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Institute of
Archaeology
Belize is a country blessed with a diversity of peoples and cultures that have
come together to form a nation.
Tikal Site Core
Calakmul site core
Copan site core
Palenque site core
Altun Ha, Belize


                                 Structure B4




Altun Ha Site Map
The Jade Head Kinich Ahau.
High Temple at Lamanai (Late Preclassic)
The Hunchback, Lamanai, Belize 
Caracol site core
Twenty-five Years of Research at Caracol, Belize:




             Department of Archaeology Belize
1985: Initial Camp at Caracol




1984: Second Preliminary Trip to Caracol




                                             1988: Caracol Access Road
2007
there is no “i” in “archaeology”




                                   1983
1986                   1992




              2004




K’aan II




                                                                Caana
                                                                Caana
                  jaguar throne


                                         “the” Late Classic royal residence
A.D. 400
                              Dynastic Founding

                              9.18.8.3.9 9 Muluc 7 Muan
                          [-] 1.3.19.11.5
                              8.14.8.10.4 10 Kan 7 Kankin

                                Caracol Ballcourt Marker 3




top of Caracol Stela 20   A.D. 330                   A.D. 798
B2   ISIG for the month K’ayab
                                                  A3   9 pi-ki, (bolon pik) “9Bak’tun”
                                                  B3   18 WINIK-HAAB’ “18 K’atun
                                                  A4   9 HAAB’, “9 Tun”
                                                  B4   5 WINAL-la, “5 Winal
                                                  B5   9 K’IN-ni, “9 K’in”
                                                  C1   6 Muluk 8 [Tzolkin day]
                                                  D1   2 K’AN-a-si “2 K’ayab” [month]
                                                  C2   CHUM-la ti-AJAW-le (chumlaj ti ajawlel)
                                                         “he was seated into kingship
                                                  D2   K’IN-ni-chi (k’inich) “sun-faced”
                                                  C3   JOY-K’AWIIL-li (Joy K’awil)
                                                  D3   K’UHUL-K’AN-tu-ma-ki, (k’uhul k’antu maak)
                                                       “divine man from Caracol” [this is the Caracol emblem]
                                                  C4   u-TZ’AK-aj, “it was changed” [D N Introductory Glyph]
                                                  D4   11 (K’in) 12 WINAL-ya “11 days and 12 winal”
                                                  C5   u-ti-ya (uhtiiy) “it had happened”
                                                  D5   i-u-ti (I-uht) “and then it came to pass”
                                                  C6   10 Ajaw [Tzolkin day]
                                                  D6   8 SAK-SIHOM (8Sak) [month name]
                                                  E2    u K’AL TUUN-ni (u k’al tuun) “he binds the stone”
                                                  E3    ti-LAM-wa (ti lamaw) “for the half [K’atun]”
                                                  F3   14 (K’in) 10 Winal-ji “14 days and 10 winal”
                                                  E4    2 HAAB’-ya “and two years”
                                                  F4   u-ti-ya (uhtiiy) “it had happened”
                                                  D5    i-u-ti (i uht) “and then it came to pass……..”



Free Translation of Caracol Ball Court B Marker
Clause 1: On the 12th of December, AD 799, K’inich Joy K’Awil sat into kingship.
Clause 2: The stacking of 251 days had come to pass and then the 19 th August (AD 800
happened) it is the ‘stone-binding’ at the ‘half-period ending’
Clause 3: Two years and 214 days had come to pass, and then (the 24 th of January AD798 or
         7th of March AD 803) it happened…
Lord Water   K’aan II



9.5.19.1.2   9.9.4.16.2.
A.D. 553     A.D. 618
accession    accession
Caracol Altar 21
“Star-War” at Tikal in A.D. 562
Polity Size and Warfare
               - 60 kilometer rule for territoriality
               - using modern theory in a past context
               - seeing prosperity and cohesion in the
                 population




Tikal
Naranjo

    Caracol
Caracol:
the “edge city”
“finger caches”


                      Ritual Items in Residences: Late Classic caches




                  “face caches”
Caana, Caracol
CARACOL, BELIZE
          Caana from Air




2004
                           1986
Temple of the Wooden Lintel




Establishment of A Group at onset of the 8th Cycle
(ca AD 70)
The A Group Architectural Complex
Caracol Group A
The                Xnaheb

