Cerro Maya

Cerros, an Eastern Lowland Maya archaeological site in northern Belize, thrived from the Late Preclassic to the Postclassic period, reaching its peak during the Mesoamerican Late Preclassic with a population of approximately 1,089 people. Positioned strategically on a peninsula at the mouth of the New River, it served as a vital intermediary link between coastal trade routes and inland communities, boasting an extensive canal system and raised-field agriculture. The site’s core features large structures, stepped pyramids, an acropolis complex, and two ballcourts, surrounded by a crescent-shaped canal network enclosing raised-fields. Initially a small village of farmers, fishermen, and traders around 400 BC, Cerros underwent urban renewal around 50 BC, marked by the construction of temples and plazas, notably Structure 5C-2nd, aligning with Chetumal Bay, symbolizing the site’s significance. However, by AD 400, Cerros had declined, with sporadic occupation until its abandonment, drawing renewed interest in the early 20th century.


Small Bowl

This bowl is tiny and shows signs of reconstruction. This vessel could have been an offering bowl.  Sometimes we, as archaeologists, are faced with the issue of having whole but broken vessels.  As we can see with this small bowl, the archaeologist elected to rearticulate the vessel.


This vessel has 3 handles on its body. These handles could have been placed on the body to make pouring from the vase easier as this is a large vase that would have been quite heavy when full.


This vase is quite small with a very rounded body and steep neck.  This vessel fits comfortably in the palm of an adult’s hand.


This vase is small and has straight walls that flare out to a semi-rounded base. The shape of this vase is prevalent to the area, with many similar vessels coming out of Cerro Maya and Santa Rita.


This bowl has some striping which is unclear if it was intentional or if it is simply a unique pattern of degradation. As you can see, there was chipping on the rim of the vase.