Visualizing a Settlement Survey at Alabama

Have you ever visited an Ancestral Maya town or city, and toured around the monumental temple platforms, residences, and ball courts? Did you know those make up only a fraction of the entire town or city? Surrounding that monumental area are hundreds or thousands of houses and other buildings and spaces where people went about their daily lives. This map shows all the places to date where we have located the remains of additional buildings (white, blue, and red triangles) surrounding Alabama’s monumental core or “downtown” (yellow triangle). More buildings exist beyond the orange orchard rows of our primary survey area (green boundaries), the majority of which we have yet to document. Additional concentrations of artifacts away from buildings were also identified (white and blue circles). Do you see the area in the southwest portion of our survey where there are few triangles or circles? This is the portion of Alabama where the banana plantation operated in the 1950s and 1960s (and also the source of the site’s unusual name, as the owners were from Alabama, USA). Compared to the later citrus operations, land preparation for bananas was far more destructive and, therefore, most evidence for the remains of the ancient buildings that were once in the area is now gone. Thank you to our hard-working team at the Stann Creek Regional Archaeology Project, including MANY residents of neighbouring Maya Mopan Village, who helped identify mounds, conduct this survey, and create the map! Soon we’ll be ready to showcase our survey from the neighbouring site of Pearce in the Cockscomb Basin–but that one was done using LiDAR! Stay tuned!