Southern
Belize
Region
(Leventhal 1991)
Nim li Punit, Str.
7
(West Side)

During Initial
Liberation & Final
Consolidation
Structure 8 Construction Stages
              Stage 1




 Stage 5                Stage 2
Nim li Punit, Structures 7 and 8
Acropolis-Style Palace, Lubaantun
Stucco Mask
               Structure N9-56
                   Lamanai




 Before and
   after
conservation
Group
CARACOL Barrio North Group before consolidation
CARACOL Group after excavation and consolidation.
Inspection of Looting, Mound Destruction and
     Archaeological Impact Assessments
Belize Valley Maya Cahal Pech
Cahal Pech Hill

1988




2012
Excavation in Str.A4 revealed a child burial cut into a bench. Ceramic
vessels in the grave were similar to vessels found in a Terminal Classic
tomb in Plaza H.
Str. A2
Str. A3
Worked along with the contractor & use the excavator but just going
down roughly 10-15cm at a time.
Belize
9 bowls lip to lip position “Hewlett Bank Unslipped”
Distribution of Cultural remains on Burns
Ave
Actun Tunichil Muknal
Cave of the Stone Sepulcher
Caves
Branch




         Caves


                 Actun Tunichil
                 Muknal
East Frieze, Str. A6,Xunantunich
Kin = 1 día
Uinal = 20 días (20 kin)
Tun = 360 días (18 uinales)
Katun = 7,200 días (20 tun)
Baktun = 144,000 días (20 katun)




                                   Cada periodo de 13 baktunes
                                    se considera un gran ciclo,
                                    el más importante, equivale
                                        a 5,128 años solares.
                                   El actual ciclo de 13 baktunes
                                            termina el día
                                   21 de diciembre del año 2,012
The 2012 Industry
2012 As Prophecy
 The 2012 Industr
2012: Predictability & Control
2012: Ideology
Socio-Ecological Cycles:
Degeneration vs Progress

                The Past?




  The Future?
Contemporary Issues
Sustainability
• “…the use of environment and resources to meet
  the needs of the present without compromising
  the ability of future generations to meet their
  own needs... Sustainability is a process, rather
  than an end-product…” (Berkes et al. 2003:2-4);
• “achieved in a long-term trial and error process
  and maintained by constant adjustment”
  (Winiwater 2003:93).
Resilience
• “the capacity of a system to absorb
  disturbance; to undergo change and still
  retain essentially the same function,
  structure, and feedbacks” (Walker and Salt
  2006:32).
• given archaeology’s “insight[s] into tens of
  thousands of years of human activities in all
  parts of the globe, [it] is a tantalizing source
  of information on human-environmental
  relations” (Redman 1999:3-4).
We need to craft detailed, integrated histories for
   specific coupled socio-ecological systems
Key Issue: Communities are Internally
             segmented
Key Issue: Historical Contingency
Integrated History and future Of
             People on Earth (IHOPE)
•IHOPE-MAYA
   • (1) T’isil and Yalahau;
   •(2) Sayil and the Puuc;
   •(3) Calakmul and Campeche;
   •(4) Tikal and East-Central
   Peten;
   •(5) La Milpa and Northern
   Belize;
   •(6) Caracol and the Vaca
   Plateau;
   •(7) Palenque and Sierra de
   Chiapas foothills;
   •8) Seibal and the Rio Pasion
   •(9) Uxbenka and the Toledo
   foothills;
   •(10) Chichen Itza and Yucatan.
2012 As An Opportunity
CONTEMPORARY, UNSUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE
         IN THE VACA PLATEAU
GRB




Caracol: epicenter and surrounding settlement
Structures/Groups
archaeologically
investigated at
Caracol, Belize

(144 Discreet Groups)
- more than 100,000
                                               people at A.D. 650

                                               - prosperity at the site
                                               due to successful warfare
                                                        - Tikal, A.D. 562
                                                        - Naranjo, A.D. 631

                                               - causeways integrate the
                                               settlement

                                                - thousands of kilometers
                                                of stone terraces were
                                Caracol Str. B20
                                                constructed to maximize
                                A.D. 537
                                                the agricultural potential
                                                of the landscape


Caracol Str. B20
A.D. 537
                   S.D. C1H-3
LiDAR

(Light Detection And Ranging)




