There were many interesting presentations at the BAAS 2015 and, for me, the most captivating was the one delivered by Dr. Jason Yeger and their discovery of a shell goret at Buena Vista del Cayo. Made from marine shell, the species is still undetermined because of it was so heavily modified. It was likely worn and suspended from the neck, as indicated by two drilled holes. It also has a concave shape and is 13cm by 9cm, likely dating to AD 450. The disk has hieroglyphic text across the top half and an ancestral head profile looking downwards. The glyphs name the bearer of the goret as being Naah Uti’ K’ab and it was likely found within his grave.
Another glyph on the text just might be an emblem glyph naming the Site of Buena Vista del Cayo, as an ancient site of Kokom Ajaw, which is mentioned on stela 22 from Naranjo, located in Guatemala. On this Stela K’ahk’ Tiliw Chan Chaahk, Naranjo Ruler, says that they burned the site of Kokom on 27 March 696. Later, on stela 18, he speaks of a star war event and the subjugating of the site on April 20 726. Dr. Yeger in 2013 excavated 13 units on the structure 40 at Buena Vista and found evidence of heavy burning on the very top layer and other areas where they found ash that was several centimeters thick.
The question still remains: Is Buena Vista del Cayo and the ancient city of Kokom one and the same place? We can’t say for sure, and although much evidence is pointing towards a yes, this hypothesis would be strengthened finding further evidence on a stela or mural. Archaeological evidence suggests that Buena Vista had a royal dynasty starting in the early classic period and that they used a formal emblem glyph that idenifies it as KoKom. If this is true, we can now find its place in the political history.
You can read the full post written by Jason Yaeger, M. Kathryn Brown, Christophe Helmke, Marc Zender, Bernadette Cap, Christie Kokel Rodriquez and Silvia Batty entitled TWO EARLY CLASSIC ELITE BURIALS FROM BUENAVISTA DEL CAYO, BELIZE.
Download from the this link.
This was also posted by Christophe Helmke on www.academia.edu
images above is by Christophe Helmke