Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 140

university of

Connecticut
libraries

hbl.stx

1421.T95 no.34

Archaeological use and distributio

=1153

DDbSVTVT

s
-3

Digitized by the Internet Archive


in

2012 with funding from

LYRASIS members and Sloan Foundation

http://archive.org/details/archaeologicalusOOandr

National Geographic Society -Tulane University

Program of Research

in

Yucatan

The Archaeological Use and Distribution


of Mollusca in the

Maya Lowlands

E. Wyllys Andrews

Publication 34

Middle American Research Institute

Tulane University

New
1969

Orleans

IV

PUBLISHED WITH THE AID OF A GRANT FROM

THE FORD FOUNDATION


MARGARET

A. L.

HARRISON

ROBERT WAUCHOPE
Editors

The Archaeological Use and Distribution


of Mollusca in the

Maya Lowlands

Frontispiece
Two Maya paintings of the sea, murals in the Chac Mool Temple, buried under the Temple of
the Warriors at Chichen Itza. Modified Florescent period. (From Morris, Chariot, and Morris, 1931, pis. 139, 159).

National Geographic Society -Tulane University

Program of Research

in

Yucatan

The Archaeological Use and Distribution


of Mollusca in the

Maya Lowlands

E. Wyllys

Publication 34

Middle American Research Institute

Tulane University

New
1969

Orleans

Andrews IV

F
T<15~

Contents
Introduction

Annotated Checklist of Marine Species

Annotated Checklist of Freshwater Species


Annotated Checklist of Land Species
Discussion

34

35

Ecology

35

Trade

41

Temporal Factors

45

Use of

Shells as Votive Offerings

Use of

Shells as

Use

32

Ornaments

Raw

of Shell as

Use of Molluscs

as

53
56

Material

Food

48

56

Summary and Conclusions

60

Archaeological Occurrences of Other Marine Invertebrates

Appendix

hi

References

Index of Molluscan Species

113

Illustrations
Frontispiece

Two Maya paintings of the

sea.

Text Figures
1.

Map

2.

Ecological provinces of the Yucatan littoral

3.

Trade
the

of the

Maya

area

and adjacent regions

relations suggested

Maya lowlands

4. Dzibilchaltun, Str. 38,

36

by archaeological finds of Mollusca in

44
Cache

51

5.

Marine

6.

Tinklers from a private collection in Merida

life

as seen

on the facade of

Str. 1,

Dzibilchaltun

54

55

Plates
1. Fissurellidae,

Trochidae, Turbinidae

65

67

2.

Neritidae, Littorinidae

3.

Vermetidae, Turritellidae, Planaxidae, Cerithiidae, Calyptraeidae,


Naticidae

69

107

4-

Strombidae

71

5.

Cypraeidae, Ovulidae

6.

Cassididae and miscellaneous small gastropods

7
8

Cymatiidae, Tonnidae, Ficidae

Muricidae

77

81

Melongenidae, Fasciolariidae

83

11. Miscellaneous large gastropods

Conidae

12. Olividae,

13- Arcidae,

85

87

Glycymeridae

89

Mytilidae, Isognomonidae, Pteriidae


J 5-

91

Pinnidae, Plicatulidae, Pectinidae, Spondylidae, Limidae,

Anomiidae, Carditidae

93

16. Ostreidae, Corbiculiidae, Lucinidae

Chamidae

97

18. Cardiidae

99

17.

19.

75

79

Melongenidae

9
10

73

95

101

Veneridae

103

20. Tellinidae, Mactridae


21. Miscellaneous gastropods

and pelecypods

105

Tables-

modern

1.

Archaeological occurrence and

2.

Archaeological shell from Dzibilchaltun

3.

Marine molluscs from

at

lowland Maya

sites

Isla

distribution of molluscs found

37

46

Cancun Midden, Quintana Roo, Mexico

57

Acknowledgments

The National Geographic


sity

Program of Research

SocietyTulane Univer-

Educacion Publica of Mexico, through the Instituto

which

Nacional de Antropologia e Historia, which will be

at Dzibilchaltun, of

the present studies form a part, operated under

the repository of the collections described.

grants from the National Science Foundation and

for help

the

American Philosophical

tions for this paper


in the

Society.

The

illustra-

were prepared and processed

National Geographic Society photographic

archaeological

contract with,

Davalos Hurtado, Director of the

and

their

of,

the Secretaria de

Dr. Eusebio

Instituto, as well

Monuments

Yucatan representatives during our long

work has been done under

and direction

late

as the several Directors of Prehispanic

period of work.

laboratory.

