Posted by: Johan Normark | October 6, 2011

Late Preclassic Maya at the Playa

There are some interesting papers to be presented at this year’s Maya at the Playa conference. Unfortunately I cannot attend but I would definitely have listened to the papers on Late Preclassic politics by Stanley Guenter and Francisco Estrada-Belli. Once upon a time (1997) I wrote my BA-thesis on Cerros in northern Belize and I suggested it was a marine port for the El Mirador empire. I do therefore believe Stan is onto something, i.e. El Mirador was the original capital of the Kan kingdom (which later moved to Dzibanche and Calakmul). The impact of El Mirador in the history of the Maya lowlands is indeed interesting. There is certainly no coincidence that the expansion and growth of Teotihuacan in Central Mexico coincides with the demise of the Mirador empire (but exactly what happened is still not clear). There is further no coincidence that the main enemy of the Kan kingdom, during the Classic period, was Tikal. During Early Classic times Tikal had connections to Teotihuacan. The “superpower(s)” of Classic Maya politics appears to have originated much earlier.


  1. Funny that is what Debra and I have said about Cerros for a while now, but new evidence is changing making me change my mind…

  2. Are you talking about new evidence from Cerros or from elsewhere? In what direction are you changing your mind?

    Cerros Maya Is One Of The Many Maya Sites On The Western Side Of Chetumal Bay,And Served As A Trading And Ceromonial Site,Connecting Lamanai On The New River That Empties Into The Bay About 2km From Cerros And The Peten Via The Rio Honda.One Of The First Maya Sites Cuello 2500bc Is N.ear-by.The Chetumal Joined The Lowland Mayas With The Coastal Trade Route Via Bacalar Chico 300ad A Maya Dug Canal That Connects Chetumal Bay To The Caribe And Eliminates The Transit Around North Ambergris Caye.
    The East Coast Of The Yucatan Is Associated With Rebirth And Renewal,Itz Where The Sun Emerges From The Underworld.Ix Chel The Godess Of Childbirth,Medicine,The Moon,And Weaving Is Honnored With Shrines On Cozumel And Isla Meujeres And Intoned By The Present-day Yucatec.The Shrine On Isla Is Very Beautiful Located On The Most Eastern Point Above A Window Through The Headland,Also Above The Cliff Of Dawn,Where The First Daylight Strickes The Yucatan.Ix Chel Is The Sacred Female Translucent Light And At Noon The Sunlight Reflects Off The White Sand Under The Water And The Light Emenates From The Water.The Ancient Maya Had No Choice They Had To Build A Shrine Here.
    There Is Evadence Of Andean Pottery Found At Santa Ellena Also Cerros Is Encompassed On The Bayside By A Hand Dug Moat 3600ft Long,18ft Wide And 6ft Deep Probally For Agricultural Purposes.If The Moskitos Dont Drain You A Very Beautiful Place.

  4. I never got there on ground but I flew above it on the way to Ambergris (I think it was in 1997).


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