                     1. Laser fires 1000s of pulses per second at the target.
                        - Photons reflect off the target and return to the receiver.
                        - Based on speed of light, the distance from the sensor to the target is
                        calculated.
                     2. GPS records aircraft latitude, longitude, and altitude.
                     3. Inertial navigation unit records the aircraft’s orientation (roll, pitch,
                        and yaw).
                     4. On-board computer converts locations of target surfaces into 3-
                        dimensional data called point clouds.
LiDAR-based Mapping Efforts at Caracol, Belize


                                                                            Mexico



                                                                                        Belize




                                                                            Guatemala
                                                                                         Caribbean
                                                                                           Sea
                                           April 26-30, 2009

Total Passes – 122                         Flying Height – 800 m
Total Length – 1587 km                     Total Flight Time – 13.7 hrs
Swath Width – 519.9 m                      Scan Frequency – 40 Hz
Total Swath Area – 199.7 km2               Scan Angle – +/- 21⁰
                  2.38 billion laser pulses were fired
                       yielding 4.28 billion measurements
                  ~20 shots/m2; vertical accuracy 5-30 cm
                  Cost for flights and processing - $171.1 K or $855/km 2
Detection of Maya Structures
100 m




Caracol
Epicenter
2D LiDAR


Caana
“2.5D” LiDAR           Photograph




               Caana
-11 new causeways
-5 new “formal” termini
- massive terracing




           2000                  2009




                          2003
Caracol Causeways
                                   Hatzcap Ceel
                                      Terminus




        1 km       Cahal Pichik
                   Terminus


Caracol
Epicenter       100 m
Thompson 1931




Cahal Pichik   Morris 2004
                                             Hatzcap Ceel
Detection of Maya Structures: Retiro Terminus


100 m




        market
market
              reservoirs
residential                                     Puchituk
groups                                          Terminus




                                    terracing
                      roadway
Caracol constructed
reservoirs visually
identified through
LiDAR




                      Caracol, Belize
 courtesy of:
 Adrian S.Z. Chase
CARACOL   Comparing Scale and Urban Development       ANGKOR




                            after Evans and Pottier
2013 Belize LiDAR Campaign


Alphawood Foundation grant: $360,295.
LiDAR Acquisition in Western Belize:
Answering Socio-Political Questions in Maya
Archaeology. A.F. Chase, D.Z. Chase, J. Awe,
J.F. Weishampel, G. Iannone, H. Moyes, J.
Yaeger, and M.K. Brown.




Caracol DEM = 200 sq km

A. Upper Vaca Plateau
         355 sq km

B.   Eastern Vaca Plateau
            195 sq km

C. Belize Valley
           500 sq km
The Vanishing
Canopy:
the missing 12%




Deforestation
and Illegal Logging …….

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Belize | XIII Baktun, Fin del Calendario Maya 2012

