Barton Creek Cave is a natural cave in Belize
Barton Creek Cave is not only the largest river cave in Belize but also a popular tourist destination in the Cayo District.
According to recent research, Barton Creek contains a wealth of information in understanding caves in Maya culture. The artifacts that were unearthed for example, indicate that the cave was used for a variety of purposes by the Maya including agricultural rituals, possible ferility rites, ritual bloodletting, human sacrifice and lineage internment.
Here are 8 things you should know before you explore Barton Creek Cave:
Barton Creek Cave is one of the longest subterranean sites in the country of Belize.
You will be surprised to know that approximately 1800 years ago, the Maya began utilizing Barton Creek Cave for ritual activity.
You will also be surprised to know that the ceramics that have been found suggest that the Maya were using Barton Creek Cave from the Early Classic (A.D 200 to 600) to the Late Classic Period (A.D. 600 to 900).
Another interesting fact about Barton Creek Cave is the osteological analysis of the human remains which reveal that at least 28 individuals were interred within the Cave.
One of the biggest questions that fascinates archeologists regarding these human remains is whether or not they represent victims of sacrifice.
Some areas of the cave exhibit broken natural formations. These appear to have been purposely modified by the Maya to improve access to locations otherwise difficult to reach. The best example of this is in the upper reaches of a ledge.
Thousands of pot sherds representing fragments of a wide range of vessel forms have been found inside Barton Creek Cave.
Barton Creek Cave has a very fragile and sensitive environment and can easily be disrupted by human intrusion.
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Photos used in this blog post were extracted on https://www.panoramio.com/photo/94525536.