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Estudios de cultura maya

versión impresa ISSN 0185-2574


ŹRAłKA, Jarosław et al. Excavations in Nakum Structure 99: New Data on Protoclassic Rituals and Precolumbian Maya Beekeeping. Estud. cult. maya [online]. 2014, vol.44, pp.85-117. ISSN 0185-2574.

Structure 99, located on top of a large platform occupies a major and prominent part of the North Group complex of the Maya site of Nakum situated in the north-eastern area of Guatemala. Archaeological excavations realized in this structure during a few field seasons have revealed interesting data about the very last moment of Nakum's development during the Terminal Classic period (AD 800-900/950). It also revealed important traces of architectural and ritual activities from the still enigmatic Protoclassic phase (ca. 100 BC-AD 300). Scattered ceramics, stone tools and human bones found on top of Structure 99 -associated with the final hours of its occupation as well as Protoclassic offerings discovered in the lowest layers of this construction, including intriguing clay heads and jade pendants- are evidence of important ceremonial activities and beliefs that everything in the world is alive. By caching or destroying artifacts within the building, it is symbolically animated or killed by the Maya. This paper presents the results of the most important research conducted in Structure 99 that contributes to our knowledge on the ritual and architectural activities of two crucial periods in the history of Nakum: the Protoclassic and Terminal Classic. Among numerous findings described in this article, there is one that merits special attention. It is a cylindrical ceramic artifact lately identified as a beehive, providing a new perspective on beekeeping by the ancient Maya. The artifact is dated to the Protoclassic phase and is one of the oldest beehives discovered in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica.

Palabras llave : Maya culture; Terminal Classic; Protoclassic; termination rituals; beekeeping, beehive.

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