Archaeology Magazine - Maya Caves of West-Central Belize: Barton Creek Cave: Update 2 - Archaeology Magazine Archive

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Barton Creek Cave: Update 2 "Maya Caves of West-Central Belize"
July 17, 2000
by Vanessa Mirro and Mike Mirro


A child placed facedown in a rimstone pool

At the Barton Creek Cave Site, we have discovered additional ledges that contain cultural materials. Near the entrance of the cave, a small ledge yielded the skeletal remains of a child lying face down in a dry, rimstone pool. Associated with this individual is a small olla that exhibits certain attributes suggesting its placement within the cave during Late Classic times. In order to access this particular area, it was necessary for the Maya to modify the cave by breaking a doorway through three draperies, which are a type of cave formation.


Just below this ledge, the skeletal remains of two individuals were found placed on the floor of the cave at the base of a large speleothem cluster. In addition, two broken ollas, an olla cached in speleothems, a small granite monument and three or four broken formations were found in close proximity to the human remains. This association of artifacts and formations corresponds to numerous examples located elsewhere within the cave.

Left, Mike and Vanessa Mirro excavate on a ledge in Barton Creek Cave. Mike holds an ollafragment.

As we continue to discover more in situ ritual deposits such as these, patterns of cave mortuary practices are continuously emerging that correspond to other cave sites in the area.

July 10 | Barton Creek Intro | September 27