michel 1984 The Practice of Everyday Life University of Cali fornia Press, Berkeley. Demarrais, Elizabeth, Luis Jaime Castillo, and T imothy Earle 1996 Ideology, Materialization and Power Strategies. Current Anthropology 37(1):15-31. Digby, Adrian 1958 A New Maya City Discovered in British H onduras: First Excavations at Las Cuevas, An Underground Necropolis Revealed. The Illustrated London News Feb. 15, 1958. Earle, Duncan 2008 Caves Across T ime and Space: Reading Related Landscapes in Kiche Maya T ext, Ritual, and His tory. In Pre-Columbian Landscapes of Creation and Origin, edited by John Edward Staller, pp. 67-93. Springer, NY Feguson, Josalyn 2000 A rchitecture from Within: A Report on the Investi gation of Entrance II, Actun Chapat. In The Western Belize Regional Cave Project: A Report of the 1999 Ishihara, and Jaime J. A we, pp. 163-186. O ccasional Paper No. 3, Department of A nthropology, University of New Hampshire, Durham. Freidel, David, Linda Schele, and Joy Parker 1993 Maya Cosmos: Three Thousand Years on the Sha mans Path William Morrow, New Y ork. Freidel, David and Charles Suhler 1999 The Path of Life: T oward a Functional A nalysis of Ancient Maya Architecture. In Mesoamerican Architecture as a Cultural Symbol edited by Karl J. Kowalski, pp. 251-273, Oxford University Press, New Y ork. Hanks, William F 1990 Referential Practice: Language and Lived Space among the Maya University of Chicago Press, Chicago. Heyden, Doris 1975 A n Interpretation of the Cave Underneath the Pyra mid of the Sun in T eotihuacan, Mexico. American Antiquity 40 (2):131-147. Houston, Stephen 1998 F inding F unction and Meaning in Classic Maya Architecture. Function and Meaning in Classic Maya Architecture: A Symposium at Dumbarton Oaks, 7 th and 8 th October 1994 edited by Stephen Houston, pp. 519-538, Dumbarton O aks R esearch Library and Collection, Washington, D.C. Inomata, T akeshi, and Stephen Houston 2001a Royal Courts of the Ancient Maya, Vol. 1: Theory, Comparison, and Synthesis Westview, Boulder. 2001b Royal Courts of the Ancient Maya, Vol. 2: Data and Case Studies Westview, Boulder. Kenward, Amalia 2005 Showing the Way: The Function of Three Small Caves in the Sibun-Manatee Karst. In Stone Houses and Earth Lords: Maya Religion in the Cave Context
109 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 8 Moyes edited by Keith M. Prufer and James E. Brady, pp. 249-262, University Press of Colorado, Boulder. Kosakowsky, Laura, and Holley Moyes 2012 Ceramics of Las Cuevas and the Chiquibul: A t Worlds E nd. Paper presented at the 2012 Belize Archaeology Symposium, San Ignacio, Belize. Kowalski, Jeff K. 1999 Mesoamerican Architecture as a Cultural Symbol Oxford University Press, New Y ork. Lefebvre, Henri 1991 The Production of Space Blackwell, Oxford. MacLeod, Barbara and Dennis Puleston 1978 Pathways Into Darkness: The Search for the Road to Xibalba. In Tercera Mesa Redonda de Palenque, Vol. 4 edited by Merle Greene R obertson and Donnan Call Jeffers, pp. 71-77, Hearld Peters, Monterey. Mercer, Henry 1975 The Hill-Caves of Yucatan T he University of Oklahoma Press, Norman. (Original 1896). Miller, Mary and Karl T aube 1997 An Illustrated Dictionary of the Gods and Sym bols of Ancient Mexico and the Maya. Thames and Hudson, NY Moyes, Holley 2006 The Sacred Landscape as a Political Resource: A Case Study of Ancient Maya Cave Use At Chechem H a Cave, Belize, Central A merica. Ph.D. dissertation, Deptartment of A nthropology, University at Buffalo, New Y ork. Moyes, Holley and Jaime J. A we 2010 Caves and Complexity: 2010 Preliminary Report of the Minanha Cave Project In Archaeological Investigations in the North Vaca Plateau, Belize: Progress Report of the Twelfth (2010) Field Season edited by Gyles Iannone, Jaime J. A we, Maxime Lamoureux St.H ilaire and Matthew Longstaffe, pp. 144-175, Department of A nthropology, T rent University, Peterborough. Moyes, Holley, Jaime J. A we, and Henry Schwarcz 2006 T racing the O rigin of Speleothems at A ncient Maya A rchaeological Sites in Belize, Central A merica, R eport submitted to the Institute of A rchaeology, National Institute of Culture and H istory, Belmopan, Belize. Moyes, Holley and James E. Brady 2005 T he H eart of H eaven, T he H eart of Darkness: Ritual Cave Use in Mesoamerica. Expedition 47(3):30-36. 2012 Caves as Sacred Space in Mesoamerica. In Sacred Darkness: A Global Perspective on the Ritual Use of Caves edited by Holley Moyes, University Press of Colorado, Boulder. Moyes, Holley, Mark Robinson, Laura Kosakowsky, and Barbara Voorhies 2012a Better Late than Never: Preliminary Investiga tions at Las Cuevas. In Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology 9, edited by John Morris, Jaime A we, Melissa Badillo and George T hompson, pp. 221-231. Institute of A rchaeology, National Institute of Culture and History, Belmopan, Belize. Moyes, Holley, Mark Robinson, Laura Kosakowsky, Barbara Voorhies, Rafael Guerra, and Fabrizio Galleazi 2012b Sleeping Next to the Giant: Preliminary Investi gations of the Las Cuevas Site, Chiquibul Reserve, Belize: A Site R eport of the 2011 F ield Season. R eport submitted to the Belize Institute of A rchaeology, Belmopan, Belize. Peterson, Polly A. 2006 Ancient Maya Ritual Cave Use in the Sibun Valley, Belize AMCS Bulletin 16. Association for Mexican Cave Studies, Austin. Prufer, Keith M. 2002 Communities, Caves, and R itual Specialists: A Study of Sacred Space in the Maya Mountains of Southern Belize. Ph.D Dissertation, Department of Anthropol ogy, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Rissolo, Dominique A. 2001 Ancient Maya Cave Use in the Y alahau Region, Northern Quintana R oo, Mexico. Ph.D. Disserta tion, Department of A nthropology, University of California, Riverside. 2005 Beneath the Y alahau: E merging Patterns of An cient May Ritual Cave Use from Northern Quintana Roo, Mexico. In In the Maw of the Earth Monster: Mesoamerican Ritual Cave Use edited by James E. Brady and Keith M. Prufer, pp. 342-372, University of T exas Press, Austin. Scott, Ann Marie 2009 Communicating with the Sacred Earthscape: An E thnoarchaeological Investigation of Kaqchikel Maya Ceremonies in H ighland Guatemala, Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of A nthropology, University of T exas, Austin. Sexton, James D. 1999 Ancient Maya Folktales: Folklore from Lake Ati tln, Guatemala. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque. Sosa, John Robert 1985 T he Maya Sky, T he Maya World: A Symbolic A nalysis of Y ucatec Maya Cosmology. Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of A nthropology, State University of New Y ork at Albany, New Y ork. Stone, Andrea J. 1995 Images from the Underworld: Naj Tunich and the Tradition of Maya Cave Painting University of T exas Press, Austin. 2005 A Cognitive Approach to Artifact Distribution in Caves in the Maya Area. In In the Maw of the Earth Monster: Mesoamerican Ritual Cave Use edited by James E. Brady and Keith M. Prufer, pp. 249-268, University of T exas Press, Austin.
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 8 Moyes 110 T edlock, Barbara 1992 Time and the Highland Maya, Revised Edition University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque. Vogt, Evon Z., and David Stuart 2005 Some Notes on R itual Caves A mong the A ncient and Modern Maya. In In the Maw of the Earth Monster: Mesoamerican Ritual Cave Use edited by James E. Brady and Keith M. Prufer, pp. 155-185, University of T exas Press, Austin. Von Schwerin, Jennifer. 2011 T he Sacred Mountain in Social Context. Symbolism and History in Maya Architecture: T emple 22 at Co pan, Honduras. Ancient Mesoamerica 22:271-300. Webster, David 1998 Classic Maya Architecture: Implications and Com parisons. In Function and Meaning in Classic Maya Architecture: A Symposium at Dumbarton Oaks, 7 th and 8 th October 1994 edited by Stephen Houston, pp. 5-48, Dumbarton O aks R esearch Library and Collection, Washington, D.C. Wilson, Richard 1990 Mountain Spirits and Maize: Catholic Conversion and R enovation of T raditions among the Qeqchi of Guatemala, Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, The Lon don School of Economics, University of London.
111 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 9 Stemp et al. 9 A Green O bsidian E ccentric from A ctun Uayazba Kab, Belize W. James Stemp, Christophe G. B. Helmke, Jaime J. A we, T ristan Carter, and Sarah Grant Introduction Green obsidian artifacts, although comparatively un part. Based on their distinctive translucent bottle green to green-black to a chatoyant shimmering golden-green color (Ponomarenko 2004: 79), these artifacts are usually assigned to the Pachuca source in Central Mexico and have been primarily sourced visually (Santley 1983; Spence 1996; Moholy-Nagy 1999, 2003; Moholy-Nagy and Nelson 1990: 71). T he Pachuca source has been variously known as Sierra de Pachuca, Sierra de las Navajas, Cerro de las Navajas, Cruz del Milagro, Huasca, Cerro de Minillas, El Ocote, and zone is now recognized as being composed of numerous sub-source areas (see T enorio et al. 1998; Argote-Espino et al. 2012). Moreover, green obsidian may also originate from T ulancingo (El Pizzarin) or, less likely, Rancho T enango, although this material is distinguished by a coarser texture and generally opaque black or grey coloring with a green tinge (Cobean et al. 1991: 74-75; Spence 1996: 22). Green obsidian artifacts recovered throughout Meso america, most commonly in Central Mexico, are typically thin lanceolate bifaces, thin stemmed bifaces, prismatic blades, and small eccentrics (Santley 1983; Spence 1967, 1996; T olstoy 1971; see Clark 1986: 64). T hroughout the Maya lowlands, they have been found at a number of sites, both large and small, in almost all regions ( F igure 1), including southern Mexico and the Y ucatan Peninsula Becan (Rovner 1975; Rovner and Lewenstein 1997: 30, 39), T onina (Sheets 1977: 147), Edzna (Nelson et al. 1983), Dzibilchaltun (Rovner and Lewenstein 1997: 40), Chichen Itza (Rovner 1975: 107-108; Braswell and Glascock 2002), Isla Cerritos (Andrews et al. 1989: 361, T able 4; Braswell and Glascock 2002), and Mayapan (Proskouriakoff 1962: 369ff); throughout Guatemala T ikal (Coe 2008: 34; MoholyNagy 1975; Moholy-Nagy and Nelson 1990; Moholy-Nagy et al. 1984), Uaxactun (Kidder 1947: 10-11, 15, 24; Smith 1950: 104), Piedras Negras ( H ruby 2006), El Mirador (Nel son and Howard 1986), Cancuen (Kovacevich et al. 2007: 1242), Kaminaljuyu (Kidder et al. 1946: 31, 138, F ig. 157a, c, f), Balberta (Bove 1990; Carpio R. 1993), La Sufricaya ( E strada-Belli 2003: 13), and Dos Pilas (Palka 1997); in Belize Chaac Mool H a (Braswell 2007: 104, 106), Nohmul (Hammond 1985; Hammond et al. 1987), Pacbitun (Healy 1990: 259-260, 1992), A ltun H a (Pendergast 1971, 1979, 1990: Figs. 120-122), Caracol (Chase and Chase 2011: 10, F igs. 4-5, 12), Marco Gonzalez (Graham and Pendergast 1989), Wild Cane Cay (McKillop 1989: 45-46), and Pu silha (Braswell et al. 2008: 58, Fig. 5); and into Honduras at Copan (Aoyama 1999, 2001a; Webster 1999), to name but a few. At these sites, green obsidian artifacts have most frequently been dated to either the Early Classic (AD 250 550) or the T erminal Classic to Early Postclassic transition ( A D 900 1200); however, some examples are known from other time periods as well. The Early Classic specimens are attributed to the interaction of the lowland Maya with the central Mexican site of T eotihuacan, whereas those dated to the later periods are primarily the result of socio-economic and socio-political relationships with the so-called T oltec populations via the Y ucatan Peninsula ( A ndrews et al. 1989; Pendergast 1990, 2003; Spence 1996; Cobean 2002: 41; Braswell 2003; Pastrana and Domnguez 2009). piedmont are prismatic blades and stemmed bifaces of vari ous types excavated from ritual deposits such as burials and caches (Spence 1996). Nevertheless, at T ikal and Balberta, green obsidian blades have been recovered from domestic contexts, in addition to caches and graves (Demarest and Foais 1993: 164) and, at Copan, the majority of the green obsidian is found in domestic middens and construction cores. Most of these blades were used for basic utilitarian tasks based on microwear analysis ( A oyama 1999: 107). However, green obsidian eccentrics are much rarer, having only been found at T ikal and Altun Ha, and green obsidian artifacts of any kind recovered from cave contexts are almost unheard of. Exceptional cases include the proximal end of a green obsidian blade that was recovered from Glenwood Cave in the Sibun Valley of Belize (Peterson 2006: 72), and the two green obsidian bifaces or points recovered from T iger Cave in the Sibun Valley (Peterson 2006: 72-73, Fig. 4.2) and Midnight T error Cave in the Roaring Creek Works of Western Belize (Brady 2009). T ypically, eccentrics of both chert and obsidian are recovered in association with stelae, altars or temples in dedicatory caches, although they may also, but rarely, be found as grave goods ( H ruby 2007: 76; Iannone 1992: 252-253; Iannone and Conlon 1993: 81; Meadows 2001:
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 9 Stemp et al. 112 73, T able 3.1, 83, T able 3.2, 90, T able 3.3; see Pendergast 1971, 1979, 1990). A t Colha, some chert eccentrics were found in workshop mid dens and in some domestic contexts, but most of these are fragmentary and may have been discarded pieces (Meadows 2001: 83). Eccen trics in caves are essentially unheard of, with the exception of the chert eccentric found at Naj T unich (Brady 1989: 310, 311, F ig. 6.16a). Consequently, the discovery of a small eccentric made from Central Mexican green obsidian at Actun Uayazba Kab, a limestone cave in the Roaring Creek Valley of the Cayo District of west-central Belize, is highly remarkable. Description of Actun Uayazba Kab The site of Actun Uayazba Kab was dis covered as part of the investigations of the Western Belize Regional Cave Project in the upper Roaring Creek Valley, under the direc tion of Jaime A we, in 1996. A ctun Uayazba Kab has the distinction of being the cave that exhibits that greatest degree of variation in rock art, discovered to date, in a single site in Belize. Included in the sites corpus are negative handprints, pictographs rendered in charcoal, crude sculptures executed on spele othems, a row of petroglyphic footprints carved petroglyphs and a series of simple petroglyphic faces that accentuate the orbits and buccal areas (see Helmke and A we 1998, 2001; Helmke et al. 2003). Actun Uayazba Kab, is located just over 500 m south of the by now well-known A ctun T unichil Mucnal, and approximately 400 meters west of Cahal Uitz Na. The latter is a large surface site containing several slate and limestone monuments (A we and Helmke 1998; Conlon and Ehret 1999; Helmke 2009: 261-282). T he entrance to A ctun Uayazba Kab consists of two interconnected chambers that are sub-divided by a large stalagmitic column ( F igure 2). O ne of these open chambers lies to the north and the other to the south of the column; they were designated as E ntrance 1 and Figure 1. Map of Maya sites mentioned in the article, with T eotihuacan and the Pachuca source in the Sierra de las Navajas shown. In the inset map circles rep resent caves and triangles surface sites (map by Christophe Helmke). 2 respectively. Both entrances face east. Since Entrances 1 and 2 penetrate less than 10 m into the cliff and since their ceilings are over 12 m high, most of the entrance area is illuminated by daylight, save for a few recessed alcoves and tunnels that are penumbral. Given the small surface area of the entrances, the cave broadly resembles a rock shelter more so than a cavern. T he only area of the cave that is devoid of all light is the interior of the cave proper that extends west of the stalagmitic column that divides the two entrances. Both entrances, particularly the northern entrance, were decorated with a variety of petroglyphs, sculpted faces, and small and dark chambers within the cave proper contain several pictographs that include schematic drawings, four negative hand prints, and torch tampings (see Helmke et al. 2003: 115, 117). T he concentration of cultural remains at the entrances to the cave suggests that these areas of the site were the focus of most prehistoric activity. A part from the pictographs and torch tampings and a cluster of faunal remains, few artifacts were discovered within the interior dark zone of the cave. The absence of artifacts in this area may be the result of the intensive looting in the years preceding our investigations, but
