Residential Excavations of 1990-1992

mesoamerican research center

The examination of Maya households is still in its infancy.  Our examination of residential units of the Maya in the Belize River areas of El Pilar was executed from 1990-1992.  We focused on a representative sample of sites tested in the survey phase of the research, with the aim of understanding the dimensions of the patterns we had interpreted for the area. 

Our sample was based on the 48 residential units that were part of the test excavations in the three transects of the BRASS surveys.  The sample was by landform and labor rank:

Distribution of residential Units for the Full Scale Residential excavation



Our sites were selected based on artifact assemblage densities in 11 categories within the labor rank and land form classes, for a total of 13 criteria.  We included total ceramic density; body sherd and rim sherd density; total flake density; small, medium and large flake density; obsidian density; tool density; core density; and ground stone density.   Site selection was based on the cumulative median rank for artifacts within the labor rank and landform of the site. While a total of nine possibilities existed, the total result was a selection of seven sites, as the valley and foothill samples did not include the high labor rank.

The selected sites are as follows:

Artifact Densities at Full Scale Excavations 1990-92