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Jul 1, 2022

New Archaeological Finds Might Require Amendments to History Page

The story of the ancient Mayas precedes the classic period. Some data puts the first Maya in this part of Central America even before the birth of Christ. We know about their excavated temples that still stand so majestically across our country, as well as their sacrificial rituals, there many gods, and their popular past time, the Poktapok. But now there is interesting information coming out of this year’s Archaeological Symposium – information that could see us re-writing history. News Five’s Marion Ali traveled west today to gather what came out of the week-long event. Here’s their report.



Dr John Morris

Dr John Morris, Current Director of Archaeology
“The new technology, DNA, Lidar studies have allowed us to get a better grip on our studies of the ancient Maya. Perhaps the narratives we have of the ancient Maya we might need to change a little bit.”

Marion Ali, Reporting

New data coming out of ongoing archaeological excavations suggest that there’s a whole new and different aspect to the ancient Mayas we never knew about. It happens that while the COVID pandemic kept archaeologists from gathering in large assemblies to exchange their knowledge, it didn’t hinder excavations across Belize from proceeding. So now that the pandemic has let up just enough to allow for such a symposium to occur, it has exposed some interesting information about the Mayas, according to Dr John Morris from the Institute of Archaeology.
Dr John Morris, Current Director of Archaeology

“We have been finding the evidence of people going back to ten, twelve thousand years ago. So clearly there were people living here who may or may not be associated with the ancient Maya. They’re native American Indians, if we can use that term, and they’re people who perhaps came through the Berring Strait and then came down North America into Central America and then eventually settled all the way in South America. We’re looking into periods such as the archaic – that dates back to let’s say between 3,000 B.C. and 10,000 B.C. and Belize has a lot of information with regards to that around Ladyville. There’s a lot of archaic sites where we find the archaic points.”


Incoming Director of the Institute of Archaeology, Dr. Melissa Badillo, told News Five that there are unexcavated sites all the way in the Maya Mountains.


Dr Melissa Badillo

Dr Melissa Badillo, Upcoming Director of Archaeology

“We’ve also learned about some of the inequalities with households in the southern area like Uxbenka, Pusilha, those sites, that type of analysis. We’ve also had some new areas that we need to look at and figure out how we move forward with those, for example in the Mountain Pine Ridge area. We’ve not seen sites before in that area and with new research, we’ve found granite production sites, so that is an area that’s new for us that we’ll have to delve more and get more research done in that area.”


And there are also new revelations, according to Morris, that suggest the Mayas could impart knowledge with us over the millennia on how to cope with present-day challenges.


Dr John Morris

“What we’re seeing is that the resilience that the Maya had in maintaining their civilizations for millennia can give us ideas how we can today meet the challenges that are affecting the country of Belize and also the world at large. I’m certain that the Maya had to deal with diseases. They had to deal with dry periods. They had to deal with hurricanes, and much of the information that is coming out shows exactly how the Mayas were very resilient for them to survive.”


Because the Maya had close to two million people living in this area at the height of the Classic Period, it is believed that much of the country we now call Belize is littered with remains of ancient Maya dwellings, ceremonial complexes, workshops and artifacts.


Dr John Morris

“We still have a tremendous amount of work to uncover all the sites of Belize. Our database has something like over ten thousand sites in this country. With the advent of extremely new technology, like Lidar and remote sensing, we’re now able to really document the extent of ancient Maya civilizations and their occupation of the landscape in Belize. So we at the Institute of Archaeology have to be very cognizant of that fact. There’s development, there’s agricultural development, there’s road improvement, so we have to mitigate whenever those things are being done.”


Marion Ali For News Five


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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