  • 2. Belize is a country blessed with a diversity of peoples and cultures that have come together to form a nation.
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  • 11. Altun Ha, Belize Structure B4 Altun Ha Site Map
  • 12. The Jade Head Kinich Ahau.
  • 13. High Temple at Lamanai (Late Preclassic)
  • 16. Twenty-five Years of Research at Caracol, Belize: Department of Archaeology Belize
  • 17. 1985: Initial Camp at Caracol 1984: Second Preliminary Trip to Caracol 1988: Caracol Access Road
  • 18. 2007 there is no “i” in “archaeology” 1983
  • 19. 1986 1992 2004 K’aan II Caana Caana jaguar throne “the” Late Classic royal residence
  • 20. A.D. 400 Dynastic Founding 9.18.8.3.9 9 Muluc 7 Muan [-] 1.3.19.11.5 8.14.8.10.4 10 Kan 7 Kankin Caracol Ballcourt Marker 3 top of Caracol Stela 20 A.D. 330 A.D. 798
  • 21. B2 ISIG for the month K’ayab A3 9 pi-ki, (bolon pik) “9Bak’tun” B3 18 WINIK-HAAB’ “18 K’atun A4 9 HAAB’, “9 Tun” B4 5 WINAL-la, “5 Winal B5 9 K’IN-ni, “9 K’in” C1 6 Muluk 8 [Tzolkin day] D1 2 K’AN-a-si “2 K’ayab” [month] C2 CHUM-la ti-AJAW-le (chumlaj ti ajawlel) “he was seated into kingship D2 K’IN-ni-chi (k’inich) “sun-faced” C3 JOY-K’AWIIL-li (Joy K’awil) D3 K’UHUL-K’AN-tu-ma-ki, (k’uhul k’antu maak) “divine man from Caracol” [this is the Caracol emblem] C4 u-TZ’AK-aj, “it was changed” [D N Introductory Glyph] D4 11 (K’in) 12 WINAL-ya “11 days and 12 winal” C5 u-ti-ya (uhtiiy) “it had happened” D5 i-u-ti (I-uht) “and then it came to pass” C6 10 Ajaw [Tzolkin day] D6 8 SAK-SIHOM (8Sak) [month name] E2 u K’AL TUUN-ni (u k’al tuun) “he binds the stone” E3 ti-LAM-wa (ti lamaw) “for the half [K’atun]” F3 14 (K’in) 10 Winal-ji “14 days and 10 winal” E4 2 HAAB’-ya “and two years” F4 u-ti-ya (uhtiiy) “it had happened” D5 i-u-ti (i uht) “and then it came to pass……..” Free Translation of Caracol Ball Court B Marker Clause 1: On the 12th of December, AD 799, K’inich Joy K’Awil sat into kingship. Clause 2: The stacking of 251 days had come to pass and then the 19 th August (AD 800 happened) it is the ‘stone-binding’ at the ‘half-period ending’ Clause 3: Two years and 214 days had come to pass, and then (the 24 th of January AD798 or 7th of March AD 803) it happened…
  • 22. Lord Water K’aan II 9.5.19.1.2 9.9.4.16.2. A.D. 553 A.D. 618 accession accession
  • 23. Caracol Altar 21 “Star-War” at Tikal in A.D. 562
  • 24. Polity Size and Warfare - 60 kilometer rule for territoriality - using modern theory in a past context - seeing prosperity and cohesion in the population Tikal Naranjo Caracol
  • 26. “finger caches” Ritual Items in Residences: Late Classic caches “face caches”
  • 28. CARACOL, BELIZE Caana from Air 2004 1986
  • 29. Temple of the Wooden Lintel Establishment of A Group at onset of the 8th Cycle (ca AD 70)
  • 30. The A Group Architectural Complex
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  • 34. The Xnaheb Southern Belize Region (Leventhal 1991)
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  • 37. Nim li Punit, Str. 7 (West Side) During Initial Liberation & Final Consolidation
  • 38. Structure 8 Construction Stages Stage 1 Stage 5 Stage 2
  • 39. Nim li Punit, Structures 7 and 8
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  • 42. Stucco Mask Structure N9-56 Lamanai Before and after conservation
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  • 44. Group CARACOL Barrio North Group before consolidation
  • 45. CARACOL Group after excavation and consolidation.
  • 46. Inspection of Looting, Mound Destruction and Archaeological Impact Assessments
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  • 48. Belize Valley Maya Cahal Pech
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  • 51. Excavation in Str.A4 revealed a child burial cut into a bench. Ceramic vessels in the grave were similar to vessels found in a Terminal Classic tomb in Plaza H.
  • 53. Worked along with the contractor & use the excavator but just going down roughly 10-15cm at a time.
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  • 57. 9 bowls lip to lip position “Hewlett Bank Unslipped”
  • 58. Distribution of Cultural remains on Burns Ave
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  • 61. Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave of the Stone Sepulcher
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  • 63. Caves Branch Caves Actun Tunichil Muknal
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  • 66. East Frieze, Str. A6,Xunantunich