AH

and guidance are due the

Thanks

J December 1966

Introduction

In the excavations at Dzibilchaltun between 1956

and 1965, over 2300

fragments appeared, in addition


other forms of marine
facts

were made of

form that the

marine

identifiable

life.

shell

number

large

which had
was

species

many

remains of

to

so lost

and

shells

its

of artioriginal

unidentifiable.

soon

It

clear that the sea, only 10 miles north of

became

the ruins, played a very significant role in the


of the ancients. This role

animals, from

was

their frequent appearance in

and ceremonial caches and portrayal


were important in ceremonial

and

of the jewelry

conclusion that

many

Maya

because

modes

pleased them.

it

in shell-collecting

to

come), we believe

we of today,

collected

utilitarian value

also

simply

became apparent

and usage

that

as well as trade

is

site

worthwhile

to

yet taken

some time

review in some

from our

and that previously reported from Yucatan.

We have included an

unpublished collection of some

of the specimens for clues to early trade.

a reference to any

new

Under each

or published knowl-

edge regarding use and association, as well as age


of the deposits in

The

of additional entries in

present report summarizes

some 15,000

chaeological specimens of 192 species from 18

At some

sites, shells

were never

identified

ar-

sites.

below the

was of

sites this

in the tabulations except in the

necessity

few instances where

the presence of a genus seemed important per

some

significant alteration

made

se,

or

the specimen of

particular interest.

geographic distributions and taxonomic iden-

seem overly

tifications

precise or sophisticated in

an

undocumented malacologically,
because we have drawn heavily on a manuscript

area as yet virtually


it is

on the ecological distribution and make-up of the

modern molluscan fauna

now

in

of the Yucatan Peninsula

preparation by the present author.

More

than 15,000 specimens of over 600 species have been

which the specimens were found.

insula to the

and on the

Most archaeological reports have


phabetically by genera

This

is

Tellina)

forms from- the southern

Maya

lowlands, including the British

Peten

sites

Honduras and

and Copan, but only with items of un-

usual interest from farther afield.

Some

species

have

and

(e.g.,
lie

Area and Noetia or Arcopagia and


at different

ends of the

discussions will be rather lengthy,


listings

Excavations

still

in progress

at Tikal,

by the University of

Guatemala, have contributed

under families and genera

(1954). Species within genera are

list,

have drawn up
in phylogenetic

scheme used by Abbott


listed in alphabet-

For the convenience of readers

ical

order.

this

ordering offers

difficulty,

by genera and species

is

making

and clumsy. As

discussions of the groups difficult

order, generally following the

and are

listed shells al-

convenient for the reader unfamiliar with

but have appeared at other lowland

sites

Campeche,

species within genera.

not been reported archaeologically from Yucatan,

in coastal waters of the peninsula.

in

zoology but has the disadvantage that closely related

with reported marine

life

Laguna de Terminos

distant atolls at the outer edge of the

Campeche Bank.

shells

Pennsylvania

through 1964,

the checklist.

Comparison with the Yucatan material may be made

common

grate-

manu-

available

collections

number

am

TurnefTe Islands, British Honduras, around the pen-

have attempted to establish original provenience

is

which furnished

making

Cancun, Quintana Roo. This midden,

midden on

excavated in 1963 (Andrews, 1965, pp. 4245).

listing

on further

notes

and

catalogued from more than 50 stations from the

a shell

representing a brief Late Formative occupation,

on Hattula Moholy-Nagy's summary

her generosity in

ful for

script

have

the Caribbean

6500 molluscs from


coast of Isla

heavily

of material collected through 1962,

If

by far the largest

detail the exact identification of material

own

drawn

These items are not included

will probably be so for


it

ation have, of course, not been completed.

true of certain shells.

and chronologically most comprehensive


Yucatan (and

by species, and data on archaeological associ-

and we cannot escape the

the Dzibilchaltun collection

in

tified

all

varied greatly from period to period in history.

As

of their collection has not been finally iden-

generic level, and at

no

It

Much

Much

were made of

of old, as

attractive shells of

in sculptures,

used as food.

artifacts at the site

several molluscan species,

tombs

Fish and mol-

life.

much

appear to have been

luscs

life

multiple one. Marine

the largest body of comparative material available.

to

whom

an alphabetical index

added

at the end.

Syno-

Alocran Reef

Son Felipe
Rio Lagortos

Dzilam Bravo
Minas de Oro

GULF OF MEXICO

El

Cuyo

Cabo Cotoche

Chavlhou

Telchac Puerto
Dolores
Pro g r e so^^^L^^z

mTT
uburirio,^F*''
C hub
u/0 g^'*'"*^,& * <7 s a
Slsaj,

tf

XDZIBIU
LCHAUTUN

*\

ISLA
Trlongulos Reefs

CANCUN MIDDEN

Merido

YUCATAN
OXKLNTOK
--

C
ISLA

JAIN A

l
CALCEHTOK

A
M

CH1CHEN

"TZA-L

XBALANKANCHE
Kaua

-LUXMAL
KABAHi-

J_

tsla

Corumel

J-LOLTUN
J-LABNA

Bohla de
La Ascension

*Champoton
r

Chenkan

roo

quintana
.....
Ciudod Carmen
C

fclsla

L^?

