Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

THE LATE AND TERMINAL CLASSIC CERAMIC SEQUENCE AT LA MILPA, BELIZE: IMPLICATIONS FOR ITS OCCUPATION HISTORY

  • Kerry Lynn Sagebiel (a1)

Abstract

Previous interpretations of the occupation history of La Milpa, Belize, which were based on preliminary ceramic data, suggested that occupation of the site fluctuated dramatically from the Late Preclassic to the Terminal Classic (400 b.c.a.d. 850). It was determined that the modest Late Preclassic village became a large Early Classic city with regal-ritual architecture and carved monuments. In Late Classic I, it appeared the site was nearly abandoned. Its reoccupation and exponential growth in Late Classic II was followed by rapid abandonment before the end of the Late Classic III/Terminal Classic. New ceramic analyses utilizing attribute analysis with an emphasis on formal modes has clarified the sequence and, in turn, softened the occupation curves. This article provides descriptions of the Late Classic I, II, and III ceramics, along with revised percentage frequency graphs of La Milpa's occupation history based primarily on the work of the La Milpa Archaeological Project (1992–2002).

Copyright

Corresponding author

E-mail correspondence to: ksagebiel@niu.edu

References

Hide All
Adams, Richard E. W. 1971 The Ceramics of Altar de Sacrifícios. Papers of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Vol. 63. Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.
Adams, Richard E. W. 1999 Río Azul: An Ancient Maya City. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman.
Awe, Jaime J., and Helmke, Christophe G. B. 2007 Fighting the Inevitable: The Terminal Classic Maya of the Upper Roaring Creek Valley. In Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology: Archaeological Investigations in the Eastern Maya Lowlands: Papers of the 2007 Belize Archaeology Symposium, edited by Morris, John, Jones, Sherilyne, Awe, Jaime, and Helmke, Christophe, pp. 28420. Institute of Archaeology, National Institute of Culture and History, Belmopan, Belize.
Ball, Joseph W. 1977 The Archaeological Ceramics of Becan, Campeche, Mexico. Middle American Research Institute Publication No. 43. Tulane University, New Orleans.
Brainerd, George W. 1958 The Archaeological Ceramics of Yucatan. Anthropological Records Vol. 19. University of California Press, Berkeley.
Chase, Arlen F., and Chase, Diane Z. 1994 Maya Veneration of the Dead at Caracol, Belize. In Seventh Palenque Round Table, 1989, edited by Robertson, Merle G. and Fields, Virginia, pp. 5360. Pre-Columbian Art Research Institute, San Francisco.
Chase, Arlen F., and Chase, Diane Z. 2004 Terminal Classic Status-Linked Ceramics and the Maya “Collapse”: De Facto Refuse at Caracol, Belize. In The Terminal Classic in the Maya Lowlands: Collapse, Transition, and Transformation, edited by Demarest, Arthur A., Rice, Prudence M., and Rice, Don S., pp. 342366. University Press of Colorado, Boulder.
Cobos Palma, Rafael 2004 Chichen Itza: Settlement and Hegemony during the Terminal Classic Period. In The Terminal Classic in the Maya Lowlands: Collapse, Transition, and Transformation, edited by Demarest, Arthur A., Rice, Prudence M., and Rice, Don S., pp. 517544. University Press of Colorado, Boulder.
Culbert, T. Patrick 1993 The Ceramics of Tikal: Vessels from the Burials, Caches, and Problematical Deposits. Tikal Report No. 25A. University Museum Monograph No. 81. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
Dominguez Carrasco, Maria del Rosario 1994 Calakmul, Campeche: Un análisis de la cerámica. Universidad Autónoma de Campeche, México.
Dunning, Nicholas, and Beach, Timothy 2000 Stability and Instability in Prehispanic Maya Landscapes. In Imperfect Balance: Landscape Transformations in the Precolumbian Americas, edited by Lentz, David L., pp. 179202. Historical Ecology Series. Columbia University Press, New York.
Dunning, Nicholas P., Luzzadder-Beach, Sheryl, Beach, Timothy, Jones, John G., Scarborough, Vernon L., and Culbert, T. Patrick 2002 Arising from the Bajos: The Evolution of a Neotropical Landscape and the Rise of Maya Civilization. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 92:267283.