113 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 9 Stemp et al. excavation units (Units 1, 2, 8 and 9) were established in this alcove, which led to the discovery of 7 burials, that can be described as inhumations, although these may represent 1999). As part of the excavations it was found that the northern entrance of Actun Uayazba thereby architecturally accommodating the eccentric obsidian was peripherally associated with Burial 98-2 and was found in Level 4 (be extension of Excavation Unit 8 (see Ferguson and Gibbs 1999: 119). A nalysis of the skeletal remains found that Burial 98-2 was a primary interment of an adult woman, approximately 20 years of age. The body was laid in a prone, hands crossed at the pelvis, and head facing northeast ( F erguson and Gibbs 1999: 119). A lthough the archaeological features of the alcove were not directly associated with any rock art, it is noteworthy that a simple pecked face, designated as Petroglyph 21, was found directly overlooking the area in question (see H elmke and A we 1998: 158-159, F ig. 8; H elmke et al. 2003: 119). The Eccentric T he eccentric is made on a medial prismatic blade segment of translucent green obsidian (Figure 3). The segment is trapezoidal in sec tion. Based on the ripples of force associated with conchoidal fracture when the blade was originally punched from a polyhedral core, the prongs of the eccentric are on the proximal end of the artifact, whereas the rounded, circular Figure 2. Plan of A ctun Uayazba Kab showing the distribution of excavation units (plan by Christophe Helmke). The faunal remains may also represent natural deposition rather than cultural features, thereby reinforcing the impres sion that prehistoric cultural activities were concentrated at the entrance to the cave. In keeping with the patterning noted, the eccentric was found as part of excavations of the northern Entrance 1. Context of Discovery T he eccentric was in the northwestern alcove of the northern of the two entrances to the site within the penum bral area of the cave. This is a transitional space between the light and dark zones of the cave. The area was a focus of excavation efforts since initial reconnaissance of the site fragmentary human remains were clearly visible in the as sociated spoil heaps. T hereafter, during formal investigations at the site between 1997 and 1998 a series of 4 contiguous portion represents the distal end. In terms of its dimensions, the eccentric is 16.1 mm long; the maximum width of the distal end or head is 9.9 mm, the maximum width for the proximal end or tail is 11.0 mm. The maximum thickness of the distal end or head is 1.5 mm; whereas the maximum thickness for the proximal end or tail is 1.3 mm. The seg ment was produced from a blade before it was perforated or any edge retouch was undertaken. E dge retouch is bifacial, for the most part. T he blade surfaces to transform it into its current form. The notching is bifacial for the sides, but unifacial for the proximal end in the middle of the blade segment body was not ground or drilled. Instead, the perforation was most likely initially created using a punch, despite the risk of snapping the blade likely using a pressure, or possibly indirect percussion,
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 9 Stemp et al. 114 unidirectional around the circumference of the hole based is present on the dorsal surface. It is possible that the dorsal surface of the blade segment was partially ground or was must have been created such that some exposed edges were T his technique is likely similar to that described by medial segments of green obsidian blades at Kaminaljuyu (Sheets 1977: 142) The technical skill involved in obsidian production, in cluding the manufacture of eccentrics, is argued to be quite high ( H ruby 2007: 74-76; see also Meadows 2001: 133) and Figure 3. The eccentric found in Actun Uayazba Kab. a) dorsal side; b) ventral side (scans by W. James Stemp, drawings by Christophe Helmke). Figure 4. Examples of so-called knuckle-duster eccentrics. a) Three individuals wielding trident eccentrics (highlighted), detail of Lintel 2, T emple 3 (Str. 5D-3-1 st ), T ikal (drawing by William Coe). b) Chert eccentric from Altun Ha, Belize (drawing by Amy B. Henderson, published in Whittaker 1994: 48, Fig. 3.20).
115 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 9 Stemp et al. is well demonstrated by the work of Gene T itmus (T itmus and Woods 2003); however, the eccentric from Actun Uay to make for a reasonably good knapper assuming s/he was not responsible for initial core preparation and maintenance or platform preparation of the core from which the blade used to make the eccentric was struck (see Hruby 2007: 74; creation of the hole in the center of the eccentric. This ec centric is clearly not as elaborate as some of the intricately Copan (Morley 1956: 421, Pl. 102e; Agurcia Fasquelle and F ash 1991) or some of the large chert specimens from A ltun H a, Colha, and Lamanai (Meadows 2001). In fact, most eccentrics produced on obsidian tend to be relatively small in their execution compared to others ( e.g. Coe 1959, 2008; H ruby 2007; Iannone 1992; Coe 2008). E xcellent examples of this on green obsidian are the so-called little green men from Altun Ha (Pendergast 1971, 2003: 238-240, Fig. 9.1). Despite this observation, the esoteric knowledge and possibly ritualized nature of obsidian eccentric production was likely passed down from craft-person to craft-person and may have been closely guarded within particular workshops from the rest of the population, perhaps in association with status differentiation (Hruby 2006; 2007: 71-74; see Clark 1989: 305 for Lakantun Maya arrowhead production). As stated by Meadows (2001: 133): The iconography embodied in these forms illustrates that  crafters possessed an intimate knowledge of the linkages between their own surroundings, important historical events, and the cosmological underpin nings of the Maya universe. In relation to better-known eccentrics found at other lowland Maya sites, the one from Actun Uayazba Kab can eccentrics, which entail a perforated circle that is topped by a series of pointed prongs or triangular serrations (see Meadows 2001: 160, Ill. 5.1, 161) (Figure 4). At T ikal, this type of eccentric has been labeled as T ype 4A (see MoholyNagy 2008: Figs. 1-26; also see Coe 1959: 21, Fig. 18d for Piedras Negras; Morley 1956: 421, Pl. 102a for El Palmar) and examples are known of this type of eccentric in Classic Maya iconography (F ollet 1932: F igs. 31, 32; Morley 19371938: 226-234, 1956: 394, Pl. 91; Ricketson and Ricketson 1937: F ig. 118h; Satterthwaite 1954: F ig. 11). Somewhat similar forms from Northern Belize are also classed as barbed and serrated rings (Meadows 2001:165-166). If this comparison is viable, this would imply that the example from A ctun Uayazba Kab is essentially a miniature form, or Nevertheless, the possibility remains that the A ctun Uayazba Kab eccentric may be better related to another artifact class entirely. In particular, the eccentric can be aptly compared to a particular set of small shell adornos that essentially seem to represent the frames of Day Sign cartouches of the Tzolkin calendar (Figure 5a). Artifactual examples have been found at several Maya sites, including San Jos (Thompson 1939: 177, Fig. 94k, 181) and Altun H a (David Pendergast, personal communication, 1999). Possibly due to the fragility of these shell adornos wellpreserved examples are from several caves sites, including the Laberinto de las T arntulas and Petroglyph Cave ( H elmke 2009: 230, Fig. 4.17a-d) (Figure 5b-c). Previous analyses of eccentrics of both chert and obsidian have led to suggestions that these artifacts are ceremonial items that served multiple functions in Maya ideological and religious systems (Iannone 1992; Meadows 2001; H ruby 2007). Iannone (1992: 249-251; Iannone and Conlon 1993: 82; see Schele and Miller 1986: 49, 73) has argued that these artifacts are symbolic depictions of ancestors and gods and, as such, were used to represent a rulers bloodline and were temples or near stelae. Similarly, H elmke (1996), Meadows (2001: 239-241), and H ruby (2006, 2007: 68) have suggested based on his analysis of the large chert eccentrics from Northern Belize, Meadows (2001: 241) posits a number of additional possible uses for eccentrics based on their forms, particular events, abstract representations of Maya cultural aesthetics, and ritual weaponry. Using a Unitron MS-2BD metallographic microscope, we conducted an examination of the eccentric for traces of use-related wear and residues to potentially shed some light ritual activity. In his work, Meadows (2001: 259-260), using SEM and electron-dispersive spectrometry, found evidence of textile fragments and mineral residues on a small number Figure 5. Possible epigraphic and artifactual counterparts to the eccentric from Actun Uayazba Kab. a) T he frame of Day Sign cartouche of the Tzolkin calendar, T emple 19, Palenque; b) shell adorno from the Laberinto de las T arntulas; c) matching artifact from Petroglyph cave; d) logogram T628, T emple 19, Palenque; e) logogram T543, Naranjo Stela 21; f) wax, hive, T emple of the Cross, Palenque; g) the name of a quasi-supernatural entity nicknamed Casper, possibly spelled T emple 21, Palenque (drawings by Christophe Helmke).
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 9 Stemp et al. 116 of chert eccentrics, which led him to conclude that at least some eccentrics were wrapped or bundled in fabric prior to deposition and that some were decorated (colored or painted) and therefore contained much more detail than observed on the examples in their current states (see also A gurcia F asquelle and F ash 1991). A s such, all surfaces of the green obsidian eccentric were examined under both low (40x) and possible presence of similar organic or inorganic residues. Both the dorsal and ventral surfaces of the eccentric possess large quantities of variably-sized, multi-directional sleeks and striations. Long, short, deep, shallow, wide, narrow striations all cross-cut one another in various directions that had no clear directional patterns emerge. Coupled with the presence of fairly severe pitting and edge attrition randomly distributed across both surfaces, it appears the wear on this artifact is the result of the post-depositional environment, most likely due to contact with the cave sediment and pedestrian 2001: 122, 241-242, 244; T ringham et al. 1974: 182, Fig. 6, 192; Vaughan 1985: 25; see Lvi-Sala 1986, 1993). Some of on the eccentric. Whether some of this sediment contains or masks the presence of other residues or pigments is not known at this time. There are some very small patches of polished/rounded surface on the eccentric, which might indi cate contact with a slightly softer material, perhaps hide, but elemental characterization of the artifact was conducted at the McMaster Archaeological XRF Lab [MAX Lab] as part of a larger study of obsidian assemblages from Maya sites in Belize. The analysis was undertaken using energy non-destructive technique that is rapid, relatively cheap, and capable of determining elemental concentrations at the the eccentric was analyzed by a Thermo QuantX EDXRF with distilled water for ten minutes. T he analytical protocols and methods follow those devised by Shackley (2005, ap pendix; Poupeau et al. 2010). of several geological samples from obsidian sources that were used by ancient Maya populations in Belize. T hese included the three major highland Guatemalan sources of E l Chayal, Ixtepeque, and San Martn Jilotepeque ( R o Pixcaya), as well as the central Mexican sources of Otumba and Pachuca. The distinctive high zirconium levels (1019 ppm) and low strontium (7 ppm) indicative of peralkaline obsidian (T able 1) allows the artifacts raw material to be ing a simple bivariate contents plot ( F igure 6). T he Pachuca source is now understood to comprise a number of spatially were recently discriminated elementally by ICP-MS analyses Figure 6. Bivariate Sr vs. Zr contents plot of the green eccentric (UK98O B-058) and geological samples from major Mesoamerican obsidian sources. the severity of the post-depositional scratching to interpret. T his evidence raises the possibility to clothing or a leather thong, but this cannot be unequivocally substantiated. Visual Sourcing and Elemental Characterization A lthough most green obsidian artifacts from the Maya area are visually sourced based on the physical characteristics of the stone from which they are made, there is more than one source of green obsidian in central Mexico and recently there have been attempts by archaeologists to determine intrasource variation among those obsidian for the eccentric from Actun Uayazba Kab is believed to be from the Pachuca source line raw material ( Argote Espino et al. 2012; Ponomarenko 2004); however, to be certain
117 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 9 Stemp et al. and multivariate statistics ( A rgoteE spino et al. 2012). Unfortunately, in keeping with the recent statement by A rgoteE spino et al. (2012: 49), it is not currently possible to achieve a successful separation of these sub-source materials through the use of XRF techniques (Figure 7). A lthough our E DX RF analyses failed to achieve chemical discrimination of the Pachuca sub-source materials there is an alternative ap proach with which we can attempt to at least remove some of the outcrops from consideration. Drawing on the analyses of Ponomarenko (2004), Argote-Espino et al. (2012) were able to determine that the distinctive green and gold obsidian from the Pachuca sub-sources El Zembo, Oyamental, El Durazno and Cruz del Milagro were associated with the Las Mi grey obsidian from the south-east side of the caldera derives from the Ixatla and El Horcn eccentrics distinctive green color allows us to eliminate the area of the south-east caldera and the basis of chemistry and visual appearance we thus believe the artifacts raw material to have derived from one of the sub-sources as the Western area of the Pachuca source (i.e., either E l Durazno, Cruz de Milagro, O yamental or El Zembo). Discussion Based on control over production and us age, eccentrics were often used by elites as divine status as rulers and in the Maya sociopolitical hierarchy (Iannone 1992: 253-254; Iannone and Conlon 1993: 82). T hey may have been involved in elaborate rituals whose main purpose was to recreate certain historical or mythical events that may have emphasized connections to the gods (see Meadows 2001). As noted by Hruby (2007: 72), This process Figure 7. Bivariate Sr vs. Zr contents plot of the green eccentric (UK98O B-058) and geological samples from the various sub-sources of the Sierra de Pachuca. Shell adornos in Classic Maya imagery and associated artifactual examples. a) Stela 21 at Naranjo; b) item regalia of Stela 21, Naranjo; c) shell adorno Uaxactun; d) shell adorno A ctun Uayazba Kab (a: drawing by Ian Graham; b-d: drawings by Christophe Helmke).
