Construction workers find Maya artifacts under street In Belize

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Construction workers laying new pipes and cables on Burns Avenue in San Ignacio in western Belize have stumbled upon a cache of Maya artifacts dating back more than 2 thousand years. 

Maya vessel unearthed from Burns Avenue in San Ignacio, Belize. Image credit Belize Institute of Archaeology [Credit: Belizean]

The pottery and human bones were unearthed during work that is part of a $2.7 million dollar beautification project in the small town. The workers were using an excavator to open trenches on the street on Saturday when they made the find. The area is home to the nearby Cahal Pech Maya Site. 

Director of Belize Archaeology Dr. Jaime Awe in a statement to the media today explained the find: “What we have here are three jars or ollas as they call them in Spanish and by the style of it, by the way they were made we know that they date to the late Pre-classic period or between 300 BC to about the birth of Christ so over 2000 years old. The type of artifacts that we are finding indicates household, not elite, not the rulers, they lived closer to downtown Cahal Pech Maya Ruin. This summer for instance we found this amazing tomb up at Cahal Pech that is where the wealthy and the real elite people lived. Out here the common folks like me and you. We are in the suburbs of Cahal Pech. A lot of times people think you go to Cahal Pech and that is all the site, that is downtown but the rest of the ancient city of Cahal Pech extended all the way to where the two rivers meet, across into Santa Elena, towards Bullett Tree Falls. It was a big community so these objects were found in one of the houses that belonged to that ancient city.” 

The work supervisor Mr. Omar Tut told the media that: “We are putting down the pipe that is going to take the water to the river and then we are going to get all the utilities, BEL, BTL and WASA, cable everything is going to go underground and we are going to pave it to make it nice and neat. We stopped because of the Maya artifacts that were found below. At the moment we are cooperating with the Archaeological Department to make everything be documented.” 

Source: The Belizean [January 24, 2012]

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