Dunning, Nicholas, Scarborough, Vernon L., Valdez, Fred Jr., Luzzadder-Beach, Sheryl, Beach, Timothy, and Jones, John G. 1999 Temple Mountains, Sacred Lakes, and Fertile Fields: Ancient Maya Landscapes in Northwestern Belize. Antiquity 73:650660.
Estrada Belli, Francisco, Tourtellot, Gair III, and Hammond, Norman 1999 A Virtual View of La Milpa, Belize. Electronic document, http://www.bu.edu/lamilpa/linkmap.html, accessed October, 2012.
Everson, Gloria 2003 Terminal Classic Maya Settlement Patterns at La Milpa, Belize. Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Anthropology, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA.
Gifford, James C. 1960 The Type-Variety Method of Ceramic Classification as an Indicator of Cultural Phenomena. American Antiquity 25:341347.
Gifford, James C. 1963 A Statement Concerning the Ceramic Group. Cerámica de Cultura Maya 1:2325.
Gifford, James C. 1976 Prehistoric Pottery Analysis and the Ceramics of Barton Ramie in the Belize Valley. Memoirs of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Vol. 18. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.
Gonzalez, Jason J. 2012 Cultural Landscape Study of Influence and Domesticity: Comparing Classic Maya Communities in the Three Rivers Region of Northwestern Belize (c.e. 550–1000). Unpublished manuscript on file, Department of Anthropology, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.
Graham, Elizabeth A. 1987 Terminal Classic to Early Historic Period Vessel Forms from Belize. In Maya Ceramics: Papers from the 1985 Maya Ceramic Conference, edited by Rice, Prudence M., and Sharer, Robert J., pp. 7398. BAR International Series 345(i). British Archaeological Reports, Oxford.
Hammond, Norman, and Bobo, Matthew R. 1994 Pilgrimage's Last Mile: Late Maya Monument Veneration at La Milpa, Belize. World Archaeology 26:1934.
Hammond, Norman, and Tourtellot, Gair III 2004 Out with a Whimper: La Milpa in the Terminal Classic. In The Terminal Classic in the Maya Lowlands: Collapse, Transition, and Transformation, edited by Demarest, Arthur A., Rice, Prudence M., and Rice, Don S., pp. 288301. University Press of Colorado, Boulder.
Hammond, Norman, Tourtellot, Gair III, and Rose, John 1995 Beating around the Bush in Belize: Archaeological Survey at La Milpa, 1994. Context 12:610.
Kosakowsky, Laura Jane 1983 Intra-site Variability of the Formative Ceramics from Cuello, Belize: An Analysis of Form and Function. Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Anthropology, University of Arizona, Tucson.
Kosakowsky, Laura Jane 1987 Preclassic Maya Pottery at Cuello, Belize. Anthropological Papers of the University of Arizona No. 47. The University of Arizona Press, Tucson.
Kosakowsky, Laura Jane, and Lohse, Jon C. 2003 Investigating Multivariate Ceramic Attributes as Clues to Ancient Maya Social, Economic, and Political Organization in Blue Creek, Northwestern Belize. Research report, submitted to the Ahau Foundation, Albequerque, NM.
Kosakowsky, Laura Jane, and Pring, Duncan C. 1985 The Nohmul Ceramic Sequence: A Summary Analysis. Unpublished manuscript on file, Institute of Archaeology, Belmopan, Belize.
Kosakowsky, Laura Jane, and Sagebiel, Kerry L. 1999 The Ceramic Sequence of La Milpa, Belize. Mexicon 21(6):131136.
Kosakowsky, Laura Jane, Sagebiel, Kerry L., Hammond, Norman, and Tourtellot, Gair III 1998 En la frontera: La cerámica de La Milpa, Belice. In XI Simposio de Investigaciones Arqueológicas en Guatemala, 1997, Vol. 2, edited by Laporte, Juan Pedro and Escobedo, Hector L., pp. 659666. Museo Nacional de Arqueología y Etnología, Ministerio de Cultura y Deportes, Instituto de Antropología e Historia, Asociación Tikal, Guatemala City.
Kunen, Julie Lynn 2001 Study of an Ancient Maya Bajo Landscape in Northwestern Belize. Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Anthropology, University of Arizona, Tucson.
Kunen, Julie Lynn 2004 Ancient Maya Life in the Far West Bajo: Social and Environmental Change in the Wetlands of Belize. Anthropological Papers of the University of Arizona No. 69. The University of Arizona Press, Tucson.