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 9 Stemp et al. 118 roles in the community and clarifying personhood and social identity (see also Clark and Houston 1998; Joyce 2001). However, the eccentric from Actun Uayazba Kab seems to deviate from these explanations to some degree. For one, a zoomorphic or anthropomorphic object; instead, it may depict a glyphic form. In fact, like the shell adornos to which the eccentric has been compared, a similar adorno is featured as a regalia item of Stela 21 at Naranjo (Graham and Von Euw 1975: 53) (Figure 8a-b; see also F igure 5e). The particular adorno featured on Stela 21 also shares the same form as the Day Sign cartouches ( F igure 5a), as well as the glyphs designated as T 543 and T 628 ( F igure 5d-f) ( T hompson 1962: 155, 452). In addition to the depiction at Naranjo, artifactual examples of precisely the same type of shell adorno have also been found at Uaxactun (Kidder 1947: Fig. 53d1; Weiss-Krejci, personal communication, 2011) and at Actun Uayazba Kab itself ( F igure 8c-d). Considering the contexts in which glyphs T 543 and T 628 occur in Maya writing, it is clear that these should be segregated and treated as separate signs, with T628 serving as the logogram KIK blood (Figure 5d) (Stuart 2002). Recently, Ukrainian epigrapher Y uri Polyukhovich (personal communication, 2011) has suggested that the T543 glyph represented in these adornos may represent a stylized beehive, read chab wax, hive. Part of the evidence rests on the spelling of the name of a mythical or quasi-supernatural entity cited in the texts of Palenque, which takes as its initial phonetic complement the syllabogram cha ( F igure 5f). Intriguingly, the name of this T 543 glyph, and a head variant form depicting an entity with elongated lips ( F igure 5g). A ccording to Polyukhovich, this lips, or aptly enough, proboscis. But unlike Polyukhovich, we see the geometric form of T543 as a pars pro toto element representing the diagnostic buccal element of this mythic entity from Palenque, rather than a beehive per se. Whereas both the chab (T543) and kik (T628) readings each have their own merit, it remains unclear which of these glyphs more likely corresponds to the form of the eccentric. For conveyed in its very form a glyph, which to the initiated reader conveyed a message that was intrinsic to its use and likely reinforced connotations that were intimately tied to its original owner. Clearly, the material from which this eccentric was made from Central Mexico, but it is an important color for the Maya. T he color of green obsidian likely held important sociopolitical and ceremonial meaning to the Maya, perhaps due to its connection to T eotihuacan and other symbols of its power, such as T eotihuacan-style ceramic vessels (see Sharer 1983: 255). Green is also associated with the center of the world in the codices of the Y ukatek Maya (Miller and T aube 1993: 65) and, in the case of jade objects, has symbolic connections to fertility, agriculture and maize, as well as the world tree which connects the three levels of the Maya universe (T aube 2005: 25). Conclusion How the green peralkaline eccentric made its way into H owever, our multi-method approach to analyzing this single important artifact has provided a substantial number of clues that render suppositions about its use by the ancient Maya more than wild speculation. If we consider its context of recovery, the technology of its manufacture, damage to its surface, its symbolic and ideological meaning, and the mate rial from which it was made there is much that we do know about this object. Caves were places of extreme importance to the Maya, symbolizing both life and death, as well as be ing intimately connected with fertility, agriculture, and the emergence of maize. T hey were entrances to the underworld and places of creation, and where ritual practitioners and other religious specialists went to commune with ancestors and the supernatural realm (Bassie-Sweet 1991:79; Brady and Prufer 2005; MacLeod and Puleston 1978: 73; Moyes 2007; Moyes et al. 2009; Prufer and Brady 2005; Prufer and Kindon 2005: 26-28; T edlock 1996; Thompson 1970:268; Vogt 1969: 387). A rtifacts recovered from caves are typically viewed and used in ways that were somehow different from similar objects found at surface sites. Eccentrics are prestige goods typically associated with royal or elite use and are almost always found in cache de posits or other ceremonially meaningful locations/contexts for the veneration of ancestors (Helmke 1996; Hruby 2007: 68; Iannone 1992; Iannone and Colon 1993; Meadows 2001; see Hodder 1982). The connection between status and elite utilization of the cave is reinforced by the glyphic form of H owever, the reading of the glyph provides yet another level of interpretation, particularly one that reinforces the ritual nature of its function. If, in fact, it is meant to be a representation of the glyph for blood ( KIK ), this would Maya used lancets made from obsidian to pierce various gods. This was undertaken during religious rituals, often in caves, as attested to by multiple sources of evidence ( A oyama 2001b; A we et al. 2005; Colas et al. 2000; Pendergast 1974; Stemp and A we n.d.). T races of use-wear on the artifact offer the possibility that it may have been carried in a pouch or tied to a leather thong possibly as an ornament worn by a shaman or other religious practitioner during rituals. Whether this may have been for display or other symbolic or supernatural reasons cannot be known for sure. T hat the eccentric is made from green obsidian may also suggest that status differentiations were involved in the cave rituals ultimately resulting in the inhumation of the woman in Burial 98-2. The acquisition of green obsidian, as a long
119 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 9 Stemp et al. distance trade good from Central Mexico, was undoubtedly malan highlands (Spence 1996), providing both economic and social value. Based on ethnographic evidence both political status and ritual/religious status may be connected through strict hierarchical ordering and ascribed status (Villa Rojas 1985: 420-421). A s such, for very important rituals, involving requests of rain from the gods or ancestors, high status men rituals in caves (see also Bartolom 1978: 78). Moreover the color of the eccentric likely connects it to ideas about fertility, water, maize, and life as elements in an intricate web of ideological and symbolic meaning. When considering all the information generated through multi-method analysis of this artifact, it is clear that the green obsidian eccentric from Actun Uayazba Kab was a powerfully charged object in the lives of the ancient Maya. Acknowledgments F irst and foremost we would like to extend our gratitude to the Belize Institute of Archaeology for its continued and unwavering support of our research, as well as for issuing the research permits allowing excavations at A ctun Uayazba Kab for the 1997 through 1999 seasons. The excavations Social Sciences and H umanities R esearch Council of Cananda. We would like to acknowledge that the Guatemalan and Mexican source samples were generously provided by Prof. Mike Glascock and Dr. Denise A rgoteE spino, respectively. In addition, we thank Estella Weiss-Krejci for reminding us about the Uaxactun adorno and Y uri Polyukhovich for his comments on the T543 and T628 glyphs. References Cited Agurcia Fasquelle, Ricardo and William L. Fash 1991 Maya Artistry Unearthed. National Geographic 180(3): 94-106. Andrews, E. Wyllys IV 1970 Balankanche, Throne of the Tiger Priest Publica tion 32, Middle A merican R esearch Institute, T ulane University, New Orleans. Andrews, Anthony P., Frank Asaro, Helen V. Michel, Fred H. Stross, and Pura Cervera Rivero. 1989 The Obsidian T rade at Isla Cerritos, Y ucatan, Mex ico. Journal of Field Archaeology 16: 355-363. Aoyama, Kazuo 1999 Ancient Maya State, Urbanism, Exchange, and Craft Specialization: Chipped StoneEvidence from the Copn Valley and the La Entrada Region, Hon duras. Memoirs in Latin A merican A rchaeology No. 12, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh. 2001a Classic Maya State, Urbanism, and E xchange: Chipped Stone E vidence of the Copn Valley and Its Hinterland. American Anthropologist 103: 346360. 2001b R itos de plebeyos mayas en la Cueva Gordon no. 3 de Copn (Honduras) durante el periodo Clsico: A nlisis de las microhuellas de uso sobre la litica menor de obsidiana. Mayab 14: 5-16. Argote-Espino, Denise, Jesus Sole, Pedro Lopez-Garcia, and Osvaldo Sterpone Pachuca O tumba Volcanic R egions, Central Mexico, by ICP-MS DBSCAN Statistical Analysis. Geoar chaeology 27: 48-62. 2005 Stelae and Megalithic Monuments in the Caves of Western Belize. In In the Maw of the Earth Monster: Mesoamerican Ritual Cave Use edited by James E. Brady and Keith M. Prufer, pp. 223-248. University of T exas Press, Austin. A we, Jaime J. and Christophe G. B. Helmke 1998 Preliminary R eport on the R econnaissance of Cahal Uitz Na, R oaring Creek Valley, Cayo District, Belize. In The Western Belize Regional Cave Proj ect: A Report of the 1997 Field Season edited by Jaime J. A we, pp. 205-221. Occasional Paper No. 1, Department of Anthropology, University of New Hampshire, Durham. Bartolom, Miguel Alberto 1978 The Medicine Men Speak: Stories of Mayan Sha mans of Y ucatan. Latin American Indian Literatures 2: 78-84. Bassie-Sweet, Karen 1991 From the Mouth of the Dark Cave: Commemora tive Sculpture of the Late Classic Maya University of Oklahoma Press, Norman. Bove, Frederick J. 1990 T he T eotihuacan-KaminaljuyuT ikal Connection: A View from the South Coast of Guatemala. In Sixth Palenque Round Table, 1986 edited by Merle Greene Robertson and Virginia M. F ields, pp. 135-142. Uni versity of Oklahoma Press, Norman. Brady, James E. 1989 An Investigation of Maya Ritual Cave Use with Special Reference to Naj T unich, Peten, Guatemala. Ph.D. dissertation, A rchaeology Program, University of California, Los Angeles. 2009 Midnight Terror Cave: Report 2009 Season Belmopan, Belize. Brady, James E. and Keith M. Prufer 2005 Maya Cave A rchaeology: A New Look at R eligion and Cosmology. In Stone Houses and Earth Lords: Maya Religion in the Cave Context edited by Keith M. Prufer and James E Brady, pp. 365-379. University of Colorado Press, Boulder. Braswell, Geoffrey E. 2003 Introduction: Reinterpreting Early Classic Interac tion. In The Maya and Teotihuacan: Reinterpreting Early Classic Interaction edited by Geoffrey E. Bras well, pp.1-43. University of T exas Press, Austin. 2007 T he O bsidian A rtifacts of Pooks H ill, Belize (1999-2005). In The Belize Valley Archaeological
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 9 Stemp et al. 120 Reconnaissance Project: A Report of the 2006 Field Season edited by Christophe G. B. H elmke and Jaime J. A we, pp. 101-118. Institute of Archaeology, Na tional Institute of Culture and History, Belmopan. Braswell, Geoffrey E., Cassandra R. Bill, and Christian M. Prager 2008 E xchange, Political R elations, and R egional Interaction: The Ancient City of Pusilh in the Late Classic Maya World. Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology 5: 51-62. Braswell, Geoffrey E., Christian M. Prager, Cassandra R. Bill, and Sonja Schwake 2004 Recent Archaeological and Epigraphic Research at Pusilha, Belize: R eport of the 2001 and 2002 F ield Seasons. Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology 1: 333-345. Braswell, Geoffrey E. and Michael D. Glascock 2002 The Emergence of Market Economies in the An cient Maya World: Obsidian Exchange in T erminal Classic Y ucatan, Mexico In Geochemical Evidence for Long-Distance Exchange edited by Michael D. Glascock, pp. 33-52. Bergin and Garvey, Westport. Carpio R., Edgar H. 1993 Obsidian at Balberta. In The Balberta Project: The Terminal Formative-Early Classic Transi edited by Frederick Bove, Sonia Medrano Busto, Brenda Lou P., and Barbara Arroyo L., pp. 83-106. Memoirs in Latin A merican A rchaeology No. 6, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh. Chase, Arlen F and Diane Z. Chase 2011 Status and Power: Caracol, T eotihuacan, and the Early Classic Maya World. Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology 10: 1-18. Clark, John E. 1986 F rom Mountains to Molehills: A Critical View of T eotihuacans Obsidian Industry. In Research in Economic Anthropology Supplement 2, edited by Barry L. Isaac, pp. 23-74. JAI Press, Greenwich. 1989 O bsidian: T he Primary Mesoamerican Sources. In: La obsidiana en Mesoamrica edited by Margarite Gaxiola G. and John E Clark, pp. 299-319. Instituto Nacional de Antropologa e Historia, Mxico, D.F Clark, John E. and Stephen D. Houston 1998 Craft Specialization, Gender, and Personhood A mong the Post-conquest Maya of Y ucatan, Mexico. In Craft and Social Identity edited by Cathy L. Costin and R ita P. Wright, pp. 31-46. A rchaeological Papers of the A merican A nthropological A ssociation, 8, American Anthropological Association, Arlington. Cobean, Robert H. 2002 A World of Obsidian: The Mining and Trade of a Volcanic Glass in Ancient Mexico Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia, Mexico City. Cobean, Robert H., James R. Vogt, Michael D. Glascock, and T errance L. Stocker 1991 H igh-Precision T raceE lement Characterization of Major Mesoamerican Obsidian Sources and Further A nalyses of A rtifacts from San Lorenzo T enochtitlan, Mexico. Latin American Antiquity 2: 69-91. Coe, William R. 1959 Piedras Negras Archaeology: Artifacts, Caches, and Burials Museum Monographs, University Museum, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. 2008 Appendix 11: T ypology and Description of Flint and Obsidian Eccentrics and Incised Obsidians. In The Artifacts of Tikal: Ornamental and Ceremonial Artifacts and Unworked Material edited by Hat tula Moholy-Nagy. T ikal R eport No. 27, Part A University Museum Monograph 127, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthro pology, Philadelphia. Colas, Pierre R., Philip Reeder, and James Webster 2000 The Ritual Use of a Cave on the Northern Vaca Plateau, Belize, Central America. Journal of Cave and Karst Studies 62: 3-10. Conlon, James M. and Jennifer J. Ehret 1999 Survey at the Major Center of Cahal Uitz Na, Cayo District, Belize. In The Western Belize Regional Cave Project: A Report of the 1998 Field Season edited by Jaime J. A we, pp. 33-44. Occasional Paper No. 2, Department of Anthropology, University of New Hampshire, Durham. Crabtree, Don E. 1968 Mesoamerican Polyhedral Cores and Prismatic Blades. American Antiquity 33: 446-478. Demarest, Arthur A. and Antonia E. Foias 1993 Mesoamerican Horizons and the Cultural T rans formations of Maya Civilization. In Latin American Horizons: A Symposium at Dumbarton Oaks, 11 th and 12 th October 1986 edited by Don S. Rice, pp. 147-191. Dumbarton O aks R esearch Library and Collection, Washington, D.C. Estrada-Belli, Francisco 2003 Archaeological Investigations at Holmul, Peten, Guatemala: Preliminary Results of the Third Season, 2002 Vanderbilt University, Nashville. Ferguson, Josalyn M. and Sherry Gibbs 1999 R eport on the 1998 E xcavations at Actun Uay azba Kab, Roaring Creek Valley, Belize. In Western Belize Regional Cave Project: Report of the 1998 Field Season edited by Jaime J. A we, pp. 112-145. Department of A nthropology, O ccasional Papers No. 2, University of New Hampshire, Durham. Follet, Prescott, H.F 1932 War and Weapons of the Maya Middle American R esearch Institute, Publication 4, pp. 371-410. T ulane University, New Orleans. Gibbs, Sherry A. 1998 H uman Skeletal R emains from A ctun T unichil Muknal and Actun Uayazba Kab. In The Western Belize Regional Cave Project: A Report of the 1997 Field Season edited by Jaime J. A we, pp. 71-95. Department of Anthropology, Occasional Paper No.