ZacalQl^J^LOguno

Aguada

^i

do

CAMPEC

Lake Bacaiar

HE

(/yL

CARIBBEAN SEA
j/t^CayoNorf

Tormlnos

Chlnchoro Bonk

GULF OF

HONDURAS
CHIAPAS

GUATEMALA
PACIFIC

OCEAN

Fig.

Map

of the

Maya

area,

showing

locations

mentioned

in the checklists.

Introduction

nyms have not been

there

is

change

in the literature or recent

some confusion
in

when

except

listed

had long

felt

that publication of photographs of

often fragmentary

unworked

shells in archaeological

was an unnecessary expense, one which


intended to avoid. However, in the course of
I
preparating this report, I realized that two factors

it

illustration strongly desirable. First, dur-

ing the continuous change and rearrangement which


characterizes

zoological taxonomy, generic

all

terms rapidly become obsolete

specific

18 Atlantic molluscs listed on

Artifacts of Uaxactun,

of the

p.

and
the

(e.g., of

61 of Kidder's

names have become

is

amplifies.

These modern

Some

shells are

italic letters (aa,

collec-

fragment

to the illustration beside the

added

double lowercase

field reports

made such

complete specimen from our modern

shell, a

tion

taxonomy.
I

too fragmentary to give a proper impression of the

designated by

bb, cc).

of the fragments illustrated

may seem

to

be

slim grounds for identification, but those published

here are reasonably certain.

hinge

small fragment of

usually sufficient for immediate identifica-

is

tion of pelecypod

genus and often

species,

and

final

identification can be often aided by a process of elim-

ination.

For example, a small part of the ligamental

area of an ark shell identifies

only one species of Noetia

it

as Noetia; there

known

our specimen

in

is

American Atponderosa.

obsolete since publication in 1947). Often, without

lantic waters; ergo

the actual specimen or a photograph at hand,

is

Similarly, a relatively tiny fragment of gastropod

which taxon these obsolete

can often be precisely identified by comparison with

difficult

names

to be sure

to

it

TV.

is

purposely broken modern specimens from the area.

refer.

Second, because of their poor preservation and

We

have been greatly helped by Harold and Emily

sometimes fragmentary condition, identification of

Vokes, invertebrate palaeontologists from Tulane

often extremely difficult and

University, both specializing in Tertiary and Re-

archaeological shells

bound

errors are

is

to occur.

and knowledge of the


misidentifications
if

may

As reference

local

collections

fauna increase, these

often be corrected, but only

the originals or clear photographs are at hand.

For example, the large conch Strombus costatus

common on

extremely

On

the north coast of Yucatan.

the Caribbean coast of the peninsula,

entirely replaced

form

S. gigas,

is

it is

almost

by the larger and quite distinct

which never appears on the north


Strombus

coast.

At Dzibilchaltun, 486

identifiable

shells

and fragments were

of costatus, as

all

would

cent Mollusca. Their job, like the archaeologist's,

has often

required precise identification of

fossil

material from small fragments, so our problem

was

new to them. They were kind enough


spend many days in the field with us working

by no means
to

on the archaeological

many weeks

collections (in the course of

helping with our present project), and

have checked every identification presented


discussion.

Without

their help,

in this

we would have been

extremely hesitant to publish these pages. Thanks


are also due to Dr.

Alan Solem of the Field

who

Museum

be expected from gathering on the nearby coast.

of Natural History,

Proskouriakoff (1962, pp. 38485,

and freshwater molluscs, but was kind enough

however, reported the

pan

to be S. gigas,

common

figs.

43, 47),

large conch at

which would imply

access to the neighboring north coast

Maya-

a lack of

200

away

see below,

across

would be

other evidence
the reader
tion,

Quintana Roo. This,

as

we

in direct contradiction to

now on

hand. Without

would be forced

shall

much

illustration,

to accept this identifica-

but with Proskouriakoff's excellent illustrations

the problem

is

quickly resolved.

The specimens

are

in

manuscript the corresponding two annexes

The modern
are

strictly

distributions, unless otherwise noted,

peninsular,

not implying presence or

absence in other adjacent or remote areas.


reflect

only the specimens in our

ings in malacological

literature.

intensive to

make most

that

tion

and

also

going a step further.

