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Perspectives on the Ancient Maya of Chetumal Bay$
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Debra S. Walker

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813062792

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813062792.001.0001

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The First Settlers on Chetumal Bay

The First Settlers on Chetumal Bay

(p.33) 2 The First Settlers on Chetumal Bay
Perspectives on the Ancient Maya of Chetumal Bay

Kathryn Reese-Taylor

University Press of Florida

Chapter 2 reviews recent data on the original settlement of the Chetumal Bay region. There is evidence for habitation in northern Belize during the Archaic and Preceramic periods on Progresso Lagoon and other parts of the interior, but the first evidence for settled life on the bay itself stems from the early Middle Preclassic period, specifically around Santa Rita Corozal in Belize and Oxtankah in Mexico. By the late Middle Preclassic a trading port was established on Tamalcab Island, indicative of organized community interaction and trade in highland imports such as jade and obsidian, probably exchanged for salt and other marine products. By the end of the Late Preclassic, the bay area population had increased dramatically, and both ports and inland centers exhibited monumental architecture.

Keywords:   Archaic, Preceramic, Progresso Lagoon, Middle Preclassic, Late Preclassic, Santa Rita Corozal, Oxtankah, Tamalcab Island

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