121 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 9 Stemp et al. 1, University of New Hampshire, Durham. man Remains from the Caves of the Southern Maya Lowlands. M. A thesis, Department of A nthropology, T rent University, Peterborough. Graham, Elizabeth and David M. Pendergast 1989 Excavations at the Marco Gonzalez Site, Amber gris Cay, Belize, 1986. Journal of Field Archaeology 16: 1-16. Graham, Ian and Eric von Euw 1975 Corpus of Maya Hieroglyphic Inscriptions, Volume 2, Part 1: Naranjo Peabody Museum of A rchaeology and E thnology, H arvard University Press, Cambridge. 1998 E xcavations and Salvage O perations in A ctun T unichil Muknal and Actun Uayazba Kab, Roaring Creek Valley, Belize. In The Western Belize Regional Cave Project: A Report of the 1997 Field Season edited by Jaime J. A we, pp. 37-69. O ccasional Paper No. 1, Department of Anthropology, University of New Hampshire, Durham. Grove, David C. and Susan Gillespie 1984 Chalcatzingos Portrait Figurines and the Cult of the Ruler. Archaeology 37: 27-33. Hammond, Norman 1985 Nohmul: a Prehistoric Maya Community in Belize, Excavations 1973-1983 (2 vols.). International Series 250, British Archaeological Reports, Oxford. Hammond, Norman, Sara Donaghey, Colleen Gleason, J.C. Staneko, Dirk Van T uerenhout, and Laura J. Kosakowski 1987 Excavations at Nohmul, Belize, 1985. Journal of Field Archaeology 14: 257-281. Healy, Paul F 1990 Excavations at Pacbitun Belize: Preliminary Report on the 1986 and 1987 Investigations. Journal of Field Archaeology 17: 247-262. 1992 The Ancient Maya Ballcourt at Pacbitun, Belize. Ancient Mesoamerica 3: 229-239. Helmke, Christophe G.B. 1996 Classic Maya E ccentrics: A R eview. Unpublished thropology, McGill University, Montral. 2009 A ncient Maya Cave Usage as A ttested in the Glyphic Corpus of the Maya Lowlands and the Caves of the Roaring Creek Valley, Belize. Ph.D. disserta tion, Institute of A rchaeology, University College London, London. Helmke, Christophe G. B. and Jaime J. A we 1998 Preliminary Analysis of the Pictographs, Petro glyphs and Sculptures of Actun Uayazba Kab, Cayo District, Belize. In The Western Belize Regional Cave Project: A Report of the 1997 Field Season edited by Jaime J. A we, pp. 141-199. O ccasional Paper No. 1, Department of Anthropology, University of New Hampshire, Durham. 2001 New Interpretations of the Pictographs and Petro glyphs, A ctun Uayazba Kab, Belize: Implications for Ancient Maya Cave Rituals. Rock Art in Latin America 66 th A nnual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Chicago, April 20 th Helmke, Christophe G.B., Jaime J. A we, and Cameron S. 2003 El Arte Rupestre de Belice. Arte Rupestre de Mxico Oriental y Centro Amrica edited by Martin Knne and Matthias Strecker, pp. 97-117. Indiana Supplement 16, IberoA merikanisches Institut. Gebr. Mann Verlag, Berlin. Hodder, Ian 1982 Symbols in Action: Ethnoarchaeological Studies in Material Culture Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Hruby, Zachary X. 2006 The Organization of Chipped-Stone Economies at Piedras Negras, Guatemala. Ph.D. dissertation, University of California, Riverside. 2007 Ritualized Chipped-Stone Production at Piedras Negras, Guatemala. Archaeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association 17: 68-87. Iannnone, Gyles 1992 A ncient Maya E ccentric Lithics: A Contextual Analysis. M.A. thesis, T rent University, Peterbor ough. Iannone, Gyles and James M. Conlon 1993 Elites, Eccentrics and Empowerment in the Maya Area: Implications for the Interpretation of a Pe ripheral Settlement Cluster near Cahal Pech, Cayo District, Belize. Papers for the Institute of Archaeol ogy 4: 77-89. Joyce, Rosemary A. 2001 Gender and Power in Prehispanic Mesoamerica University of T exas Press, Austin. Kidder, Alfred V. 1947 The Artifacts of Uaxactun, Guatemala Publica tion No. 576. Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, D.C. Kidder, Alfred V., Jesse Jennings, and Erwin Shook 1946 Excavations at Kaminaljuyu, Guatemala Publi cation No. 561, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, D.C. Kovacevich, Brigitte, Margarita Cossich, Paola Duarte, and Fred Nelson 2007 La obsidiana de Cancuen: Produccin, distribucin y resultados de Difraccin de Rayos X. In XX Simpo sio de Investigaciones Arqueolgicas en Guatemala, 2006 edited by Juan Pedro Laporte, Brbara A rroyo, and H ctor E Meja, pp. 1240-1256. Museo Nacional de Arqueologa y Etnologa, Guatemala City. Lvi-Sala, Irene cation: A Word of Caution. Journal of Archaeological Science 13: 229-244. 1993 Use-Wear T races: Processes of Development and
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 9 Stemp et al. 122 Post-Depositional Alterations. In Traces et fonction: les gestes retrouvs edited by Patricia C. Anderson, Sylvie Beyries, Marcel O tte, and H ugues Plisson, pp. 401-416. Collge International de Lige, E ditions E raul 50, vol. 2, Centre de R echerches A rchologiques du CNRS, Etudes et Recherches Archologiques de lUniversit de Lige, Lige. MacLeod, Barbara and Dennis E. Puleston 1978 Pathways into Darkness: The Search for the Road to Xibalba. In Tercera Mesa Redonda de Palenque, Vol. 4 edited by Merle Greene R obertson and Donnan C. Jeffers, pp. 71-77. Herald Peters, Monterey. McKillop, Heather I. 1989 Coastal Maya T rade: Obsidian Densities at Wild Cane Cay. In Prehistoric Maya Economies of Belize edited by Patricia A. McAnany and Barry L. Isaac, pp. 17-56. R esearch in E conomic A nthropology, Supplement 4. JAI Press, Greenwich. Meadows, Richard 2001 Crafting Kawil: A Comparative A nalysis of Ancient Maya Symbolic Lithics from Three Sites in Northern Belize. Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Anthropology, University of T exas, Austin. Miller, Mary E. and Karl T aube 1993 An Illustrated Dictionary of the Gods and Sym bols of Ancient Mexico and the Maya Thames and Hudson, London. Moholy-Nagy, Hattula 1975 Obsidian at T ikal. Actas del XLI Congreso Inter nacional des Americanistas 1: 511-518. 1999 Mexican Obsidian at T ikal, Guatemala. Latin American Antiquity 10: 300-313. 2003 Source Attribution and the Utilization of Obsid ian in the Maya Area. Latin American Antiquity 14: 301-310. 2008 The Artifacts of Tikal: Ornamental and Ceremonial Artifacts and Unworked Material T ikal Report No. 27, Part A University Museum Monograph 127. University of Pennsylvania Museum of A rchaeology and Anthropology, Philadelphia. Moholy-Nagy, Hattula, Frank Asaro, and Fred Stross 1984 T ikal Obsidian: Sources and T ypology. American Antiquity 49: 104-117. Moholy-Nagy, Hattula and Fred Nelson 1990 New Data on Sources of O bsidian from T ikal, Guatemala. Ancient Mesoamerica 1: 71-80. Morley, Sylvanus G. 1937-38 The Inscriptions of Peten Publication 437 (5 vols.), Carnegie Institution of Washington, Wash ington, D.C Morley, Sylvanus G. and George W. Brainerd 1956 The Ancient Maya Third edition, Stanford Uni versity Press, Stanford. Moyes, Holley 2007 T he Late Classic Drought Cult R itual A ctivity as a R esponse to Environmental Stress among the Ancient Maya. In Cult in Context: Reconsidering Ritual in Archaeology edited by David Barrow clough and Caroline Malone, pp. 217-228. Oxbow Books, Oxford. Moyes, Holley, Jaime J. A we, George A. Brook, and James W. Webster 2009 T he A ncient Maya Drought Cult: Late Classic Cave Use in Belize. Latin American Antiquity 20: 175-206. Nelson, Fred W. and David S. Howard 1986 Trace Element Analysis of Obsidian Artifacts from El Mirador, Guatemala Note No. 3, New World Ar chaeological F oundation, Brigham Y oung University, Provo, Utah. Nelson, Fred, D. Phillips and A. Barrera Rubio 1983 T race E lement A nalysis of O bsidian A rtifacts from the Northern Maya Lowlands. In Investigations at Edzn, Campeche, Mexico, Volume 1, Part 1: The Hydraulic System edited by R ay T Matheny, Deanne L. Gurr, Donald W. Forsyth, and Richard F Hauck, pp. 204-219. Paper No. 46, New World Archaeologi cal Foundation, Provo. Palka, Joel 1997 R econstructing Classic Maya Socioeconomic Differentiation and the Collapse at Dos Pilas, Peten, Guatemala. Ancient Mesoamerica 8: 293-306. Pastrana, Alejandro and Silvia Domnguez 2009 Cambios en la estrategia de la exploitacin de la obsidian de Pachuca: T eotihuacan, T ula y la T riple Alianza. Ancient Mesoamerica 20: 129-148. Pendergast, David M. 1971 E vidence of E arly T eotihuacan-Lowland Maya Contact at Altun Ha. American Antiquity 36: 455460. 1974 Excavations at Actun Polbilche, Belize Archae ology Monograph, No. 1, Royal Ontario Museum, T oronto. 1979 Excavations at Altun Ha, Belize 1964-1970 Vol. 1, Royal Ontario Museum, T oronto. 1982 Excavations at Altun Ha, Belize 1964-1970 Vol. 2, Royal Ontario Museum, T oronto. 1990 Excavations at Altun Ha, Belize, 1964-1970 Vol. 3, Royal Ontario Museum, T oronto. 2003 T eotihuacan at A ltun H a: Did It Make a Difference? In The Maya and Teotihuacan: Reinterpreting Early Classic Interactio n, edited by Geoffrey E Braswell, pp. 235-247. University of T exas Press, Austin. Peterson, Polly A. 2006 Ancient Maya Ritual Cave Use in the Sibun Val ley, Belize. Ph.D. dissertation, Boston University, Boston. Ponomarenko, Allyson Lighthart 2004 The Pachuca Obsidian Source, Hidalgo, Mexico: A Geoarchaeological Perspective. Geoarchaeology 19: 71-91.