On

plates

collec-

1 21,

Where

these are

it is still

As noted above,
sufficiently

we must

bear in

mind

only a sampling and that some species

surely have a larger range

on the peninsula than we

have indicated.

the archaeological specimens are designated by single lowercase italic letters (a, b, c).

we

of the geographical listings

approximately correct. But

our

collection;

our collection of larger species has been

gigas.
illustrating

own

They

have not yet collated the scattered peninsular report-

clearly the north coast costatus, not the east coast

For these reasons, we are

to

to the checklist.

and unneces-

sary trade in bulk with the Caribbean coast over

miles

check

not only identified land

Although some recent sources have attempted


to

distinguish

between complete

specimens

and

MoLLUSCA IN THE MAYA LOWLANDS

4
sometimes estimating the number of

fragments,

complete specimens represented by fragments,

we

decided not to attempt this distinction in the tabulations.

The

metric volume of our excavations, chosen

for elucidation of stratigraphic or architectural prob-

lems (and frequently

to enlarge the

sample of rare

sometimes by simply translating the Latin binomial

(often with

fascinating

results,

Venus"), sometimes by reversing


using the

name

"Doc

sometimes by

Bales'

it

was named

Ark"). In

any definable percentage of

Maya. But normally

which could make an estimate

original

the

of

the generic level

Spanish or

differentiation of shells below

would be

Terms

Salis'

this area, of course,

popular names would have been in

occupational debris

"von

(e.g.

ceramic forms), would almost never correspond to


total

"Rigid

of the author of the species or the

person in whose honor


Triton,"

it,

e.g.

of interest only to the

number

of entire specimens significant. This

same

volume

is

terms of the

total

generic or family stature, are useful for popular

hope

identification. Therefore,

insignificant

so

in

surrounding deposits that there would be

little

of accuracy in attempting such an estimate.

usually

not,

We have

overcomplicated the sum-

therefore,

malacologist.

placed popular

genera

lar

"complete" specimens and fragments which might

as a whole.

Where

deposits.

some

the discovery of

whole

shells has

the text.

we have

tried to include this in

is

on

file

num-

noted as pairs.
Fuller descriptions and extra-peninsular distribu-

most of the Atlantic molluscs discussed may

be found in Abbott (1954) and

Warmke and

Abbott

(1961). All Pacific species mentioned are described

Keen (1958) and Olsson (1961, pelecypods

only).

These comprehensive works ably define the larger


fauna which

we

Where we have
minology used

only sample in our restricted area.


occasionally deviated
in such

major

from the

studies,

it

because of recent taxonomic revisions or

acquired locally. In this report,

wished
detail

times

to

in

ter-

has been

new mate-

we have

not

overburden the reader with taxonomic


justification

we seem

of our identifications. If at

to the professional zoologist to

have

presumed too much, may we ask provisional quarter until

our larger study of the modern collections

reaches print.

has long been customary in malacological

liter-

ature intended for others than specialists in the field


to include the

English popular name, despite the

fact that, in the true


shells

meaning of

the word, most

do not have and never had popular names.

These have often been made up by the

MMS
P

bers of pelecypods always refer to single valves unless

tions of

should be noted that, in the tabulations,

specialist,

of

in parenthesis after the family

our area rather than of the family

indicate

principal

sources of comparative material:

with the Middle Ameri-

use of specialists desiring this information.

It

usually

have, where feasible,

following abbreviations

can Research Institute of Tulane University, for the

rial

The

listed in

broken

precise record of each entire or

fragment

shell or

in

we

scope,

significance in terms of votive, ornamental, or

dietary function,

It

larger

headings; these are often descriptive of the particu-

maries below by attempting to distinguish between

have been broken from them or matrices in nearby

names

of

RR

Coe, 1959
Kidder, 1947
Moholy-Nagy, 1963
Moholy-Nagy, manuscript
ProskouriakofT, 1962
Ricketson and Ricketson, 1937

notes

Thompson, 1939
Willey and others, 1965

Annotated Checklist of Marine Species


GASTROPODA

Class:

Modern

FISSURELLIDAE

Family:

distribution:

from

(keyhole limpets)

East coast of the peninsula,

B.H., to

Belize,

Contoy, Q.R., also

Isla

Alacran Reef.
Archaeological occurrence:

Diodora cayenensis (Lamarck)

Modern

Common

distribution:

on the

entire

pe-

riphery of the peninsula from Turneffe Islands,

B.H., to

Laguna de Terminos, Camp.

DZIBILCHALTUN:

unworked, from Cenote

Xlacah, presumably an offering, undated.

mative.

Cittarium pica (Linne)

Modern
from

distribution:

Very common on

Belize, B.H., to Isla Contoy,

on north or west

unworked, not dated (M-MS).

listen

(d'Orbigny)

east coasts,

from

Turneffe Islands, B.H., to Telchac Puerto, Yuc,

and

Alacran Reef.

at

unworked,

in unstratified

TIKAL:

unworked, not dated;

PIEDRAS NEGRAS:

unworked, not dated (M,

p.

67).

