The annual Ancient World symposium held at the Corozal House of Culture has featured special presentations on the archaeological research carried out at Maya temple sites in the Corozal District. Today the presentation featured registered professional archaeologist specialising in Maya culture and ceramic analysis Dr. Debra Walker, as well as Dr. Cynthia Robin, who is currently leading the research at the Aventura site in San Joaquin Village. We found out from both presenters about their work.
Dr. Debra Walker
“So today I was talking about the province of Chetumal from the beginning of its occupation until today really and sort looking at the big picture, Cynthia Robin is over here working at the site of Aventura and I was looking at the Bay in its entire perspective, we started out with the period and people have been living here at least 3500 BC and they have been growing several crops including corn along the rivers and lagoons in Corozal district for the last five, six or seven thousand years, people are very resilient and very independent here one of the reasons there is not written so much history here in Corozal because when the Spanish came they settle in Merida and this was one of kind of there border to their territory and the British came and settle in Belize City so the history hasn’t really been written fortunately its in the ground and so we are uncovering it one side at a time and one excavation at a time so for those.”
Dr. Cynthia Robin
“So each site, Cerros, Santa Rita and Aventura had its particular period of power and importance, so for Cerros is in the pre-classic period, was a main center of trade and it tells us about the older development the city is, for Santa Rita is at the other end of history where the Spanish arrived and Santa Rita is Chactemal, a city recorded in the historic documents and that tells us about the contact between the Mayan and the Spanish, what makes it really excited about Aventura that was the major empower of the capital here in between those two time periods, particularly in the end of the classic period and that is why we wanted to do excavations there because Aventura is large city and we all know that many large cities collapse and it collapses in changes in environment and increases in war fare and we think that we can learn a lot for our world today from our ancient Maya. I think that Archaeology is of importance both for understanding the past but also for understanding the present because this is not the first time that people lives in cities, this is not the first time there is a huge dry year right now and we were just talking about before how many lagoons and bajos have been dried out that had never been dried out before but this is nit the first dry period in history and how did those ancient Maya dealt with it and how can we learn from that.”
Both Dr. Walker and Dr. Robin began their careers in Belize. Dr. Walker did her first research at the Colha site, while Dr. Robin was an archaeology student at the Nohmul site in 1985.
The Ancient World Week symposium also features site visits by research teams.