Terminal ritual deposits and abandonment processes at Aguacate Uno, Belize

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This study examines terminal deposits as the result of micro-scale processes of collapse at the Maya site of Aguacate Uno, Belize and posits that contextual comparisons of artifact assemblages from terminal deposits can lead to a better understanding of site-specific activities surrounding the final years of occupation, abandonment, and revisitation. Considering the fact that terminal deposits have many similar attributes, notably high concentrations of ceramic sherds, it is important to take into account the context and content of materials found in them in order to determine the activities that led to their creation. This thesis examines ritual events as one of the many activities that produced terminal deposits and is concerned with recognizing material and contextual differences between different types of terminal ritual deposits and distinguishing these deposits from construction fill and refuse. Using this contextual approach, the terminal ritual deposits at Aguacate Uno support the interpretation that the site was differentially abandoned during the Late to Terminal Classic periods.

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