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MAYFLOWER

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mayflower maya ruins dense bush

(Dense Bush Covering Mayflower Ruins)

mayflower plaza

(Mayflower Plaza)

mayflower waterfall

(Mayflower Waterfalls)

 Located along the Silk Grass Creek in the southern district of Stann Creek, Belize, the Mayflower Maya Ruins complex encompasses two small ceremonial centers called Maintzunun and T'au Witz.

Maintzunun means "small hummingbird." Ironically Maintzunun is too big to be considered a residential structure and too small to be a minor ceremonial center.

Made of artificial construction the second noteworthy structure at Mayflower site is called Tau Witz which means "dwelling of a local god of the hill." Tau Witz sits on a raised, flat platform area.

Due to the size and arrangement of the platforms built up of earth, boulders and sand as well as the careful terracing and construction of retaining walls imply that the Mayflower Complex was a focal point for some kind of important local activity.

In 1975 areas to the south and west of Mayflower were being planted with gmelina trees when these ruins were accidentally discovered. The first mapping of Mayflower ruins took place that same year. Looking from Silk Grass Creek or walking past the site, there is nothing that makes Maintzunun look like anything other than another small hill or mound in the local terrain as today, the site is still covered by bush. However, these ruins are centered around a beautiful stream and waterfall which, no doubt, served as great importance to Mayflower.

When excavation work was done at Mayflower small pieces of pottery, a small stela and an unknown type of altar were unearthed. Too little information could be gathered to either make any conclusive comments or even be able to accurately date Mayflower site from these discoveries.

However, most obvious, was the fact that the first building at the site must have involved substantial labor and quarrying. Large amounts of sand and boulders were used to construct a sizable series of platforms on the site. These platforms were then topped with pole and thatch buildings.

Excavated evidence further suggests that a large pit had been dug in front of Mayflower and burnt offerings of food were made to the Mayan gods. Excavation also revealed that a later phase of occupation of this site had been destroyed by fire. Other excavations have recovered a small cylindrical incised vessel around which a platform was built to support yet another thatch building.

All of these small details at Mayflower Maya ruins as well as other minor archaeological sites help to reveal how the ordinary Mayan lived on a daily basis.   ~ Anthony Benjamin


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