364,

unworked,

Formative.
2 perforated for

(M MS).

suspension, both Classic

Archaeological occurrence:

TIKAL,

seen

coasts.

CANCUN MIDDEN:

ISLA

North and

distribution:

Not

Q.R.

deposit.

Illustration: Plate 21, aa.

Modern

east coast

Archaeological occurrence:

DZIBILCHALTUN:
Diodora

unworked, For-

Illustration: Plate i,d,dd.

Archaeological occurrence:

TIKAL:

CANCUN MIDDEN:

ISLA

Illustration: Plate i,b.

unworked, Late

Classic

cache (C, pp. 55, 82, as "Livona pica" which

is

this species).

(Gmelin)

Fissurella barbadensis
Illustration: Plate i,a.

Comment: Discarded magpie

Modern

pica) are favored for reoccupation by the hermit

distribution: Restricted to Caribbean coast

of the peninsula,
Isla

from Turneffe

Islands, B.H., to

and are frequently found

of the east coast plantations.

Contoy, Q.R.

locally

Archaeological occurrence:

DZIBILCHALTUN:

unworked,

in unstratified

CHICHEN
(J.

TIKAL,

ITZA:

known

as sigua,

is

{Cittarium

in the coconut trees

The

actual sea snail,

eaten extensively by the

raw or cooked

coastal population, either

which

deposit.

Cenote

crab,

shells

as

soup,

delicious.

is

unworked, from Sacred

TURBINIDAE

Ladd, personal communication)

Family:

unworked, not dated (M-MS).

Astraea caelata (Gmelin)

(star shells)

Illustration: Plate 1, e,ee.

Comment: Limpets

Chichen

and Tikal, not reported elsewhere, including

Itza,
Isla

rare at Dzibilchaltun,

Cancun midden. Therefore they were probably

common on
They may have

not used for food, although

rocky shores

and delicious

been strung

to eat.

through "keyhole" as jewelry. More probably they

were

distribution:

from Turneffe

Common

on Caribbean coast

Islands, B.H., to Isla

and on offshore

Cancun, Q.R.,

atolls.

Archaeological occurrence:

ISLA

CANCUN MIDDEN:

unworked, For-

mative.

collected for pleasure or as a votive offering. If

identification of Dzibilchaltun Fissurella


this

Modern

is

one of the few

shells

is

correct,

not reported from adja-

cent beaches in the archaeological fauna of the

site.

Astraea phoebia Roding [=zA. longispina Lamarck]


Illustration: Plate 1,/,//.

Modern

distribution:

Common

Turneffe Islands, B.H., to

Family:

TROCHIDAE (top shells)

and on offshore

on

Isla

all coasts,

from

Carmen, Camp.,

atolls.

Archaeological occurrence:

CANCUN MIDDEN:

Calliostoma jujubinum (Gmelin)

ISLA

Illustration: Plate i,c,cc.

mative.

4 unworked, For-

MOLLUSCA
Astraea tecta americana (Gmelin)

Nerita tessellata Gmelin

Illustration: Plate i,g.

Illustration: Plate 2,b,b'.

Modern
coasts,

Common

distribution:

from Turneffe

and on offshore

on

east

and north

Islands, B.H., to Sisal,

Yuc,

coast

and the offshore

unworked, For-

Archaeological occurrence:

tive, a

strange that these

is

beautiful

strikingly

often

Turneffe Islands,

atolls,

Contoy, Q.R.; Alacran Reef and

Isla

DZIBILCHALTUN:

mative.
It

on the Caribbean

Cayo Areas.

CANCUN MIDDEN:

Comment:

THE MAYA LOWLANDS

Common

distribution:

B.H., to

atolls.

Archaeological occurrence:

ISLA

Modern

IN

common and

were not more

shells

widely collected and traded in ancient times.

(?)

unworked, Forma-

damaged specimen with

3 rather

than the

2 parietal teeth usually characterizing this species.

MAYAPAN:
ISLA

See N. julgurans, comment.

CANCUN MIDDEN:

unworked, For-

mative.

NERITIDAE

Family:

UAXACTUN:

(nerites)

cache (RR,

Nerita julgurans Gmelin


listed in

Illustration: Plate 2,aa,aa'

unworked,

67,^,15; also K, p. 61;

pi.

199,

p.

in late Classic stela

both sources as "Nerita praecognita C. B.

'.

Modern
from

Carmen

Isla

to

Champoton, Camp.; not

collected farther north; absent

on north and

specimen

is

variety of tessellata.

probably the

latter,

which

is

This

common

on the nearby Caribbean shore.

east

Nerita versicolor Gmelin

coasts.

Archaeological occurrence:

MA YAP AN:

Illustration: Plate 2,d,dd.

?) "several examples," both pierced

and unpierced, probably Decadent period


p.