123 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 9 Stemp et al. 2010 T he Use of SE M-E DS, PIXE and E DXRF for Ob sidian Provenance Studies in the Near East: A Case Study from Neolithic atalhyk (Central A natolia). Journal of Archaeological Science 37: 2705-2720. Proskouriakoff. T atiana 1962 The Artifacts of Mayapan. In Mayapan. Yucatan, Mexico edited by Harry E. D. Pollock, Ralph Roys, T atiana Proskouriakoff, and A. Ledyard Smith, pp. 321-442. Publication 619, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, D.C. Prufer, Keith M. and James E. Brady 2005 Introduction: Religion and Role of Caves in Low land Maya Archaeology. In Stone Houses and Earth Lords: Maya Religion in the Cave Context edited by Keith M. Prufer and James E. Brady, pp. 1-22. University of Colorado Press, Boulder. Prufer, Keith M. and Andrew Kindon 2005 Replicating the Sacred Landscape: The Chen at Muklebal Tzul. In Stone Houses and Earth Lords: Maya Religion in the Cave Context edited by Keith M. Prufer and James E Brady, pp. 25-46. University of Colorado Press, Boulder. Reilly, F Kent, III 1994 Visions to Another World: Art, Shamanism, and Political Power in Middle Formative Mesoamerica. Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Art History, Uni versity of T exas, Austin. Rice, Prudence M., Helen V. Michel, Frank Asaro, and Fred Stross 1985 Provenience A nalysis of O bsidian from the Central Peten Lakes Region, Guatemala. American Antiquity 50: 591-604. Ricketson, Oliver G, Jr., and Edith B. Ricketson 1937 Uaxactun, Guatemala, Group E 1926-1931 Publication 477, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, D.C. Rovner, Irwin 1975 Lithic Sequences of the Maya Lowlands. Ph.D. dissertation, Department of A nthropology, University of Wisconsin, Madison. Rovner, Irwin and Suzanne M. Lewenstein 1997 Maya Stone Tools of Dzibilchaltun, Yucatan, and Becan and Chicanna, Campeche Publication 65, Middle American Research Institute, T ulane Uni versity, New Orleans. Santley, Robert S. 1983 O bsidian T rade and T eotihaucan Influence in Mesoamerica. In Highland-Lowland Interaction in Mesoamerica. Interdisciplinary Approaches edited by Arthur G. Miller, pp. 69-124. Dumbarton Oaks Re search Library and Collection, Washington, D.C. Satterthwaite, Linton, Jr. 1954 Sculptured Monuments from Caracol, British Hon duras. University Museum Bulletin 18 (1-2): 3-45. Saturno, William A., Karl A. T aube, and David Stuart 2005 The Murals of San Bartolo, El Peten, Guatemala, Part 1: The North Wall. Ancient America 7: 1-56. Schele, Linda and Mary Ellen Miller 1986 The Blood of Kings: Dynasty and Ritual in Maya Art Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth. Shackley, M. Steven 2005 Obsidian: Geology and Archaeology in the North American Southwest University of A rizona Press, T ucson. Sharer, Robert J. 1983 Interdisciplinary A pproaches to the Study of Mesoamerican Highland-Lowland Interaction: A Summary View. In Highland-Lowland Interaction in Mesoamerica: Interdisciplinary Approaches edited by Arthur G. Miller, pp. 241-263. Dumbarton Oaks Re search Library and Collection, Washington, D.C. Sheets, Payson D. 1977 The Analysis of Chipped Stone Artifacts in South ern Mesoamerica: An Assessment. Latin American Research Review 12: 139-158. Smith, A. Ledyard 1950 Uaxactun, Guatemala: Excavations of 1931-1937 pp. 101-182, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Publication 546, Washington, D.C. Spence, Michael W. 1967 The Obsidian Industry of T eotihuacan. American Antiquity 32: 507-514. 1996 Commodity or Gift: T eotihuacan Obsidian in the Maya Region. Latin American Antiquity 7: 21-39. Stemp, W. James 2001 Chipped Stone Tool Use in the Maya Coastal Economies of Marco Gonzalez and San Pedro, Am bergris Caye, Belize International Series 935, British Archaeological Reports, Oxford. Stemp, W. James and Jaime J. A we n.d. R itual Use of O bsidian from Maya Caves in Belize: A Functional and Symbolic Analysis. In Obsidian Mesoamerica edited by Marc N. Levine and David M. Carballo. University Press of Colorado, Boulder (in press). Stuart, David 2002 The Maya Hieroglyph for Blood. Unpublished manuscript in possession of the authors. T aube, Karl A. 2005 T he Symbolism of Jade in Classic Maya R eligion. Ancient Mesoamerica 16: 23-50. T edlock, Dennis 1996 Popol Vuh: The Mayan Book of the Dawn of Life Simon and Schuster, New Y ork. T enorio, Delores, Agustin Cabral, Pedro Bosch, Melania Jimnez-Reyes, and Silvia Bulbulian 1998 Differences in Coloured O bsidians from Sierra de Pachuca, Mexico. Journal of Archaeological Science 25: 229-234. Thompson, J. Eric S. 1939 Excavations at San Jos, British Honduras
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 9 Stemp et al. 124 Publication 506, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, D.C. 1962 A Catalog of Maya Hieroglyphs University of Oklahoma Press, Norman. 1970 Maya History and Religion University of Okla homa Press, Norman. T itmus, Gene L. and James C. Woods 2003 T he Maya E ccentric: E vidence for the Use of the Indirect Percussion T echnique in Mesoamerica from Preliminary E xperiments Concerning their Manufacture. In Mesoamerican Lithic Technology: Experimentation and Interpretation edited by Ken neth G. H irth, pp. 132-146. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City. T olstoy, Paul 1971 Utilitarian Artifacts of Central Mexico. In Archae ology of Northern Mesoamerica edited by Gordon F Ekholm and Ignacio Bernal, pp. 270-296. Hand book of Middle American Indians, Vol. 10, general editor Robert Wauchope, University of T exas Press, Austin. T ringham, Ruth, Glenn Cooper, George Odell, Barbara Voytek, and Anne Whitman 1974 E xperimentation in the F ormation of E dge Damage: A New Approach to Lithic Analysis. Journal of Field Archaeology 1: 171-196. Vaughan, Patrick C. 1985 Use-Wear Analysis of Flaked Stone Tools University of Arizona Press, T ucson. Villa Rojas, Alfonso 1985 Estudios etnolgicos: los mayas Universidad Nacional Autnoma de Mxico, Mexico City. Vogt, Evon Z. 1969 Zinacatan: A Maya Community in the Highlands of Chiapas Harvard University Press, Cambridge. Vogt, Evon Z. and David Stuart 2005 Some Notes on Ritual Caves among Ancient and Modern Maya. In In the Maw of the Earth Monster: Studies of Mesoamerican Ritual Cave Use edited by James E. Brady and Keith M. Prufer. pp. 155-185, University of T exas Press, Austin. Webster, David 1999 The Archaeology of Copan. Journal of Archaeo logical Research 7: 1-53. Whittaker, John C. 1994 Flintknapping: Making and Understanding Stone Tools University of T exas Press, Austin.
125 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 10 Mirro 10 Manuports in Caves Michael Mirro Introduction One of the hallmarks of recent Maya cave archaeology has been the appearance of cave specialists whose experi ence in the cave environment and greater familiarity with karst geomorphology has allowed them to detect an array of noted. T he documentation of these features has increased our spaces so that these often become, to some degree built environments. T he large-scale importation of lithic manuports has rarely been considered in the course of cave investigations. This may be due, at least in part, to archaeologists inability to recognize the types of stone one would and would not expect to encounter in caves. The investigation of Barton Creek Cave by the Western Belize Regional Cave Project (WB R CP) supervised by Mike Mirro and Vanessa O wen under the direction of Jaime J. A we provided some striking geological contrasts between the cave and surface environ occurring in the cave. the WB R CP in 1998 when David Simpson, a local Cayo and 500 m into the cave. Based on ceramic analysis, the most intense time of use was from the E arly Classic Period ( A .D. 250 to 600) to the Late or T erminal Classic period ( A .D. 600 to 900) (Mirro and Owen 2000). A variety of artifacts were transported into cave including diverse and abundant ceramics, stone tools, beads and other adornments, and a spindle whorl. O wen (2002) reports the interred remains of over 31 human individuals, some of which are believed shells and cobbles were widely distributed on all ledges. T hese archaeological materials were found arranged into clusters and associated with hearths, arrangements of stones, Barton Creek Cave The entrance to Barton Creek Cave is located on Barton Creek, a tributary of the Belize River, near the northern end of the Mountain Pine Ridge (Figure 1). The Pine Ridge is a large granite massif, which forms the upper drainage basin for Barton Creek. The streambed and alluvial sediments of the Barton Creek Valley are, therefore, rich in granite and slate, which have been transported via the creek from the Pine Ridge. T hese granite and slate cobbles, as well as limestone Figure 1. Map of the Upper Belize Valley (A we 1998) showing the location of Barton Creek Cave. tour guide took Sherry Gibbs, Michael Mirro, and Vanessa O wen to the cave. O n this trip, Simpson introduced the project to Ledge 9 and its assemblage of human remains (Gibbs and Mirro 1999). T he following year, Mirro and O wen conducted a brief inventory of the cave concluding that extensive and relatively intact archaeological remains were present on nine ledges near the cave entrance (Mirro et al. 2000). Formal investigations were undertaken in 2000 by Mirro and Owen (Mirro and Owen 2001) resulting in a more complete inventory of the contents of the cave and an extensive map of the known areas utilized by the Maya. Further, the data on skeletal remains formed the basis of O wens thesis ( O wen 2002). Concurrently, David and Eleanor Larson along with members of the National Speleological Society (NSS) began surveying and mapping the cave in 1999. The investigations of the cave revealed that the Maya utilized ten ledges between the entrance
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 10 Mirro 126 form the stone resource base for the Barton Creek Valley. Examination of a small cluster of mounds located on a ter race outside of the cave shows that the Maya utilized stone from the creek as construction material. Platform and mound limestone fragments (Mirro and O wen 2000). T he abundance of these materials in surface construction should alert the archaeologist to the fact that the deposition of these items away from Barton Creek may be an indication of ancient cultural activity. The geological make-up of the cobbles within Barton Creek Cave contrasts sharply with the situation found in the creek. Caves generally form in limestone by dissolution of the rock by water charged with carbonic acid derived from decomposing organic materials in the soil. Water, seeping into the bedrock, dissolves passageways and chambers in the limestone. Given these geological processes, the mate rials found in caves are almost exclusively limestone and limestone derivatives, such as speleothems. Barton Creek Cave consists, for the most part, of a single passage ranging from 30-60 m in height and over six thousand a large trunk conduit cave with a perennial stream. T runk conduit caves as a type in Belize are formed in the bound ary fault region and transport water and sediments from the Mountain Pine Ridge through the karst (Miller 1996). A series of ledges have formed on the walls of the passage during the dissolutional, or early stages of cave development. Later, down cutting lowered the stream level to a point where water no longer reached the level of the utilized ledges. T his sediments or displacement of Classic Period artifacts due environment suitable for cultural utilization. Generally, resulting from the decomposition of limestone and guano. In contrast, coarse alluvial sediments can be observed on Figure 2. Map of Barton Creek Cave showing the area utilized by the Maya.
127 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 10 Mirro cobbles were present in the stream nor was granite observed in sediments on the ledges. This rules out the possibility that the cobbles were deposited in the cave by natural forces. We can infer, therefore, that human agency was involved in the deposition of these stones in the cave. T en ledges with cultural materials were Creek Cave (Figure 3). On eight of the ledges, granite and slate cobbles were observed. A total of 109 granite cobbles and seven slate cobbles were recorded. They ranged in size from 9 x 6 x 5 cm to 27 x 27 x 27 cm averaging 14 cm on a side in size. A ll cobbles tended to be rounded, although several were fractured by heat and impact. T he cobbles showed no signs of further While slate and granite cobbles were found throughout the cultural portion of the cave, the heaviest concentration were observed in A reas A B, and C of Ledge 2, which is located between 30 and 150 meters from the entrance to the cave (Figure 4). A total of 59 granite cobbles were documented on this ledge. Access to this and other ledges was no simple task. Ledge 2 is observed on Ledge 6, located approximately 300 m from the entrance. T his ledge also requires a followed by a second 5 m climb to reach an upper area. Deeper into the cave, 11 cobbles were found on Ledge 8, some 360 m from the meters above the cave stream. T o reach this ledge Figure 3. Ledges utilized by the Maya in Barton Creek Cave. latest stage in cave development and postdating the period of stream deposition. The presence of cobbles on top of the of fairly recent origin and were transported there by other forces than nature. T he bedrock in the culturally utilized section of the cave is very stable, as no breakdown or collapse is present. The lack of naturally occurring lithic material would, therefore, necessitate the importation of stone from outside the cave. Our investigation revealed the presence of an unexpectedly be located on ledges as far as 500 meters from the entrance and are associated with hearth features, sherd clusters, rock alignments and human remains. Since granite, an igneous rock, does not occur naturally in limestone solution caves, an examination of the cave stream was made. No granite it is necessary to either use a ladder and climb up from the stream or rappel ten meters down from Ledge 7. Access to the upper tier requires additional climbing. Nine of the 11 cobbles were observed on the upper tier. It should be noted that other materials are also associated with the granite and slate cobbles. At least 129 limestone rocks and 18 speleothem fragments are incorporated into the features with the granite and slate. The cobbles found in the cave in most cases have been incorporated into cul tural features. T wenty-one cobbles were found in a circular pit associated with a hearth feature on Ledge 6 (Figure 5). Most of these cobbles evidenced heat-alteration. Cobbles formed part of two triangular arrangements on the upper tier of Ledge 8 in Lots 137 and 138 (Figure 6). On Ledge 2, a small two coarse wall was constructed across the drainage tures appear to be more random arrangements as in Lot 164 (Figure 8), where the cobbles are associated with a burned
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 10 Mirro 128 piece of wood, a piece of jade, a core, and a pile of sherds. In other cases single cobbles were commingled with ceramic materials in no obvious pattern. A nother type of activity noted at Barton Creek Cave is the deposition of human remains. The Maya interred over 31 human individuals on six separate ledges (Owen 2002). Cobbles are associated with most of the human remains. F or example, cobble clusters are positioned near ceramic vessels and adjacent to a pit with an interred individual in Lots 158 and 162 (Figure 9). T he apparent random use of limestone, granite and slate, often in the same construc tion, suggests that stone type may have been less important than gathering enough material to construct the features. For our purposes the importance of granite and slate is that they are easily recognible as manuports while the source of limestone is more problematic. In Eduardo Quiroz Cave (Pendergast 1971), for instance, walls were constructed from limestone but it was not possible to determine if the material had been taken from collapse or from talus outside the cave. Discussion While the investigations at Barton Creek importation of stone manuports in a cave, data from several other caves suggest that the practice may be widespread. In the R oaring Creek Valley, which runs parallel to the Barton Creek valley and similarly drains the Mountain Pine Ridge, a ledge near the entrance to Aktun into rock concentrations and clusters (Mirro and A we 1999). O ther granite and slate cobbles are present on ledges elsewhere in the cave. Graham et al. (1980) noted eight features on a ledge in Footprint Cave consisting of river cobbles or limestone and associated with charcoal and ceramics. Reents-Budet and MacLeod (1986) mention the presence of river cobbles associated with cultural features in Petroglyph cave. On a larger scale it has been documented with the importation of slate monuments at Laberinto de las T arantulas (Helmke et al. 1999) and Actun T unichil Muknal (A we et al. 2005). Figure 4. Map of Ledge 2 showing the location of Areas A, B, and C. Figure 5. Plan map showing the distribution of cob bles excavated from a natural pit used as a hearth.
