The Influences of Parent Cultures on their Colonies in the Archaeological Record: An Archaeological Investigation of Interment Styles and Mortuary Materials in the St. George's Caye Cemetary, Belize




Elverson, Matthew T.

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Maya archaeology has dominated the focus of archaeological projects in Belize. However, the potential for studying the historic past of this country is emerging. This study aims to elucidate the development of burial styles and mortuary materials within the cemetery on St. George's Caye. A historical analysis, as well as an inter-cemetery comparison was completed to better understand the colonial funerary enclosures of the island, including the box tomb, pinch toe coffin, and sarcophagus of Thomas Potts. The investigation and interpretation of burial structures within the St. George's Caye cemetery were successfully completed by utilizing previous archaeological examinations, reviews of corresponding archaeological and historical publications, oral histories, and related global archaeological digs. This confluence of data has supported my hypothesis that the styles of interments and grave goods on the island were influenced by a cultural association with other British colonies on the Mosquito Shore, New England, South Carolina, Jamaica, and England. A review of interments and mortuary materials in these locations has supported my proposed cultural connections as well as explained the evolution of burial styles and personal objects within the St. George's Caye cemetery.



Mortuary archaeology, Historical archaeology, Coffins, Belize, Archaeology, St. George's Caye.


Elverson, M. T. (2013). <i>The influences of parent cultures on their colonies in the archaeological record: An archaeological investigation of interment styles and mortuary materials in the St. George's Caye Cemetary, Belize</i> (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.


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