Polished greenstone celt caches from Ceibal: The development of Maya public rituals

Kazuo Aoyama, Takeshi Inomata, Flory Pinzón, Juan Manuel Palomo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


Excavations at Ceibal in Guatemala have recovered numerous polished celts from contexts dating throughout the Preclassic Maya occupation of the site. The celts are made of different types of greenstone, and most were deposited in caches in public areas close to ceremonial structures. Recent study shows how deposition practices changed over time. Furthermore, microwear analysis suggests that the majority of celts did not have a practical function. It is argued, instead, that the caches of greenstone celts represent public rituals relating to the establishment of early Preclassic elites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)701-717
Number of pages17
Issue number357
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2017



  • caches
  • Ceibal
  • greenstone celts
  • Guatemala
  • Preclassic Maya
  • public ritual

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Arts and Humanities(all)

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