LeCount, Lisa Jeanne 1996 Pottery and Power: Feasting, Gifting, and Displaying Wealth among the Late and Terminal Classic Lowland Maya. Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles.
Lincoln, Charles E. 1985 Ceramics and Ceramic Chronology. In A Consideration of the Early Classic Period in the Maya Lowlands, edited by Willey, Gordon R. and Mathews, Peter, pp. 5594. Institute for Mesoamerican Studies Publication No. 10, Albany, NY.
Pring, Duncan C. 1977 The Preclassic Ceramics of Northern Belize. Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Archaeology, London University, London, UK.
Rands, Robert L. 1959 The Incensario Complex of Palenque, Chiapas. American Antiquity 36:275287.
Reents-Budet, Dorie 1994 Painting the Maya Universe: Royal Ceramics of the Classic Period. Duke University Press, Durham, NC.
Rice, Prudence M. 1999 Rethinking Classic Lowland Maya Pottery Censers. Ancient Mesoamerica 10:2550.
Rice, Prudence M., and Forsyth, Donald W. 2004 Terminal Classic-Period Lowland Ceramics. In The Terminal Classic in the Maya Lowlands: Collapse, Transition, and Transformation, edited by Demarest, Arthur A., Rice, Prudence M., and Rice, Don S., pp. 2859. University Press of Colorado, Boulder.
Ringle, William M., Bey, George J. III, Freeman, Tara Bond, Hanson, Craig A., Houck, Charles W., and Smith, J. Gregory 2004 The Decline of the East: The Classic to Postclassic Transition at Ek Balam, Yucatan. In The Terminal Classic in the Maya Lowlands: Collapse, Transition, and Transformation, edited by Demarest, Arthur A., Rice, Prudence M., and Rice, Don S., pp. 485516. University Press of Colorado, Boulder.
Rivera, Patricia, and Sagebiel, Kerry L. 2003 Análisis preliminar del material cerámico de San Bartolo. In Proyecto Arquelogicó San Bartolo: Informe Preliminar No. 3, Tercera Temporada 2004, edited by Urquizu, Mónica and Saturno, William, pp. 312367. Informe Entregado al Instituto de Antropología e Historia de Guatemala, Guatemala City.
Rose, John Janson 2000 A Study of Late Classic Maya Population Growth at La Milpa, Belize. Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Anthropology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA.
Runggaldier, Astrid, and Hammond, Norman 2000 Millennial Moments: Disinterring the Archaeology of Louisville, Belize. Context 15:2628.
Sabloff, Jeremy A. 1975 Excavations at Seibal, Department of Petén, Guatemala: Ceramics. Memoirs of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology Vol. 13, No. 2. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.
Sagebiel, Kerry Lynn 2005a Shifting Allegiances at La Milpa, Belize: A Typological, Chronological, and Formal Analysis of the Ceramics. Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Anthropology, University of Arizona, Tucson.
Sagebiel, Kerry Lynn 2005b Blue Creek Regional Political Ecology Ceramic Report: 2004 Season. In 2004 Season Summaries of the Blue Creek Regional Political Ecology Project, Upper Northwestern Belize, edited by Lohse, Jon C. and Sagebiel, Kerry L., pp. 1640. Report submitted to the Institute of Archaeology, Belize.
Sagebiel, Kerry Lynn 2006 Blue Creek Regional Political Ecology Ceramic Report: 2005 Season. In Final Season Summaries of the Blue Creek Regional Political Ecology Project: 2005 Investigations in Upper Northwestern Belize, edited by Lohse, Jon C., pp. 7695. Report submitted to the Institute of Archaeology, Belize.
Scarborough, Vernon L. 1993 Water Management in the Southern Maya Lowlands: An Accretive Model for the Engineered Landscape. In Economic Aspects of Water Management in the Prehispanic New World, edited by Scarborough, Vernon L. and Isaac, Barry L., pp. 1769. Research in Economic Anthropology No. 7 (Supplement). JAI Press, Greenwich, CT.
Scarborough, Vernon L., Becher, Matthew E., Baker, Jeffrey L., Harris, Garry, and Valdez, Fred Jr. 1995 Water and Land at the Ancient Maya Community of La Milpa. Latin American Antiquity 6:98119.
Smith, Robert Eliot 1944 Archaeological Specimens from Guatemala. In Notes on Middle American Archaeology and Ethnology, Vol. 2, pp. 3557. Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, DC.