West Indian

Adams,"

distribution: Southern part of west coast,

387,

44, b,g).

fig.

TIKAL:

(P,

Common

distribution:

on Caribbean

coast

only. Turneffe Islands, B.H., to Isla Contoy, Q.R.

Archaeological occurrence:

unworked, not dated (M-MS).

Modern

ISLA

CANCUN MIDDEN:

96 unworked, For-

mative.

Comment:

can be seen from the above modern

It

distribution that

if

ProskouriakofT's identification

must be trade

correct, these

pieces

Campeche. Her photographs are


shells,

from southern

of the backs of

and two of the three are very unclear. The

much more like N. tessellata


the much finer spiral cording

third (fig. 44, g) looks


(see below), lacking

which distinguishes julgurans from


are handicapped

in

complete

archaeological

loss

in

identification

this species.

We

by the usually

We

suggest,

specimens are N.

however, that the Mayapan

tessellata,

thus placing their pro-

venience in the same geographical province as the


other molluscan fauna of the

unworked, not dated (M-MS).

Lamarck

Neritina meleagris
Illustration:

Modern

Sowerby, 1841^1.94.

distribution:

Not

collected

in

peninsular

waters.

Archaeological occurrence:

SAN

JOSE: 24 unworked, from

S.J.

IV cache

(T,p. 180).

specimens of the

strong color patterns which characterize the various


nerites.

TIKAL:

is

Neritina virginea (Linne)


Illustration: Plate 2,e,ee.

Modern

distribution:

of the peninsula,

Carmen;

site.

also

Common

along entire

littoral

from Turneffe Islands

to Isla

on the offshore

atolls.

Archaeological occurrence:

Nerita peloronta Linne

DZIBILCHALTIN:

Illustration: Plate 2,c,cc.

MAYAPAN:

Modern

distribution:

and the offshore

Common

atolls only;

on Caribbean
Boca Paila

coast

to Isla

Contoy, Q.R.; Alacran Reef, Cayo Areas.


Archaeological occurrence:

ISLA

CANCUN MIDDEN:

mative.

unworked, Formative.

Proskouriakoff

mentions

"one

Neritina specimen of unidentified species has a


large

round hole" (P,

p.

387). As virginea

is

the

only species reported from peninsular waters,


is

20 unworked, For-

most probably

SAN

JOSE:

sel, S.J.

it

this.

unworked specimen

IV (Late Early

in cache ves-

period) (T, p. 180).

Marine Species

Comment: The

inland Neritas and Neritinas were

probably collected for votive purposes (surely at

San Jose) or

curiosity.

The

larger nerites

from the

Cancun midden were probably used for food. I am


told they make a very tasty broth. They are abun-

Comment: The

chaltun were probably traded from the Quintana

Roo

coast for votive purposes.

Isla

Cancun may

above high-tide

grow
Numer-

from the water

They

are rare, as are the rocks they

on, along the sandy shelf of the north coast.

ous shore specimens were perforated by the

number

holes of a

of predators. It

is

drill

littorinids

well be intrusive in the

If

limit,

from

midden
zone"

and often climb the distance


midden.

to the present height of the

used for food, they would have been found in

much

greater quantities in the midden.

very difficult

from those made

to distinguish these perforations

The

deposits, as these molluscs live in the "spray

dant along the Caribbean, thus very easy to collect


for food.

Tectarius specimens from Dzibil-

Family:

TURRITELLIDAE

(turret shells)

by the ancients for purposes of suspension.


Petaloconchus irregularis (d'Orbigny)

LITTORINIDAE

Family:

Littorina ziczac

Illustration: Plate 3,.

(periwinkles)

Modern

distribution: Uncertain, as not thoroughly

collected.

(Gmelin)

Reported

at a

number

from

of stations

Belize to Tancah, Q.R.


Illustration: Plate 2 , h, hh.

Modern

distribution: Caribbean coast

at

Absent on

Q.R.

Islands, B.H., to Isla Contoy,

north coast. Collected

from Turneffe

Seybaplaya,

Archaeological occurrence:

ISLA

CANCUN MIDDEN:

mative,

Camp.

possibly

intrusive

4 unworked, For-

on larger

in

shells

Midden.
Archaeological occurrence:

ISLA

CANCUN MIDDEN:

unworked, For-

Nodilittorina tuberculata

distribution:

Illustration: Plate 3, c,cc.

East coast only.

Tulum

to

Modern

distribution:

All

three coasts,

Mujeres, Q.R., to Chencan,

Cozumel, Q.R.

from

Camp. Also

Isla

at Ala-

cran Reef.

Archaeological occurrence:

ISLA

shells)

Vermicularia spirata Philippi

(Menke)

Illustration: Plate 2,/,//.

Modern

SILIQUARIIDAE (worm

Family:

mative.