129 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 10 Mirro Figure 6. Plan view of Lots 137 and 138; trianular rock features associated with human remains on Ledge 8. Barton Creek CaveLegendCeramics Human Bone G L SpGranite Cobble Limestone Cobble Speleothem Fragment Unidentified Stone Ash Lens or Concentration Guano Speleothem or Flowstone Surface Drop in Floor greater than 1 meter Drop in Floor less than 1 meterWood 0 50 100 cm Drop to the River Bone Cluster 10 Bone Cluster 9Cave Wall Weathered Flowstone Limestone Floor Clay Flowstone Clay Jar (Placed by tour guides) G G L G G L L Sp L c c c c c L L L L L G Lot 137 Lot 138Illustration by: M. Mirro 2003Barton Creek Cave Ledge 8, Area C Bone Cluster 9 and 10
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 10 Mirro 130 Figure 7. Lot 176 Stone feature constructed across a gap in a rimstone dam. (right). Lot 164 Cluster of stones near a piece of burned wood, jade adorno, core, and a small pile of sherds. The recognition of stone manuports in caves should im mediately alert the archaeologist to the fact that these materials were somehow required in the rituals that were taking place. The size of the stones, the distance from the entrance, and the height of the climb to access the ledges indicate a large investment of energy to import such materials to the activity areas. In Barton Creek Cave, rituals took place on ledges 5 15 T he transportation of stone to ledges made preparation for a cave also allows the archaeologist to recognize that clusters of stone must have been constructions even if the form or intent of that construction is not particularly apparent. Ad ditionally, the knowledge that the stone was imported adds to our appreciation of the effort involved in such simple forms as hearths, vessel supports or torch holders. ritual. The importation of cobbles appears to be associated with all types of activities documented in the larger pattern of ritual utilization of Barton Creek Cave. If the construction material were not present locally the Maya went to consider able effort in transporting it to the cave. The use of stones that do not naturally occur in the cave is interesting only because it permits us to easily and convincingly document this behavior. T here is every reason to believe that these same behaviors are occurring in caves where only limestone detect. More attention needs to be paid to the presence of rock concentrations in caves in order not to miss evidence are part of a growing appreciation of the tremendous extent investigators. F inally, this investigation underscores the importance of considering geology with the archaeology of a cave site. A poor understanding of the geology of the cave and karst environment significantly increases the possibility that to the investigator. Acknowledgements My sincere thanks go to Dr. Jaime A we and the Institute of Archaeology in Belmopan, Belize and for giving me so many valuable research opportunities over the years. I would like to extend gratitude to Dr. James Brady for all of his guidance and support. I would also like to thank the staff and students of the Western Belize R egional Cave Project for all of their assistance. In particular I would like to thank Cameron their hard work and valuable advice. Finally, thanks to my loving wife, for all of her support, Vanessa Owen. References Cited A we, Jaime J. 1998 The Western Belize Regional Cave Project: Ob jectives, Context, and Problem Orientation. In The Western Belize Regional Cave Project: A Report on the 1997 Field Season edited by Jaime. J. A we, Department of A nthropology O ccasional Papers No. 1, University of New Hampshire, Durham. 2005 Cave Stelae and Megalithic Monuments in West ern Belize. In In the Maw of the Earth Monster: Mesoamerican Ritual Cave Use, edited by James E. 0 50 cm River Jade Sherds Core G G L L L L LG
131 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 10 Mirro Figure 9. Ledge 2, Area C, Lots 126 and 158 Imported stone associated with ceramics, stone artifacts, and human remains. Ash G River River Flowstone bridge Guano filled pool Metate Inverted Jar Broken Jar Sherd Deposit and Bone Cluster22 Column Small Rimstone Dams Pool Pool Pool G G L L L L L G L L0 50 100 cmLot 158 Lot 126
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 10 Mirro 132 Brady and Keith M. Prufer, pp. 223-248. University of T exas Press, Austin. Mirro. 1999 The 1996 and 1998 Investigations at Laberinto de Las T arantulas, Cayo District, Belize. In The Western Belize Regional Cave Project: A Report on the 1998 Field Season edited by Jaime. J. A we. Department of Anthropology Occasional Papers No. 2, University of New Hampshire, Durham. Graham, Elizabeth, Logan McNatt, and Mark A. Gutchen. 1980 Excavations in Footprint Cave, Belize. Journal of Field Archaeology 7:153-172. Miller, Thomas E. 1996 Geologic and Hydrologic Controls on Karst and Cave Development in Belize. Journal of Cave and Karst Studies 58 (2):107-108. Mirro, Michael and Jaime J. A we. 1999 R eport of Investigations on Ledge 1 at A ctun Y axteel Ahau, Roaring Creek Valley, Belize. In The Western Belize Regional Cave Project: A Report on the 1998 Field Season edited by Jaime. J. A we, Department of Anthropology Occasional Papers No. 2, University of New Hampshire, Durham. Mirro, Michael and Vanessa A. Owen. 2001 Preliminary Report on the 2000 F ield Season at Barton Creek Cave. In The Western Belize Regional Cave Project: A Report on the 2000 Field Season edited by Jaime. J. A we, Department of Anthropol ogy O ccasional Papers No. 4, University of New Hampshire, Durham. Mirro, Michael, Vanessa A. Owen and Caitlin OGrady. 2000 Preliminary Investigations into the Ancient Maya Remains in Barton Creek Cave. In The Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance Project Progress Re port of the 1999 Field Season edited by Jaime A we. R eport submitted to the Department of A rchaeology, Belmopan, Belize. Owen, Vanessa A. 2002 An Investigation of Classic Maya Cave Mortu ary Practices at Barton Creek Cave, Belize. M. A thesis, Department of Anthropology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO. Pendergast, David M. 1971 Evcavations at Eduardo Quiroz Cave, British Honduras (Belize). A rt and A rchaeology O ccasional Papers No.21. Royal Ontario Museum, T oronto. Reents-Budet, Dorie and Barbara MacLeod. 1986 T he A rchaeology of Petroglyph Cave, Belize. Report submitted to the Department of Archaeol ogy, Belize.
133 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 11 Brady 11 James E. Brady Over the past two decades, caves have, for a number of for the archaeological study of ancient Maya religion. First, the fundamental importance of caves in Pre-Columbian religion has been amply demonstrated. Second, the dark zone location of many deposits, deep within cave tunnels, all but eliminates the possibility of utilitarian functions, and establishes the ceremonial nature of these deposits. T his allows archaeologists to concentrate on constructing ritual interpretations of the artifacts found there. T hird, caves have yielded enormous quantities of artifacts that provide our fullest view of ancient ritual assemblages. Finally, because caves tend to be tightly bounded physically, they provide the archaeologist with an unparalleled opportunity to recognize have been brought from outside the cave to rituals within the cave. This paper calls attention to the presence of small, un brought from outside of the cave. Although not exhaustive, a search of the archaeological literature collected enough examples of similar objects recorded by surface archae ologists in burials and caches to demonstrate that the cave such stones played some type of role, or perhaps more cor rectly, played various roles in ancient ritual. A broad range of uses of stones is noted in modern indigenous rituals that suggests possible functions and meanings of these stones in ancient contexts. Cave Stones Because of the very prosaic nature of the data, I will in working in a cave, two spherical stones were recovered from excavations just below Structure 1 (Brady 1989:318). Spherical stones have been found at a number of surface sites so that these stones fall into a recognized category of manuports (Willey 1972:140). ( F igure 1). T hree were recovered from excavations in a deep midden created by dropping offerings down a ceiling entrance into the Cueva de los Quetzales so the stones were not naturally occurring. The same type of stone was found in a special deposit at A rroyo de Piedra by H ctor E scobedo showing that this type of stone was recovered from other types of ritual deposits as well. A stone with a natural collar of white quartz encircling one end and with a spot of quartz in the center of the collar was recovered from the Cueva de Sangre at Dos Pilas ( F igure 2). T he stone may have been collected because of its phallic appearance (Brady 1994:636-637). Unworked stones appear to be under-represented in the artifacts or at least not clearly so. T hey have been recovered in several caches at Chalchuapa, El Salvador. In Cache 1, two small, unworked volcanic stones were found under an inverted, T erminal Preclassic ceramic bowl (Sharer 1978: 181). In Cache 5, three small volcanic rocks overlay an inverted Late Preclassic ceramic vessel (Sharer 1978: 183). F inally, in Cache 12 33 closely packed, round to oval, smooth, white stones were found as the only offerings in a Figure 1. were recovered from caves at the site of Dos Pilas.
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 11 Brady 134 round pocket of loose earth (Sharer 1978: 183). This last cache was similar to 16 round pigeons egg stones found in T omb II of Mound E-III-3 at Kaminaljuyu (Shook and Kidder 1952:113). In T omb 1 of the same mound Shook (1949:219-220) recovered mica sheets, quartz crystals and water-worn pebbles. A small piece of orthoclase feldspar had been placed within a shamans bundle recovered from the Cueva de Media Luna in La Venta Canyon, Chiapas (King 1955: 73). Ethnographic Uses and Meaning of Stones A ny number of meanings can be attached to an object like a stone. At the birth of a baby in Colotenango, Chiapas, the father places a stone in the family waterhole. T he waterhole is a sacred feature and the focus of familial ritual because a supernatural Dueo, or owner, dwells within it In placing the stone, the father addresses the Dueo and says that he is planting ( sembrando) the child and asks the Dueos protection from illness. At marriage, a man is required to sponsor two ceremonies. During the second ceremony, a chimn removes a stone from the wifes waterhole and it is placed in the waterhole of the husband, symbolic of her taking up residence with his kin group (Valladares 1957: 203-206). In one case where a man had failed to undertake the required marriage ceremonies, the stones of his children were planted in the waterhole of his wifes family. T hus, the stone represents the individual and its placement is a statement of group membership. Having stones represent individuals may be a more common type of symbolism than previously suspected. In the Mixteca Alta, stones or cave formations representing the bride and groom are set up next to the newly weds house (Ravicz and Romney 1969:394). During a religious movement among the Mayo Indians in 1972, a series of God ceremonies ( liohpaskom ) were held in honor of the ili tetam (little rocks) which were thought to have fallen from heaven (Crumrine 1975: 132). Some of the rocks bore images of the saints or writing. By 1973 the cult had spread so that there were several dozen families sponsoring ceremonies to boxes of small stones. T he stones were sent from god to castigate the people for not praying and respecting the deity, a situation that, if not remedied, would lead to immanent destruction of the world (Crumrine 1975: 137). A lthough the stones were not seen as deities themselves, they were, nevertheless, the focus of ritual activity and kept on an altar. that are to be placed on the altar for the New Y ear ritual. T hey are selected from this place because it is where the rain gods drink. Ideally, the stones should be spherical or at least is formed by placing four stones of very similar size in each occupies the center (Girard 1962:23). Robert Bruce (1975:80) states that the god pot is the most sacred ritual object for the Lacandon. Davis (1978:73) notes, however, that the most important aspect is not the pot itself but rather a stone that is placed in the bowl. The stone is called tunchi? nah stone from the house because it is taken from a shrine, often a cave, sacred to the god in question. The act of placing the stone in the pot activates the incense burner so that the god is present from that mo ment (Boremanse 1993: 328). The stones are also called u kanche kuh the seat of the god because the god may sit upon the stone in the middle of the burning incense (Bruce 1975:80). Boremanse (1993: 333) states that the Lacandon communicate with the deities through stones and that no communication would be possible without them. The prac tice of placing stones in incensarios may have ancient roots. the cave site of Hokeb Ha and observes that: The four stone pieces and charcoal lumps were found in bowl No. 26, which was either an incensario or in censario component. Three of them are sandstone and one is limestone. They do not have distinct tool char may have been used in the process of incense burning. In addition to the stones in god pots, the Lacandon also keep small stones that are considered sacred on the altars near the pots. These are called stones of the forest ( tunin muur ) and incense is burned to them as an offering to the forest (Soustelle 1961:59). It should also be noted that that the Lacandon believe that stones in general, have spirits, the Xtabai which are neither feared nor worshipped but simply exist (Duby and Blom 1969:293). In Zinacantan, stones or sherds are made as an offering in a particular cave. It is believed that if three stones are not thrown into the cave as tribute, a person will die. Once a year, a group of men gather and sweep out the stones thrown Figure 2. This stone with a collar of white quartz was recovered from the Cueva de Sangre at Dos Pilas and may have been collected because of its phallic appearance.
