By Heather McKillop
One such archaeologist is Heather McKillop, who in 1979 first visited the coast of Belize looking for a little-known point of historic Maya existence: the ocean exchange that helped circulate salt, obsidian, coral, and different items round the inside of the empire. In 1982, she all started bringing volunteers and scholars to the islands off the coast of Port Honduras, Belize. for the reason that then she has back repeatedly to excavate websites that show the scope and variety of the exchange that glided by water during the Maya world.
In this ebook, McKillop tells the tale of the hunt for the Maya sea investors, in addition to the tale of the investors themselves because it emerges from the excavations. looking for Maya Sea investors describes the buying and selling port of untamed Cane Cay, the place unique obsidian, jade, gold, and different goods—including hugely crafted pots—were traded from far-off lands. McKillop additionally tells us concerning the extra coastal-inland alternate of salt, seafood, and different marine resources.
Through the tale of her personal paintings and that of her scholars and volunteers, McKillop versions either the learn layout and the sphere paintings which are required to interpret the civilizations of the earlier. She comprises the journey of discovery, the demanding situations of operating in wild environments (from snakes and emerging sea degrees to falling coconuts) and the tedium of day-by-day measured digs in a near-tropical environment. via her reviews, the reader additionally will get to grasp a number of the neighborhood citizens of Port Honduras and Wild Cane Cay, descendants of the traditional Maya.
In seek of Maya Sea investors will entice that a part of each one folks that longs to discover remote places and cultures, looking for a seldom-glimpsed past.
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Extra resources for In Search of Maya Sea Traders
During the day, Tiger met visitors in the water as they approached in their dories and kept them on board until I arrived. Nobody approached the barred teeth of snarling Tiger — until two young ﬁshermen from Punta Negra arrived. I saw them approaching the tent camp, where Tiger and I had returned brieﬂy. The camp was off limits to visitors, who were given a tour of the site and visited Frank and Adel at the house. As I noticed the ﬁshermen, Tiger ran toward them. With a rush of adrenaline and fear that Tiger would attack the strangers, I followed the dog.
With a population of around three thousand, Punta Gorda was both the largest community in Toledo and its A 24 01-A3135-PT1 9/2/04 11:36 AM Page 25 capital. Unfortunately, despite its regional importance on market days, Punta Gorda was a backwater in the larger Belizean economy. The Toledo district was agricultural, with Maya settlements on reservation land, as well as a medley of Creole, East Indian, Chinese, Black Carib, Confederate descendants, missionaries, and foreign-aid workers. Although originally a Black Carib community, over the years Punta Gorda had become dominated by East Indians, who owned many of the ubiquitous, small grocery stores in the town.
Tiger’s reputation was now well secured in Punta Negra. More importantly, the story was retold until it attained legendary proportions in Punta Gorda and the coastal waters and islands. 1 The students used tape measures to set out a 2 by 2 meter square. They drove palm frond stakes into the ground and marked the perimeter with a string. I took a picture. After several weeks on the cay, we were ready to excavate middens, the domestic garbage from ancient Maya households. Avoiding the six mounds that contained the remains of more elaborate architecture of the island’s elite, I searched for the more modest remains of households and their refuse.