CANCUN MIDDEN:

unworked, For-

Archaeological occurrence:

DZIBILCHALTUN:

mative.

tainer,

unworked,

in cache con-

Late Early period. (Lacks tiny coiled

spire,

do most beach specimens. Therefore might

Echininus nodulosus (Pfeiffer)

as

Illustration: Plate 2,g,g'-

also be V. \norri Deshayes, distinguished only

Modern

East

distribution:

coast

Islands, B.H., to Isla Contoy,

only.

Turneffe

TIKAL:

Q.R.

this species.)

"Various fragments, representing about

31 unmodified valves, 19 occurrences" (M,

Archaeological occurrence:

ISLA

white spire instead of brown as on

CANCUN MIDDEN:

unworked, For-

p. 67,

age not noted.)

PIEDRAS NEGRAS: Found

mative.

by

in

two Early period

caches (C, p. 55).

Tectarius muricatus (Linne)


Illustration: Plate 2,i,i'.

Modern

coast

Islands, B.H., to Isla Contoy,

only.

Q.R.

Turneffe

Also at Ala-

Modern

Archaeological occurrence:

DZIBILCHALTUN:
ISLA

unworked

4 unworked,

in Florescent

in unstratified deposit.

CANCUN MIDDEN: n

mative.

Planaxis nucleus (Bruguiere)


Illustration: Plate $,b,bb.

cran Reef.

cache.

PLANAXIDAE (planaxis)

Family:
East

distribution:

unworked, For-

distribution: Caribbean coast only. Turneffe

Islands, B.H., to Isla Contoy,

Q.R.

Archaeological occurrence:

ISLA

CANCUN MIDDEN:

mative.

unworked, For-

MoLLUSCA
Family:

MODULIDAE (modulus)

Modulus modulus (Linne)

Modern

Illustration: Plate 21, ee.

Modern

distribution:

on

three coasts,

all

Carmen,

Isla

Also found on the offshore

Archaeological occurrence:

TIKAL:

Family:

unworked (M-MS).

CERITHIIDAE

JOSE:

Common

from Turneffe

on

unworked,

in S.J.

IV cache (T,

180, identified as C. lutosum var. eriense, which

is

probably this species).

inland specimens clearly destined

Cancun midden specimens might


this

entire periphery

Islands, B.H., to Isla

CALYPTRAEIDAE

Family:

Carmen, Camp.

(cup-and-saucers,

slipper shells)

Archaeological occurrence:

DZIBILCHALTUN:

atolls.

purpose.

Illustration: Plate 3, d,dd.

of peninsula,

B.H., to

Islands,

have been discards from collections made for

Cerithium eburneum Bruguiere

distribution:

entire coast

p.

for votive use.

Modern

common on

w.

Archaeological occurrence:

Comment: The

(ceriths)

Very

pi. 13,

Ciudad Carmen, Camp., and on offshore

SAN

atolls.

Abbott, 1961,

from Turneffe

of peninsula,

Common

from Turneffe Islands, B.H., to

Camp.

Warmke and

distribution:

THE MAYA LOWLANDS

Adams

Cerithium variabile C. B.
Illustration:

IN

unworked among Forunworked from Formamative burial offerings;


tive deposit same structure (605); 1 unworked in
1

Crucibulum auriculum (Gmelin)


Illustration:

crypt of double child burial, Late Early period.

ISLA

CANCUN MIDDEN:

unworked, For-

Modern

Plate 3,/,n.

distribution:

Common

on

entire littoral of

peninsula from Water Cay, B.H., to

Isla

Carmen,

mative.

Camp.

ISLA

Illustration: Plate $,ee.

distribution:

of peninsula,

atolls.

Archaeological occurrence:

Cerithium floridanum Morch

Modern

Also offshore

Common

on

entire periphery

from Water Cay, B.H.,

to Isla Car-

CANCUN MIDDEN:

unworked, For-

mative. Possibly intrusive on

some

TIKAL:

p. 67, archeological

22 unmodified (M,

larger shell.

context not noted).

men, Camp.
Archaeological occurrence:

UAXACTUN:
cache (RR,
ably the

p.

same

199,

unworked from
pi.

Classic

67, e, 16). This

shell listed

is

by Kidder (K,

stela

presump.

61).

Crucibulum spinosum (Sowerby)


Illustration:

Modern

Keen, 1958,

fig.

254.

distribution: Pacific.

Archaeological occurrence:

Cerithium

liter attum

PIEDRAS NEGRAS:

(Born)

cache (C,

Illustration: Plate 3,/.

Modern

distribution:

Common

Turneffe Islands, B.H., to

on offshore

men from

atolls.

on

Isla

east coast,

coast; 1 speci-

p. 55).

Crepidula aculeata (Gmelin)


Illustration: Plate 3,hh.

