Farmers vs. Foragers: Developmental Stress Throughout the Maya Agricultural Transition

This novel contribution to the ongoing Bladen Paleoindian and Archaic Archaeology Project investigates developmental stress in a sample of the Maya and pre-Maya. These were excavated from two sites (Mayakak Cab Pek and Saki Tzul) that were occupied for over 10,000 years in the highlands of southern Belize. Indicators of developmental stress in this study include harris lines (HL), linear enamel hypoplasia (LEH), porotic hyperostosis (PH), and small vertebral neural canal (VNC) diameters. These indicators will be tested against the primary diet of the sample as the shift from foraging to farming maize occurred. The three diet categories include foraging diets, transitional (20% maize), and farming (50-70% maize). We hypothesize farming diets will have higher frequencies of skeletal stress present.