Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

A Tale of Two Cities: Recent Investigations at Xunantunich, Belize

March 23rd, 2015
4 PM

Dinwiddie Hall
Room 102

The Tulane Anthropology Student Association (TASA) presents a talk by Dr. M. Kathryn Brown, an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Texas at San Antonio. The talk will be held on Monday, March 23rd, at 4 PM in Dinwiddie Hall Room 102.

The talk, “A Tale of Two Cities: Recent Investigations at Xunantunich, Belize,” will discuss Dr. Brown’s research on the Preclassic and Classic Maya site of Xunantunich, located in western Belize.

Talk abstract:
Today, it seems unlikely that a large Preclassic ceremonial center would have been hidden from researchers working in a heavily populated and intensively studied region. Ironically, this is just the case at Xunantunich, Belize. In 2013, a collaborative LiDAR survey was initiated that covered approximately 1,000 square kilometers of Belize including the Xunantunich core and settlement zone. The LiDAR data revealed the presence of two distinct centers, the Xunantunich Classic core and a ceremonial center located 800 meters to the east. Only a portion of the Preclassic core was known previously. Additionally, the areal extant of the Preclassic center is as large as the Xunantunich Classic core. Excavations within the Preclassic site core have revealed an early Middle Preclassic E-Group and elaborate ramp features in the plaza. This presentation highlights these recent findings and how LiDAR has contributed significantly to our understanding of the rise and fall of centers within the Belize River valley.

For more information please contact TASA at

Belize + People
Victoria Bricker
Professor Emerita - Anthropology