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  A Preliminary Geoarchaeological Investigation of Ground Stone Tools in and Around the Maya Mountains, Toledo District, Belize Minimize

Marc A. Abramiuk and William P. Meurer

Abstract

We investigate ground stone tools, specifically manos and metates, throughout the Bladen region of the Maya Mountains of Belize and adjacent areas during the Late and Terminal Classic periods. Because of the distinctiveness and relative heterogeneity of rock types in the Bladen region, we can pinpoint the Bladen communities that exploited the raw materials used in manufacturing manos and metates utilized in other communities. Based on mano and metate fragments that were recovered from the Bladen communities, as well as communities outside the Bladen region, we reconstruct an intercommunity network within the Bladen region and investigate communities outside of the Bladen to which the Bladen communities were directly or indirectly linked. This investigation shows that if enough geo-specific information is available, it is possible to reconstruct a relatively accurate picture of inter-community relations. Moreover, it is shown that the Bladen region was a valuable source of ground stone for the Maya Lowlands and the Bladen communities were integral players in its exploitation.

Resumen


Analizamos los utensilios de piedra pulida, específicamente manos y metates, de los períodos Clásico Tardío y Clásico Terminal en la región Bladen, montañas mayas de Belice y sus zonas adyacentes. Debido a su peculiaridad y relativa heterogeneidad de los tipos de rocas en Bladen, podemos identificar con precisión las comunidades que explotaron las materias primas para manufacturar manos y metates que fueron utilizadas en otras comunidades. Basados en fragmentos de manos y metates recuperados, hemos reconstruido una red intercomunal dentro de la región Bladen e investigado aquellas fuera de Bladen con las que tuvieron contactos directos o indirectos. Mostramos que existe suficiente información geológica para poder reconstruir un modelo relativamente preciso de las relaciones intercomunales. Además, demostramos que la región Bladen fue un importante centro de piedra pulida para las tierras bajas mayas y que sus comunidades fueron piezas claves en la explotación de estos recursos.

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