Smith, Robert Eliot 1955 Ceramic Sequence at Uaxactun, Guatemala. Publication No. 20, Vol. 2. Middle American Research Institute, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA.
Smith, Robert Eliot 1971 The Pottery of Mayapan. Papers of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology Vol. 66. Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.
Smith, Robert Eliot, and Gifford, James C. 1966 Maya Ceramic Varieties, Types, and Wares at Uaxactun: Supplement to “Ceramic Sequence at Uaxactun, Guatemala.” Middle American Research Records Vol. 3, Nos. 1–5. Middle American Research Institute, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA.
Smith, Robert Eliot, Willey, Gordon R., and Gifford, James C. 1960 The Type-Variety Concept as a Basis for the Analysis of Maya Pottery. American Antiquity 25:330340.
Sullivan, Lauren A., and Sagebiel, Kerry L. 2003 Changing Political Alliances in the Three Rivers Region. In Heterarchy, Political Economy, and the Ancient Maya: The Three Rivers Region of the East-Central Yucatan Peninsula, edited by Scarborough, Vernon L., Valdez, Fred Jr., and Dunning, Nicholas, pp. 2536. The University of Arizona Press, Tucson.
Sullivan, Lauren A., and Valdez, Fred Jr. 2006 The Late Preclassic to Early Classic Transition in the Three Rivers Region. In Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology, Vol. 3, pp. 7384. Institute of Archaeology, Belmopan, Belize.
Thompson, J. Eric 1939 Excavations at San Jose, British Honduras. Carnegie Institution of Washington Publication 506, Washington, DC.
Tourtellot, Gair III 1997 Background and Summary of La Milpa, Belize. Unpublished manuscript on file, Department of Archaeology, Boston University, Boston, MA.
Tourtellot, Gair III, Belli, Francisco Estrada, Rose, John J., and Hammond, Norman 2003a Late Classic Maya Heterarchy, Hierarchy, and Landscape at La Milpa, Belize. In Heterarchy, Political Economy, and the Ancient Maya: The Three Rivers Region of the East-Central Yucatan Peninsula, edited by Scarborough, Vernon L., Valdez, Fred Jr., and Dunning, Nicholas, pp. 3751. The University of Arizona Press, Tucson.
Tourtellot, Gair III, Everson, Gloria, and Hammond, Norman 2003b Suburban Organization: Minor Centers at La Milpa, Belize. In Perspectives on Ancient Maya Rural Complexity, edited by Iannone, Gyles, and Connell, Samuel V., pp. 95107. Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, Monograph No. 49. University of California, Los Angeles.
Tourtellot, Gair III, Rose, John J., Grube, Nikolai, Donaghey, Sara, and Hammond, Norman 1994 More Light on La Milpa: Maya Settlement Archaeology in Northwestern Belize. Mexicon 16(6):119124.
Valdez, Fred Jr. 1987 The Prehistoric Ceramics of Colha, Northern Belize. Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Anthropology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.
Valdez, Fred Jr. 1998 The Chan Chich Ceramic Sequence. In The 1997 Season of the Chan Chich Archaeological Project, edited by Houk, Brett Alan, pp. 7386. Papers of the Chan Chich Archaeological Project No. 3. Center for Maya Studies, San Antonio, TX.
Valdez, Fred Jr., and Houk, Brett Alan 2000 The Chan Chich Ceramic Complexes. In The 1998 and 1999 Seasons of the Chan Chich Archaeological Project, edited by Houk, Brett Alan, pp. 127140. Papers of the Chan Chich Archaeological Project No. 4. Mesoamerican Archaeological Research Laboratory, University of Texas, Austin.
Weiss-Krejci, Estella, and Sabbas, Thomas 2002 The Potential Role of Small Depressions as Water Storage Features in the Central Maya Lowlands. Latin American Antiquity 13:353357.
Willey, Gordon R., Bullard, William R. Jr., Glass, John B., and Gifford, James C. 1965 Prehistoric Maya Settlements in the Belize Valley. Papers of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Vol. 54. Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.
Zaro, Gregory, and Houk, Brett A. 2012 The Growth and Decline of the Ancient Maya City of La Milpa, Belize: New Data and New Perspectives from the Southern Plazas. Ancient Mesoamerica 23:143159.

THE LATE AND TERMINAL CLASSIC CERAMIC SEQUENCE AT LA MILPA, BELIZE: IMPLICATIONS FOR ITS OCCUPATION HISTORY

  • Kerry Lynn Sagebiel (a1)

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed