Power and Pocket Bajos at the Ancient Maya Site of Aventura, Belize

Project: Research project

Project Details


The proposed project will investigate the political ecology of the ancient Maya city of Aventura, Belize. Aventura’s heyday was the Terminal Classic to Early Postclassic (ca. 750-1100 CE), a time of large-scale sociopolitical reorganization known as the Classic Maya “collapse.” The presence of three pocket bajos less than 0. 2km2 in size, enclosed non-draining karstic depressions likely used for water management and/or agriculture, in Aventura’s site core may have provided resources that contributed to the city surviving the socalled collapse. The location of the three pocket bajos in Aventura’s site core suggests that the political elite at Aventura had access to the resources offered by pocket bajos. Using archaeological survey, I will undertake the first survey beyond Aventura’s city-center to determine whether the non-elite could have accessed pocket bajos in settlement areas beyond the site core or were dependent on pocket bajos in the site core. Through this research I will ask: how was resource management organized in this city? Did status affect access to resources?
Effective start/end date6/27/178/14/17


  • National Geographic Society (HJ-060ER-17)


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