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  • 72. Kin = 1 día Uinal = 20 días (20 kin) Tun = 360 días (18 uinales) Katun = 7,200 días (20 tun) Baktun = 144,000 días (20 katun) Cada periodo de 13 baktunes se considera un gran ciclo, el más importante, equivale a 5,128 años solares. El actual ciclo de 13 baktunes termina el día 21 de diciembre del año 2,012
  • 74. 2012 As Prophecy The 2012 Industr
  • 77. Socio-Ecological Cycles: Degeneration vs Progress The Past? The Future?
  • 79. Sustainability • “…the use of environment and resources to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs... Sustainability is a process, rather than an end-product…” (Berkes et al. 2003:2-4); • “achieved in a long-term trial and error process and maintained by constant adjustment” (Winiwater 2003:93).
  • 80. Resilience • “the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance; to undergo change and still retain essentially the same function, structure, and feedbacks” (Walker and Salt 2006:32). • given archaeology’s “insight[s] into tens of thousands of years of human activities in all parts of the globe, [it] is a tantalizing source of information on human-environmental relations” (Redman 1999:3-4).
  • 81. We need to craft detailed, integrated histories for specific coupled socio-ecological systems
  • 82. Key Issue: Communities are Internally segmented
  • 83. Key Issue: Historical Contingency
  • 84. Integrated History and future Of People on Earth (IHOPE) •IHOPE-MAYA • (1) T’isil and Yalahau; •(2) Sayil and the Puuc; •(3) Calakmul and Campeche; •(4) Tikal and East-Central Peten; •(5) La Milpa and Northern Belize; •(6) Caracol and the Vaca Plateau; •(7) Palenque and Sierra de Chiapas foothills; •8) Seibal and the Rio Pasion •(9) Uxbenka and the Toledo foothills; •(10) Chichen Itza and Yucatan.
  • 85. 2012 As An Opportunity
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  • 90. GRB Caracol: epicenter and surrounding settlement
  • 92. - more than 100,000 people at A.D. 650 - prosperity at the site due to successful warfare - Tikal, A.D. 562 - Naranjo, A.D. 631 - causeways integrate the settlement - thousands of kilometers of stone terraces were Caracol Str. B20 constructed to maximize A.D. 537 the agricultural potential of the landscape Caracol Str. B20 A.D. 537 S.D. C1H-3
  • 93. LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) 1. Laser fires 1000s of pulses per second at the target. - Photons reflect off the target and return to the receiver. - Based on speed of light, the distance from the sensor to the target is calculated. 2. GPS records aircraft latitude, longitude, and altitude. 3. Inertial navigation unit records the aircraft’s orientation (roll, pitch, and yaw). 4. On-board computer converts locations of target surfaces into 3- dimensional data called point clouds.
  • 94. LiDAR-based Mapping Efforts at Caracol, Belize Mexico Belize Guatemala Caribbean Sea April 26-30, 2009 Total Passes – 122 Flying Height – 800 m Total Length – 1587 km Total Flight Time – 13.7 hrs Swath Width – 519.9 m Scan Frequency – 40 Hz Total Swath Area – 199.7 km2 Scan Angle – +/- 21⁰ 2.38 billion laser pulses were fired yielding 4.28 billion measurements ~20 shots/m2; vertical accuracy 5-30 cm Cost for flights and processing - $171.1 K or $855/km 2
  • 95. Detection of Maya Structures 100 m Caracol Epicenter
  • 97. “2.5D” LiDAR Photograph Caana
  • 98. -11 new causeways -5 new “formal” termini - massive terracing 2000 2009 2003
  • 99. Caracol Causeways Hatzcap Ceel Terminus 1 km Cahal Pichik Terminus Caracol Epicenter 100 m
  • 100. Thompson 1931 Cahal Pichik Morris 2004 Hatzcap Ceel
  • 101. Detection of Maya Structures: Retiro Terminus 100 m market
  • 102. market reservoirs residential Puchituk groups Terminus terracing roadway
  • 103. Caracol constructed reservoirs visually identified through LiDAR Caracol, Belize courtesy of: Adrian S.Z. Chase
  • 104. CARACOL Comparing Scale and Urban Development ANGKOR after Evans and Pottier
  • 105. 2013 Belize LiDAR Campaign Alphawood Foundation grant: $360,295. LiDAR Acquisition in Western Belize: Answering Socio-Political Questions in Maya Archaeology. A.F. Chase, D.Z. Chase, J. Awe, J.F. Weishampel, G. Iannone, H. Moyes, J. Yaeger, and M.K. Brown. Caracol DEM = 200 sq km A. Upper Vaca Plateau 355 sq km B. Eastern Vaca Plateau 195 sq km C. Belize Valley 500 sq km
  • 106. The Vanishing Canopy: the missing 12% Deforestation and Illegal Logging …….

Editor's Notes

  1. Caracol Caana