Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

What were the elites doing? understanding Late Classic elite practices at Lower Dover, Belize

Kulig, Shannon (2015) What were the elites doing? understanding Late Classic elite practices at Lower Dover, Belize. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

Primary Text

Download (2MB)


This paper explores elite practice at a Late Classic to Early Postclassic (700-1050 AD) Maya center, Lower Dover, in western Belize. Archaeologists studying the Maya have spent considerable time and effort attempting to understand the material culture and activities preserved at sites throughout Belize and other parts of the ancient Maya world. Following its discovery in 2010, Lower Dover offers new opportunities and challenges for research attempting to add to our understanding of ancient elite practices in the Belize River Valley. In 2012, excavations in Lower Dover’s Plaza Group F recovered a large artifact deposit on both the adjacent patio floor and face of a collapsed elite residential platform. Coming from an elite living space, the deposit offers an intriguing record of the intersection of elite Maya social, political, and religious life. Considering Lower Dover’s position in a larger geopolitical setting, I try to determine the functional and ritual significance of the artifacts deposited. Results of my analysis suggest that at Lower Dover’s Plaza Group F, elite persons engaged in food processing, craft goods production, and ceremonial observance. As members of an elite social group, these people had a diverse array of occupations and mental and material pursuits to which they devoted their time. Further, the artifacts’ context indicates that elites ritually terminated their residential platform before leaving Plaza Group F in the Late Classic to Early Postclassic transition. By studying the relationships between the practices observed here, I develop a multidimensional account of daily activities in an elite residence at Lower Dover and the elite residents’ potential interactions with others in the greater Belize Valley political and economic settings.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Kulig, Shannonshannonkulig19@gmail.com0000-0002-5402-9963
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis Advisorde Montmollin, Olivierolly@pitt.eduOLLY
Committee MemberAllen, Kathleen M.S.kmallen@pitt.eduKMALLEN
Committee MemberBermann, Marcbermarc@pitt.eduBERMARC
Committee MemberHendon, Julia
Date: 21 April 2015
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 30 March 2015
Approval Date: 21 April 2015
Submission Date: 13 April 2015
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 76
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: David C. Frederick Honors College
Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Anthropology
Degree: BPhil - Bachelor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: archaeology, Maya, Belize, Classic, elites, practice, termination deposit
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2015 16:12
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:27


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item