New Ancient Maya Discovery in Belize Highlights The Importance Of Chaa Creek”s “Neighbourhood”

San Ignacio, Belize (PRWEB) June 22, 2016

However, the discovery of a carved stone tablet that has filled a gap in an important piece of the area’s history and chronology is causing particular excitement among the world’s Mayanists and Maya researchers, he said.

What makes the find so significant, Dr Morris said, was that the glyphs fill in missing pieces of an important chronology, and help explain the role Xunantunich played in the complex geopolitical relationships of the Maya’s rulers.

“This finally tells us the remaining puzzle why Xunantunich… became such a powerful city in this area,” Dr Morris said.

Mr Young explained that archaeologist have for years been attempting to clarify the roles that Xunantunich and nearby Chaa Creek, situated between the ancient metropolises of Caracol and Tikal in present day Guatemala, played in the history of the ancient Maya civilisation.

“We’ve always known that neighbouring Xunantunich, with its beautifully preserved pyramid, ball courts and other ceremonial and administrative structures, held a very important place in ancient history, and this recent find will go a long way in explaining that.

“Chaa Creek, located on the banks of the Macal River, which was part of an aquatic network connecting the interior to the Caribbean Sea, was an important agricultural and commercial centre in its own right, and we are continually finding new information that helps explain how it functioned, and how the ordinary Maya of the time lived.

“It’s a fascinating, very dynamic history which continues to enthral people today,” Mr Young said. “And considering the role environmental and geopolitical factors played in the collapse of the ancient Maya civilisation, that history may well have lessons for us today,” he added.

Mr Young explained that the Belize Natural History Centre, traditional Maya organic farm, Maya medicinal plant trail, and other cultural attractions at Chaa Creek continue attract a large number of international guests and researchers, as well as local students. Over 70 ancient Maya archaeological sites have been recorded within the eco-resort’s 400-acre private nature reserve.

The interest of visitors in Belize’s rich cultural heritage, combined with the assistance of overseas universities, NGOs and other researchers, is crucial to archaeology in a small, developing country like Belize, Mr Young explained.

As Elodio Aragon Jr, Belize’s Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, said, “These are some of the things I would like to see more being done in Belize because our heritage, the Maya heritage in this country is enormous. We don’t have the kind of money to unearth every single Maya mound… but working in collaboration with universities and with our people here we are able to slowly do the kind of work that needs to be done in Belize in terms of our Maya sites.”

“As the world becomes smaller, understanding, and the tolerance it fosters, becomes more and more important,” she said. “Cultural tourism gives visitors a deeper understanding and appreciation of the world’s cultural diversity, and also supports efforts in host countries to support endeavours like archaeological research.

“I can’t think of a better example of a win-win situation,” Ms Fleming said.