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Title: Household Excavations at Aventura, A Northern Belize Civic Center
Recent research at Aventura in Northern Belize presents the first glimpse into a range of its prehistoric households from commoners to elites. In summer 2018, the Aventura Archaeology Project (AAP) excavated two elite households and conducted test pits in five commoner household groups. Drone technology provided the ability to create 3D models of household architecture and excavations. Excavations at the elite households consisted of the first horizontal exposure of buildings by AAP and provide comprehensive insight into structures, features, burials, and middens. One elite household compound, Group 48, was located adjacent to one of six civic-ceremonial plazas that make up Aventura’s central precinct. Excavations at Group 48 identified a series of late occupation structures in the group’s plaza areas, one of which was excavated in its entirety. The other elite household excavation at Group 22 was located directly on the edge of a microenvironment known as a pocket bajo, providing insight into the relationship between households and pocket bajos at Aventura. The earliest occupation of commoner households known to date was the Early Classic period, and all elite and commoner households were occupied in the Late Classic to the Terminal Classic/Early Postclassic, coinciding with Aventura’s maximal occupation. These results suggest more » Aventura was a thriving community during a time period associated with “collapse” in areas outside of Northern Belize. Aventura’s longevity of occupation contributes to the notion that Northern Belize was an important region in the Maya area and pushes back against traditional narratives about Classic Period “collapse.” « less
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Research reports in Belizean archaeology
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National Science Foundation
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