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New look at an old Maya city.

Excavations in northwestern Belize indicate that a Maya community flourished there more than 1,200 years ago.

A large-scale investigation of the site, known as La Milpa, began last year under the direction of three archaeologists: Gair Tourtellot III and Norman Hammond of Boston University and Amanda Clarke of York (England) Archaeological Trust.

Field work in 1992 concentrated on La Milpa's ceremonial center, which includes four pyramids, two ball courts, eight stone monuments bearing carved hieroglyphics, and one of the largest public plazas ever built by the Maya.

Written dates on the monuments span the period from A.D. 580 to A.D. 780, the researchers report in the March ANTIQUITY. For unknown reasons, some monuments had their top half intentionally broken off and removed.

Pottery found at the site dates to between A.D. 800 and A.D. 1100. La Milpa ceramics resemble those of Maya centers that prospered to the west and south around the same time, Tourtellot's group contends.
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Title Annotation:La Milpa site, Belize
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Apr 10, 1993
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