Image - Cacao Pod Vessel - K6706 © Justin Kerr FAMSI © 2004:
Phillip J. Wanyerka
FAMSI Excellence Award Winner

The Southern Belize Epigraphic Project:
The Hieroglyphic Inscriptions of Southern Belize
Vea este informe en Español.

Research Year:   2002
Culture:   Maya
Chronology:   Classic
Location:  Southern Belize
Sites:  Lubaantún


The following report is the result of thirteen years of extensive and thorough epigraphic investigations of the hieroglyphic inscriptions of the Maya Mountains region of southern Belize. The carved monuments of the Toledo and Stann Creek Districts of southern Belize are perhaps one of the least understood corpuses in the entire Maya Lowlands and are best known today because of their unusual style of hieroglyphic syntax and iconographic themes. Recent archaeological and epigraphic evidence now suggests that this region may have played a critical role in the overall development, expansion, and decline of Classic Maya civilization (see Dunham et al. 1989, Graham 1983, 1987, Hammond 1975, Laporte 1992a, Laporte and Mejía 2000, Leventhal 1990, 1992, MacKinnon 1989, McKillop and Healy 1989, Wanyerka 2004). Unfortunately, until now, only a small portion of this corpus has ever been published or drawn to professional standards (see Grube et al. 1999, Joyce 1929, Joyce et al. 1928; Morley 1937-1938, Prager 2002, Wanyerka 1996, 1999b, 1999c). Because this corpus was so poorly documented and was in constant danger of being lost due to rampant looting, repeated acts of vandalism, and due to continued exposure to the elements, it was vital that the entire corpus be properly documented as soon as possible. Based on a generous grant in 2001 from the Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies, Inc. (FAMSI), the entire hieroglyphic and sculptural corpus of southern Belize has now been professionally drawn by John Montgomery (Ph.D, University of New Mexico). Featured in the following report are new line drawings of some 80 carved monuments and/or inscriptions. All of the data presented here was collected and compiled while serving as both project epigrapher for the Maya Mountains Archaeological Project (MMAP); a multiyear/multidisciplinary project exploring ancient Maya resource exploitation and exchange in the southern Maya Mountains (Peter S. Dunham, Director), and as project director of the Southern Belize Epigraphic Project (SBEP), a multiyear study of the iconography and hieroglyphic inscriptions of southern Belize (FAMSI Grant #00077, 2001).

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Table of Contents and Introduction (413 KB)
List of Figures (80.3 KB)
Section 1 (4.5 MB)
Section 2 (3.30 MB)
Section 3 (3.13 MB)
Section 4 (2.07 MB)
Section 5 (1.55 MB)
Bibliography (141 KB)

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Submitted 07/26/2001 by:

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