A Contextual Analysis Of A Preclassic Problematic Deposit At Blackman Eddy, Belize




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This thesis examines Problematic Deposit #3 from two operations in Plaza B at Blackman Eddy, Belize through a detailed contextual analysis. Due to the ambiguous nature of problematic deposits, several methods of analysis were utilized to determine the event or events associated with the cultural material and the architectural remains uncovered in the two operations. For the analysis of the ceramic assemblage, the type-variety method was first utilized to determine the relative date of PD#3. Second, a functional analysis of the partial vessels within the problematic deposit was performed and a radiometric AMS date was collected from PD#3 of 380 - 170 B.C. As part of the contextual analysis, all cultural material in PD#3 was compared to archaeological signatures of feasting. The radiocarbon dates demonstrated that the deposit was placed between the Middle and Late Preclassic periods, and the results of the type-variety method demonstrated the deposit overlapped the Jenney Creek and Barton Creek complexes. These results emphasize the need for radiocarbon dating in conjunction with the type-variety method when possible. In addition, this thesis presents a detailed methodology that can be used to examine other problematic deposits in the archaeological record and compare them to feasting deposits in the Belize River Valley.