In Search of Maya Sea Traders by Heather McKillop

By Heather McKillop

Stone temples emerging above the rainforest cover and complex hieroglyphs carved onto stone monuments provide silent testimony to the excessive tradition of the Maya ancestors of the indigenous peoples of significant the United States. they've got encouraged generations of archaeologists, expert and avocational, to take to the sphere looking for the past.

One such archaeologist is Heather McKillop, who in 1979 first visited the coast of Belize looking for a little-known element of old Maya existence: the ocean alternate that helped stream salt, obsidian, coral, and different items round the inside of the empire. In 1982, she all started bringing volunteers and scholars to the islands off the coast of Port Honduras, Belize. because then she has back time and again to excavate websites that demonstrate the scope and variety of the exchange that glided by water in the course of the Maya world.

In this publication, McKillop tells the tale of the quest for the Maya sea investors, in addition to the tale of the investors themselves because it emerges from the excavations. looking for Maya Sea investors describes the buying and selling port of untamed Cane Cay, the place unique obsidian, jade, gold, and different goods—including hugely crafted pots—were traded from far away lands. McKillop additionally tells us concerning the extra coastal-inland exchange of salt, seafood, and different marine resources.

Through the tale of her personal paintings and that of her scholars and volunteers, McKillop types either the examine layout and the sector paintings which are required to interpret the civilizations of the previous. She comprises the journey of discovery, the demanding situations of operating in wild environments (from snakes and emerging sea degrees to falling coconuts) and the tedium of day-by-day measured digs in a near-tropical environment. via her studies, the reader additionally will get to grasp the various neighborhood citizens of Port Honduras and Wild Cane Cay, descendants of the traditional Maya.

In seek of Maya Sea investors will entice that a part of every one folks that longs to discover remote places and cultures, seeking a seldom-glimpsed past.

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Looking up, I saw one man hanging precariously, just above Tiger’s lunging range. The other man was up another tree. When I held Tiger’s collar, they jumped down from their trees. With the wind driving from the north, Tiger had not heard either their engine or their voices as they beached their dory, tied it to the coconut tree, and walked ashore. They later were sorry that they had not called out a greeting before landing. Tiger’s reputation was now well secured in Punta Negra. More importantly, the story was retold until it attained legendary proportions in Punta Gorda and the coastal waters and islands.

The prospect of three months of sleepless nights was discouraging. Emerging from my tent I was distracted by thousands of tiny sandflies and heard the swatting sounds and moans of my crew. We hustled to the house for breakfast, drawn by the smell of coffee and fresh bread. Adel had ignited coconut husks on the outside landing at the top of the stairs by the kitchen. The acrid smoke brought tears to my eyes but thankfully repelled the sandflies. A smile covered Adel’s face and brightened the room as she welcomed us to sit at her small mahogany table, scrubbed raw and clean, and now crowded with my crew, Frank, and Adel.

Truck-buses from the outlying Maya villages stopped at the Texaco station in Punta Gorda on Wednesdays and Saturdays, bringing the Kekchi and Mopan Maya Indians to sell their produce in the Punta Gorda market and to buy dry goods from the local stores. 1 Texaco PG gas station. The government, foreign aid agencies, and foreign religious groups brought their vehicles for gas. The various cars and trucks in town, in whatever state of disrepair, were driven to the Texaco station for gas, which was either regular or diesel, but not unleaded.

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