135 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 11 Brady of water from the cave (Bricker 1973:114). A similar use of stones has been noted in connection with pilgrimages to the Basilica of the Black Christ at Esquipulas. Along the way, pilgrims make an offering of a single rock which they haul up the side of the hill of San Sebastin and thousands have been deposited there (Smith 1979:31). Stones of various types are thought to be power objects. Villa R ojas (1987:290) reports that in Quintana R oo pieces of by curers who consider them to be magical objects. Flint at 1960:37). Perhaps because of that, it is associated with rainmaking deities who are thought to strike lightning from it. F or that reason the stone is sacred and unworked chunks are placed on altars by the Chorti (Wisdom 1940:382). O bsidian, called tso kanal (star feces) by the Tzotzil, is one of the stones thought to have been part of shooting stars (Laughlin 1975:93). Certain black and colored stones found in the for est or near the entrance to a cave are thought to be shooting stars that have fallen to earth (Vogt 1997:113). Curers and diviners in the Mixteca A lta also carry stones. In addition, there is also a rain cult in the Mixteca Alta fo cused on sacred stones that represent rain and are thought to have the power to bring rain and insure a good harvest. The stones and ritual prerogatives that go with them pass from one generation to another through family lines (Ravicz and Romney 1969:394). Discussion and Conclusions In recent years, increasing attention has been paid to all types of stones in caves. Several years ago, a number of col leagues and I noted the widespread breakage and movement of speleothems (Brady et al. 1997) and more recently we have attempted to quantify the amount of breakage actually occurring (Brady et al. 2005). Peterson et al. (2005) have shown that the largest proportion of this material was removed from caves and incorporated into surface site architecture. Mike Mirro (2001; also see this volume), on the other hand, has tracked the presence to granite cobbles in Barton Creek Cave to show that stone material was also entering the cave. Holley Moyes (2002) used GIS to plot the distribution of stone and artifacts to show that stones appear to be a focus of ritual activity in Actun T unichil Muknal. In a study more related to the present theme, Keith Prufer and I discussed one ritual objects used in caves and have suggested that there may have been considerable interchange of these objects between surface and cave (Brady and Prufer 1999). or pebbles form another category of manuports that have been largely overlooked by archaeologists. Cave archaeologists functions of objects within the cave context. In this case, a narrow range of possible meanings or functions attached to these manuports. E thnography provides an impressive array of symbolic meanings that can be attached to such stones and the objects can be used in any number of different ways. This suggests that in many, or even most cases, it may not be possible to reconstruct the belief system surrounding such manuports. It is hoped, nevertheless, that context and artifactual associations will provide clues to interpretation. because caves are tightly bounded physically, the presence of material originating from outside of the cave is more easily recognized and documented. Cave archaeologists, therefore, are in a particularly good position to collect evidence of this type of ritual object. Given the ritual function of caves, archaeologists should strongly suspect that the objects were functioning in the symbolic realm. I have attempted to call attention to the presence of these stones in caves and have provide a broad interpretive framework in the hopes that this will lead to more frequent recovery of such items. Acknowledgements The author would like to thank Melanie Saldaa for her comments on an earlier draft of this paper. References Cited Boremanse, Didier 1993 T he F aith of the R eal People: T he Lacandon of the Chiapas Rain Forest. In South and Meso-American Native Spirituality: From the Cult of the Feathered Serpent to the Theology of Liberation, edited by Gary H. Gossen and Miguel Len-Portilla, pp. 324-351. Crossroad Publishing Company, New Y ork. Brady, James E. 1989 An Investigation of Maya Ritual Cave Use with Special Reference to Naj T unich, Peten, Guatemala. Ph.D. dissertation, A rchaeology Program, University of California, Los Angeles. Proyecto Arqueolgico Regional Petexbatun, Informe Preliminar #6 Brady, James E., Allan B. Cobb, Sergio Garza, Cesar Espinosa and Robert Burnett 2005 An Analysis of Ancient Maya Stalactite Breakage at Balam Na Cave, Guatemala. In Stone Houses and Earth Lords: Maya Religion in the Cave Context edited by Keith M. Prufer and James E. Brady, pp. 213-224. University Press of Colorado, Boulder. Brady, James E. and Keith Prufer 1999 Caves and Crystalmancy: E vidence for the Use of Crystals in Ancient Maya Religion. Journal of Anthropological Research 55:129-144. Brady, James E., Ann Scott, Hector Neff and Michael Glascock 1997 Speleothem Breakage, Movement, Removal and Caching: A n Unreported A spect of A ncient Maya Cave Geoarchaeology 12 (6):725-750.
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 11 Brady 136 1973 Ritual Humor in Highland Chiapas University of T exas Press, Austin. Bruce, Robert D. 1975 Lacandon Dream Symbolism, Vol. 1: Dream Symbol ism and Interpretation Ediciones Euroamericanas, Mexico. Crumrine, N. Ross 1975 A New Mayo Indian R eligious Movement in Northwest Mexico. Journal of Latin American Lore 1127-145. Davis, Virginia Dale 1978 Ritual of the Northern Lacandon Maya. Ph.D. dis sertation, T ulane University, New Orleans. Duby, Gertrude and Frans Blom 1969 The Lacandon. In Handbook of Middle American Indians, Vol. 7: Ethnology edited by Evon Z. Vogt, pp. 276-297. University of T exas Press, Austin. Girard, Rafael 1962 Los Mayas Eternos E ditorial B. CostaA mic Mesones, Mexico. King, Arden R. 1955 Archaeological Remains from the Cintalapa Re gion, Chiapas, Mexico. Middle American Research Records 2:69-99 Laughlin, Robert M. 1975 The Great Tzotzil Dictionary of San Lorenzo Zina cantan Smithsonian Contributions to A nthropology, No. 19. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C. Mirro, Michael 2002 Manuports in Caves: A Reconsideration of Stones in Caves. Paper presented at the 67 th A nnual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Denver, March 20-24. Moyes, Holley 2002 The Use of GIS in the Spatial Analysis of an Ar chaeological Cave Site. Journal of Cave and Karst Studies 64 (1): 9-16. Palacio, Joseph O. 1977 Excavations at Hokeb Ha, Belize Belize Institute for Social Research and Action, Occasional Publica tion No. 3. Belize. Peterson, Polly A., Patricia A. McAnany and Allan B. Cobb 2005 De-fanging the E arth Monster:Speleothem T ransport to Surface Sites in the Sibun Valley. In Stone Houses and Earth Lords: Maya Religion in the Cave Context edited by Keith M. Prufer and James E. Brady, pp. 225-247. University Press of Colorado, Boulder. Ravicz, Robert and A. Kimball Romney 1969 The Mixtec. In Handbook of Middle American Indi ans, Vol. 7: Ethnology, Pt. 1 edited by E von Z. Vogt, pp. 367-99. University of T exas Press, Austin. 1962 Chan Kom: A Maya Village University of Chicago Press, Chicago. Sharer, Robert J. 1978 Special Deposits. In The Prehistory of Chal chuapa, El Salvador, edited by R obert J. Sharer, Vol. 1: 181-194. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia. Shook, Edwin M. 1949 Guatemala Highlands. Carnegie Institution of Washington Year Book 48: 219-224. Shook, Edwin M and A.V. Kidder 1952 Mound E-III-3, Kaminaljuyu, Guatemala. Contri butions to American Anthropology and History, No. 53.; Carnegie Institution of Washington Publication, No. 596. Washington, D.C. Smith, Mary C. 1979 Esquipulas. Amricas 31(1): 26-31. Soustelle, Georgette 1961 Observaciones sobre la Religin de los Lacan dones de Mxico Meridional. Guatemala Indgena 1 (1):31-105. Valladares, Len A. 1957 El Hombre y el Maz: Etnografa y Etnopsicologade Colotenango. E ditorial B. CostaA mic Mesones, Mexico. Villa Rojas, Alfonso 1987 Los Elegidos de Dios: Etnografa de los Mayas de Quintana Roo Instituto Nacional Indigenista, Mexico. Vogt, Evon Z. 1997 Zinacanteco Astronomy. Mexicon 19 (6): 110117. Willey, Gordon R. 1972 Papers of the Peabody Museum of A rchaeology and E thnography, Vol. 64, No. 1. Harvard University, Cambridge. Wisdom, Charles 1940 The Chorti Indians of Guatemala University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
137 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 12 Nation et al. 12 Using Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry to Source Speleothems from A rchaeological Contexts in the Sibun Valley R egion of Belize, Central A merica Humberto Nation, Polly A. Peterson, James E. Brady, Hector Neff, and Patricia A. McAnany course of mapping and excavation. A dditional samples were of intra-cave variability in chemical signatures. Permission to export the samples was provided by the Belize Institute of Archaeology. T wo data sets using Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) have been generated employing different instrumentation. O ne set of analyses using speleothems from both settlements and caves was conducted by Peterson in the ICP-Emission Spectrometry Laboratory of the Department of Earth Sciences at Boston University. A second suite of samples from both contexts was run by Nation in the ICP-MS laboratory of the Institute for Integrative R esearch in Materials, E nvironments, and Society at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB). Methodology: ICP-MS is one of the most powerful spectroscopic elemen tal methods because of its ability to detect minute amounts of most elements. T his level of accuracy allows for qualitative and, more importantly, quantitative characterization of trace (parts per million to parts per billion) and ultra-trace (parts per trillion to parts per quadrillion) elements. Most samples analyzed by ICP-MS are introduced as liquids. Solid samples are usually digested or dissolved using acids and heat treatment. T he speleothem samples to analysis. T he processed liquid samples were then analyzed in a VG Plasma Quad Excell ICP-MS, equipped with an ICPquadrupole mass spectrometer at Boston University. F or liquid samples the most common introduction method used in ICP-MS consists of a nebulizer and spray chamber. Samples are introduced via a peristaltic pump into a line with argon gas as a carrier and transported into a nebulizer. In the nebulizer, the liquid samples are transformed into a carried through the spray chamber and injected into a plasma torch. A t the torch, a plasma is formed and ignited by a radio frequency emission spark from a tesla coil. The ignition of the plasma causes and propagates collisions between electrons and argon atoms resulting in the creation of more argon ions and electrons and so the process becomes selfIntroduction T he breakage and transport of speleothems during ancient Maya cave visitation has become an increasingly wellover a decade ago (Brady et al. 1997). T wo recent studies have substantially increased our understanding of the scale of breakage and redeposition of detached material in surface sites. Brady et al. (2005) conducted a speleothem inventory in Cave 1 at Balam Na in Guatemala and documented that nearly 60% of the stalactites had been broken. The 1,660 broken stalactites indicate that an impressive amount of material had been removed from this small (40 m long) cave al. (2005) recorded that thousands of speleothems had been incorporated into public and residential architecture at settle ments investigated by the Xibun Archaeological Research Project (X AR P) in central Belize (see Mc A nany et al. 2004; McAnany and Thomas 2003; McAnany 2002, 1998). This practice of incorporating speleothems into the built envi ronment of Maya settlements probably accounts for a large percentage of the speleothems removed from caves. ing actual physical evidence for the close relationship between caves and settlements. T he recovery of physical evidence is settlement/cave relationshipsparticularly if speleothems can be sourced to their cave of origin. In a seminal article on speleothem utilization, Brady et al. (1997:741744) provide evidence that Instrumental Neutron A ctivation A nalysis (INAA) of speleothems from caves in the region of Copan, H onduras, can produce chemical signatures that are discrete to individual caves. It was uncertain, however, whether the method would be applicable to caves in the southern Maya lowlands where the geology was thought to be far more homogeneous than in highland H onduras. Until now, no subsequent research in the Maya lowlands was attempted T he current effort is a preliminary attempt to source speleothems recovered from cultural contextsin both caves and settlementsadjacent to the Sibun R iver of central Belize ( F igure 1). Speleothem samples were collected in the
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 12 Nation et al. 138 Figure 1. Location of XARP settlements and caves sampled and mentioned in the text. Notice the southwest to northeast trend on the Sibun River Valley; the distinct geological formations of the Maya Mountains, the Hummingbird and Manatee karst; and the location of the sites with respect to each other and its lithology
139 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 12 Nation et al. sustaining. The plasma ionizes the argon and other element atoms in the sample. The temperatures within this plasma range between 9500 and 11000 K. T he nebulized sample is introduced into this plasma at which point its elemental components are ionized. The resulting ions are then passed into a high vacuum mass spectrometer through an interface ion lens where they are focused. T he focused ion stream is then passed through the quadrupole which separates the ions by their mass-to-charge ratio (m/z) before reaching the detector. The detector measures the spectral intensity of the mass spectrum is proportional to the concentration of that isotope (element) in the original sample. Finally, a graphic and tabular report of the results is generated. Laser Ablation ICP-MS A lternatively, some solid matrices can be analyzed using laser ablation to vaporize the sample. In this case, the gas sample is introduced directly into the instrument for mea surement. The speleothem analyses by Nation at CSULB attached to a New Wave UP-213 laser ablation system. The advantage of TOF-ICP-MS lies in the ability for transient signals from any solid material to be analyzed. Moreover, analysis of solid samples by laser ablation TOF-ICP-MS re quires little preparation, and the introduction of a dry sample into the plasma results in a lack of polyatomic interference produced by the interaction of water and acid species with the argon plasma. However, because laser ablation samples an extremely small area, there was a concern that its use might produce wildly variable results if the speleothem composition was heterogeneous. We were especially concerned that element concentrations might vary over the growth history of spe leothems, which could present serious problems in deter mining a chemical signature for a cave. These possibilities were explored using a stalactite from the Poptun area of Guatemala. The stalactite was cut horizontally to expose a fresh surface and eight runs were taken from each of three different points for a total of 24 samples. The eight runs on each spot were used to determine the amount of variation that could occur in a relatively small area. T he three different areas were selected in order to isolate changes in concen trations during the growth of the speleothem. T he results from the eight runs were averaged to provide a single set of values for each point. Aberrant results did occasionally occur, but these outliers were excluded from the average. The results from the three points cluster for all elements, indicating that, at least in this sample, composition does not speleothem sourcing using laser ablation TOF-ICP-MS is possible, clearly more work needs to be done. It should be noted that values obtained for speleothems collected from A ctun Chanona in the Boston University and CSULB analyses differ. There are a number of possible explanations for the discrepancies: the samples were not the same, different methods of preparation were employed, and concentrations were measured using different instrumentation and different approaches to standardization. Furthermore, Actun Chanona is approximately 279 meters long, so it is possible that chemical variation exists within the cave itself. Our solution is to treat the results as two discrete data sets Results Analyses conducted at Boston University provided the and surface sites. F rom archaeological evidence, we had assumed that a large upriver settlement situated at the base of the Sibun Gorgenamely, the Hershey sitecontrolled access to Actun Chanona. The settlement and the cave are physically proximate (about 5.8 km apart); both contain con temporaneous deposits dating to the LateT erminal Classic period (AD 600; Peterson 2006:30), and each displays Figure 2. Elemental concentrations of Eu vs. Tb (a) and La vs. U (b) showing the compositional variability between the various surface and cave speleothem samples analyzed in this study. In both graphs, the compositional variability between those samples representative of Actun Chanona (rhomboid) and the rest of the
