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Ancient Maya Cities of the Eastern Lowlands$
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Brett A. Houk

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780813060637

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813060637.001.0001

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Northwestern Belize

Northwestern Belize

(p.168) 8 Northwestern Belize
Ancient Maya Cities of the Eastern Lowlands

Brett A. Houk

Marilyn A. Masson

Michael E. Smith

John W. Janusek

University Press of Florida

This chapter examines three cities in northwestern Belize: La Milpa, Dos Hombres, and Chan Chich. The biggest city in the area, La Milpa boasts the largest public plaza in the eastern lowlands; Plaza A includes five temple-pyramids, two ball courts, large range buildings, a small acropolis group, and most of the site’s 23 stelae. Dos Hombres is smaller than is La Milpa, but the two cities share important urban features. They each have a pronounced north-south alignment of the monumental architecture, a massive public plaza at the northern end of the site core, an elevated acropolis at the southern end, and a sacbe linking the architecture together. Although a large center during the Late Classic period, Chan Chich arguably had its heyday in the Terminal Preclassic period when the city’s elite buried an early divine king in the Upper Plaza. Centuries later during the Late Classic period, the rulers at the city established Chan Chich’s visible site plan. The key urban features at the city are its massive Main Plaza, its east-west causeways, its immense range building on the southern side of the Main Plaza, and its rare form of attached ball court.

Keywords:   La Milpa, Dos Hombres, Chan Chich, stelae, divine king, causeways, sacbe

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