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Excavation and Survey at Nohmul, Belize, 1986

Norman Hammond, K. Anne Pyburn, John Rose, J. C. Staneko and Deborah Muyskens
Journal of Field Archaeology
Vol. 15, No. 1 (Spring, 1988), pp. 1-15
Published by: Maney Publishing
DOI: 10.2307/530126
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/530126
Page Count: 24
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Excavation and Survey at Nohmul, Belize, 1986
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Abstract

The final season of investigation of the Preclassic and Classic Maya community of Nohmul, northern Belize, included mapping of large areas of prehispanic settlement, surface sampling and test excavation in the settlement area, and major excavation of public architecture in the site core. The settlement pattern studies demonstrate a large and dense community during the Tecep phase of ca. A. C. 800-1100, including "non-mound" occupation not visible on the surface. Site center excavations document an occupation sequence of A. C. 600-900+ at the Ball Court locus and a large public building of Tecep date forming part of a substantial reoccupation of Nohmul after a Classic period hiatus in monumental construction. Further investigation of the site's initial florescence in the Terminal Preclassic of the early first millennium A. C. suggests that the hitherto unexcavated West Group and the causeway linking it to the East Group of the ceremonial precinct form part of a massive architectural program that also includes the "acropolis" in the East Group and the pyramid standing on it. The project overall has documented the somewhat unusual developmental trajectory of a medium-sized Maya city, with population and construction maxima in the Terminal Preclassic and Terminal Classic/Early Postclassic periods separated by several centuries of inactivity.

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