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 12 Nation et al. 140 the most elaborate monumental architecture found in the Sibun Valley. T he H ershey site contains two pyramid plazas and the only ballcourt documented in the valley (Thomas 2005:160). Actun Chanona, likewise, contains a large ar the interior dark zone of the cave, over 170 meters from the main entrance (Peterson 2006:27). It was hypothesized that speleothems found at the H ershey site likely would have been transported from Actun Chanona. Of the eleven samples analyzed at Boston University, three had been collected from A ctun Chanona and three from from sites located downriver, including Actun Ik, a cave in the Thumb Cave District, and from the settlements of Pakal Na, O shon, and Cedar Bank. A ll results were calibrated with respect to the Actun Chanona values since it was expected that the Actun Chanona and Hershey results would cluster terns. T he actual results turned out to be quite different (Figures 2a and 2b). The elemental concentrations found in the Actun Chanona samples differ from all other samples. R esults clearly indicate that the speleothems recovered from the Hershey site originated in the Sibun-Manatee karst and not in the nearby H ummingbird karst where A ctun Chanona is located. T he elemental concentrations suggest that the speleothems found at the H ershey site came from a cave located somewhere between the settlement of Pakal Na and the cave site of Actun Ik. Laser ablation TOF-ICP-MS was conducted at CSULB on nine additional XARP samples. Once again the samples from the Hershey site were compositionally different than those from A ctun Chanona. F ive samples were analyzed from Actun Chanona and one of these provided an unanticipated insight into ancient Maya speleothem breakage and reloca tion patterns. Because Actun Chanona is one of the largest caverns in the region, there was concern that compositional variation might occur over the length of the cave. For that reason, samples were systematically collected from different parts of the cave. In order not to unnecessarily damage cave formations, already broken pieces were collected from the collected inside Actun Chanona to come from that cave, we could not be certain that they had come from the particular areas of the cave where they were sampled or from Actun Chanona at all. Laser ablation TOF -ICP-MS showed that one of the samples was clearly distinct from the other four, (Figure 3) matching the composition of a sample from Kin R ockshelter (located approximately 28 km away in the Glenwood Cave District) so closely that it appears that both samples came from the same place. Conclusions investigation of ancient Maya speleothem breakage and movement utilizing ICP-MS as an analytical sourcing method of speleothem formations. The results clearly indicate that this method can isolate compositional differences in spele othems from different caves and lithographies (Figures 4a and 4b), if the differences are great enough to allow for the recognition of discrete chemical signatures. T ests on a single of elements over the growth of the formation. at odds with existing models of speleothem transport. In this case, it had been assumed that the speleothems recovered from the H ershey site would come from A ctun Chanona based on the proximity of the cave to the settlement and the similar scale of architectural elaboration. This model is based on the assumption that speleothems found within ritual architecture at a settlement were collected within a ritual landscape catchment and served to link settlements with Cave formations, under this model, were brought to settle ments as a means of imbuing the built environment with supernatural power. Data presented here, however, suggest Figure 3. Elemental concentrations of Gd vs. Dy showing both the range of compositional variabil ity of Actun Chanona samples against those from other sites, and near similarity in composition of one Actun Chanona collected sample to one from the Kin R ock Shelter (oval). T he compositional similitude suggests a possible origin (and transport) of this sample from the Glenwood Cave District into Actun Chanona proper. that the Hershey speleothems originated in an If our original model of speleothem use is at least partially correct, results suggest that a currently unknown cave, possibly one which residents perceived had an ancestral link, was the cave of greatest ritual importance to those who built the Hershey site. The chemi cal signature points to a cave located in the Glenwood Cave District. A second possibility
141 AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 12 Nation et al. is that the Hershey site did not control or use Actun Cha nona. This scenario appears unlikely. The frequency with which residents of H ershey visited A ctun Chanona could be determined by future chemical sourcing of ceramics from both the settlement and the cave to see if the pottery follows the same pattern as the speleothems. If ceramic data do not mirror patterns in the speleothem data, then it is likely that the two data sets refer to different kinds of ritual practices. Ceramic data are likely to be highly informative regarding who controlled use of the cave. If we discard the original assumption about proximity and ritual catchment, some alternative possibilities emerge. Brady and Colas (2005) suggest that speleothem breakage was a desecratory act associated with warfare. Speleothems from a vanquished foes cave could have been collected and displayed as war trophies by the victor or used as architectural armatures on the facades of buildings. The latter occurred at the circular shrines located in the lower part of the Sibun Valley (Mc A nany 2012). T his practice could account for the fact that the chemical signature of the speleothems in dicates a source distant from the Hershey site. The frequent incorporation of formations in ceremonial structures at settle ments suggests that speleothems were perceived as potent receptacles of supernatural power. This logic is consistent with contemporary Maya beliefs and practices that include the placement of speleothems on altars (Deal 1988:74). In the past, desecration of a sacred community cave site could ing a pyramid, despoiling ancestral tombs, or depositing the smashed spoils of war from plundered palatial residences. A ll three acts of termination are attested archaeologically; notably, the main plaza of the Hershey site contains two cor deposits ( H arrison-Buck et al. 2007; Murata et al. 2008). Military defeat translated into the transfer of supernatural power from the vanquished to the victor. F inally, the general assumption that speleothem fragments is questioned by results of this study. Our sampling mis cue at Actun Chanona inadvertently uncovered evidence of speleothem transport between caves a practice that had never been previously suggested. Results indicate that fragments of speleothems were removed from one cave and deposited in another. We know from ethnographic sources that modern Maya ritual practice includes walking a circuit during which a number of sacred sites (including caves) are visited (Adams and Brady 2005; Smith 1979). If such circuits existed in pre-contact times they would have pro vided an ideal opportunity to move speleothems from one cave to another. Speleothem sourcing offers the possibility of reconstructing such circuits. In conclusion, this preliminary study underscores how little is known about speleothem transport, utilization, and of basic assumptions and illustrates the need for a large in several karstic zones of the Maya region. Acknowledgments T his research is dedicated to the memory of Bruce Cullerton who was an intrepid caver and a brilliant vehicle mechanic for the Xibun Archaeological Research Project. X AR P was funded by the National Science F oundation (BCS-0096603), the Division of International Programs at Boston University, and the A hau F oundation. F ield research was carried out under permits granted to Patricia A Mc A nany by the Institute of A rchaeology and earlier the Department of A rchaeology (Permit Nos. D OA / H /2/1/0103 and 282/2/97), Government of Belize. ICP-MS at Boston University was conducted with the assistance of Louise Bolge and the ICP-Emission Spectrom etry Laboratory of the Department of Earth Sciences. The ICP-MS laboratory of the Institute for Integrative Research in Materials, Environments, and Society at California State Figure 4. Graph (4a) comparing the logarithmic concentrations of Rare Earth and transition metals for samples obtained in Actun Chanona and the Hershey settlement. Despite the proximity, there are elemental variations between both locales. T he logarithmic concentrations of Sr and Ba shown in (4b) clearly differentiate between the Manatee Karst (circled), and the Hummingbird Karst where Actun Chanona is located.
AMCS Bulletin 23 Chapter 12 Nation et al. 142 University, Long Beach, is funded by a Major Research In strumentation Grant from the National Science Foundation (OCE-9977564) and the College of Natural Sciences. R ichard H urst, George Veni, and A llan Cobb generously offered methodological advice and preliminary interpreta tions of the data. However, any errors of omission and all opinions expressed in the work are the responsibility of the authors. References Cited Adams, Abigail E., and James E. Brady 2005 E thnographic Notes on Maya Qeqchi Cave R ites: Implications for A rchaeological Interpretation. In In the Maw of the Earth Monster: Mesoamerican Ritual Cave Use edited by James E Brady and Keith M. Prufer, pp. 301. University of T exas Press, Austin. Brady, James E., Allan Cobb, Sergio Garza, Cesar Espinosa, and Robert Burnett 2005 An Analysis of Ancient Maya Stalactite Breakage at Balam Na Cave, Guatemala. In Stone Houses and Earth Lords: Maya Religion in the Cave Context edited by Keith M. Prufer and James E. Brady, pp. 213. University Press of Colorado, Boulder. Brady, James E., and Pierre R. Colas 2005 Nikte Mo Scattered F ire in the Cave of Kab Chante: E pigraphic and A rchaeological E vidence for Cave Desecration in Ancient Maya Warfare. In Stone Houses and Earth Lords: Maya Religion in the Cave Context edited by Keith M. Prufer and James E Brady, pp. 149166. University Press of Colorado, Boulder. Brady, James E., Ann Scott, Hector Neff, and Michael D. Glascock 1997 Speleothem Breakage, Movement, Removal, and tion, Geoarchaeology 12(6):725. Deal, Michael 1988 R ecognition of R itual Pottery in R esidential Units: An Ethnohistorical Model of the Maya Family Altar T radition. In Ethnoarchaeology Among the Highland Maya of Chiapas, Mexico edited by T homas A Lee, Jr. and Brian H ayden, pp. 6189. Paper No. 56. New World Archaeological Foundation, Provo. Harrison-Buck, Eleanor, Patricia A. McAnany, and Rebecca Storey 2007 Empowered and Disempowered during the Late to T erminal Classic T ransition: Maya Burial and T ermination Rituals in the Sibun Valley, Belize. In Body Treatments in Ancient Maya Society edited by Vera T iesler and A ndrea Cucina, pp. 74101. Springer Science + Business Media, LLC, New Y ork. McAnany, Patricia A. 1998 Caves and Settlements of the Sibun River Valley, Belize: 1997 Archaeological Survey and Excavation R eport submitted to the Department of A rchaeology, Belmopan, Belize. 2002 Sacred Landscape and Settlement in the Sibun River Valley: XARP 1999 Survey and Excavation SUNY Institute of Mesoamerican Studies O ccasional Paper 8. Albany, NY 2012 Classic Maya H eterodoxy & Shrine Vernacularism in the Sibun Valley of Belize Cambridge Archaeo logical Journal 22(1):115. McAnany, Patricia A., Eleanor Harrison-Buck, and Steven Morandi 2004 Sibun Valley from Late Classic through Colonial Times: Investigations of the 2003 Season of the Xibun Archaeological Research Project Report submitted to the Institute of Archaeology, National Institute of Culture and History, Belmopan, Belize. http://www .bu.edu/tricia/reports McAnany, Patricia A., and Ben S. Thomas 2003 Between the Gorge and the Estuary: Archaeologi cal Investigations of the 2001 Season of the Xibun Archaeological Research Project Report submitted to the Department of A rchaeology, Belmopan, Belize. http://www.bu.edu/tricia/reports Murata, Satoru, Eleanor Harrison-Buck, and Brandon Gonia 2008 Passageway on the Northern Structure of the Main Plaza (Operation 58). In Salt and Pottery Production at Wits Cah Akal & Further Excavations of Group A at Hershey: 2007 Field Season of the Xibun Ar chaeological Research Project edited by Patricia A McAnany and Satoru Murata, pp. 193. Report submitted to the Institute of A rchaeology, Belmopan, Belize. http://www.bu.edu/tricia/reports Peterson, Polly A. 2006 Ancient Maya Ritual Cave Use in the Sibun Valley, Belize A ssociation for Mexican Cave Studies Bulletin 16. Association for Mexican Cave Studies, Austin. Peterson, Polly A., Patricia A. McAnany, and Allan B. Cobb 2005 De-fanging the E arth Monster: Speleothem T ransport to Surface Sites in the Sibun Valley. In Stone Houses and Earth Lords: Maya Religion in the Cave Context edited by Keith M. Prufer and James E. Brady, pp. 225. University Press of Colorado, Boulder. Smith, Mary C. 1979 Esquipulas. Amricas 31(1):26. Thomas, Ben S. 2005 Maya Settlement and Political Hierarchy in the Sibun River Valley, Belize, Central America Ph.D. disserta tion, Department of A rchaeology, Boston University,
Vol. 23 /Edited by James E. Brady, 142
pages, softbound, 2012.
This volume contains twelve papers, including discussions
of the historical development of cave archaeology, some
archaeological field studies, and some artifact studies.
The Historical Context of the Founding of Maya Cave
Archaeology, by Ann M. Scott
The Mesoamerican Cave Paradigm: Its Historical
Development, by C. L. Kieffer and Ann M. Scott
Cueva del Sapo: A GIS Spatial Analysis of Surface
Remains in a Classic Ritual Cave of Western Chiapas,
Mexico, by Davide Domenici and Cristina Pongetti
Windows of the Earth: An Ethnoarchaeological Study on
Cave Use in Suchitepquez and Solol, Guatemala, by Reiko
Ishihara-Brito and Jenny Guerra
The Architectural Cave as an Early Form of Artificial
Cave in the Maya Lowlands, by James E. Brady
Je'reftheel, Roaring Creek Works, Belize, by Christophe
G. B. Helmke and Gabriel D. Wrobel
Investigations at Actun Neko, Caves Branch River
Valley, Belize, by Shawn G. Morton, Christophe Helmke and
Jaime J. Awe
Constructing the Underworld: The Built Environment in
Ancient Mesoamerican Caves, by Holley Moyes
A Green Obsidian Eccentric from Actun Uayazba Kab,
Belize, by W. James Stemp, Christophe G.B. Helmke, Jaime J.
Awe, Tristan Carter, and Sarah Grant
Manuports in Caves, by Michael Mirro
Leaving No Stone Unturned: The Identification and
Interpretation of Unmodified or Minimally Modified Stone
Manuports in Caves, by James E. Brady
Using Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry to
Source Speleothems from Archaeological Contexts in the
Sibun Valley Region of Belize, Central America, by Humberto
Nation, Polly A. Peterson, James E. Brady, Hector Neff, and
Patricia A. McAnany