Modern

Telchac Puerto, Yuc.

distribution:

Common

Q.R., to Isla Carmen,

Archaeological occurrence:

ISLA

CANCUN MIDDEN:

unworked, Late Classic

from

Contoy, Q.R. and

Rare on north

unworked, For-

Isla

Contoy,

Archaeological occurrence:

TIKAL:

mative.

from

Camp.

35 unmodified (M,

p. 67, archaeological

context not noted).

Cerithium maculosum Kiener

Keen, 1958,

Illustration:

Modern

fig.

211.

Crepidula fornicata (Linne)

distribution: Pacific.

Illustration: Plate 3,g,gg.

Modern

Archaeological occurrence:

TIKAL:

unmodified, not dated (M,

p. 67).

distribution:

Common, from

Q.R., to Isla Carmen,

Camp.

Isla

Mujeres,

Marine Species
Archaeological occurrence:

Archaeological occurrence:

DZIBILCHALTUN:

unworked

in cache,

Late

CANCUN MIDDEN:

ISLA

1,871 unworked,

Early period, might have been intrusive on large

Formative. (Does not include 1,022 undifferenti-

Strombus included

ated fragments of Strombus

in cache.

CANCUN MIDDEN:

ISLA

unworked, For-

been either costatus or gigas).

BARTON RAMIE:

mative.

TIKAL:

(M,

8 unmodified

p. 67, archaeological

context not noted).

fragments,

presence in caches at Dzibil-

chaltun might have been accidental, the consider-

number found

Tikal would indicate

at

intentional offerings of these unspectacular shells.

STROMBIDAE

UAXACTUN:

distribution: This

is

the

the sandy north-coast beaches.

common

On

conch of

replaced by S. gigas and others.

by

becomes

However,

S. pugilis.

Chinchorro Bank on the

On

Modern

distribution: This

the northwest

periods (see

found

as far south as

and

coast,

east coast.

Isla

Lobos,

Also found

on the offshore

ProskouriakofT (P, pp.

identified as S. gigas.

spires,

384-85)

and 72 "altered

She notes

their use as

"trumpets" and as raw material for a variety of


this

is

commonest

the

heaviest shell at the

site,

as well as the

strong trade with the

Caribbean coast would be implied. However, her


illustrations (figs. 43,

47) show that

rare east of

It also

occurs

is

probably from the nearby- shore.

CANCUN MIDDEN:

493

unworked,

MAYAPAN:

with

"cut

fig.

spire,"

presumably

47, h, not in text).

CANCUN MIDDEN:

unworked, For-

mative.

CHICHEN ITZA:

damaged specimen from the


Sacred Cenote, possibly worked (J. Ladd, per1

sonal communication).

BARTON RAMIE:

perforated near columella

for suspension, broad groove cut

507,

SAN

fig.

510,/).

JOSE:

S.J. II"

(T,

from perforation

on body whorl, Classic period (W,

to shoulder

p.

unworked, with burial "perhaps


1

80; this shell

is

illustrated

further described in Richards and

1937,

p.

169,

pi. 6,

and

Boekelman,

no. 7).

UAXACTUN:

Strombus gigas Linne


Illustration: Plate 4,a,aa.

distribution:

unworked fragment, For-

mative.

p.

this shell

Formative.

This

is

the

common

conch

along the Caribbean coast, from Turneflfe Islands


to Isla

It is

Chuburna,

atolls.

DZIBILCHALTUN:

fragments," presumably mostly Decadent period,

Modern

of

at

412 unworked, 74 worked


Table 2). Used as tomb or

10 complete, 9 cut

ISLA

West

Mujeres on the Caribbean.

as Isla

ISLA

S. costatus,

of

Progreso, and has been reported only as far south

Decadent period (P,

As

common conch

the

gradually replaces S. costatus.

artifacts.

artifacts.

is

the northwest and west coasts.

cache offerings, and as materials for jewelry and

all

material,

Archaeological occurrence:

DZIBILCHALTUN:

lists

RR

re-

Archaeological occurrence:

MAYAP AN:

199,

Illustration: Plate \,c.

Alacran Reef.

all

p.

the species, perhaps on

pre-

Kidder

68, a).

rarer, largely replaced

it is

Niop, Camp., on the west

from

lists

pi.

Strombus pugilis Linne

it

it

61)

p.

(RR,

Classic

the east coast,

becomes rare from Holbox south, largely

coasts

specimens with body whorl

but gives no further data.

Illustration: Plate \,b.

and west

(W,

"probably gigas" not dated

numerous other unworked fragments,

sumably

(conchs)

Strombus costatus Gmelin

it

are Classic or Postclassic

removed, then pierced below shoulder for suspen-

K,

Modern

TIKAL: 1 unworked
(M-MS).

sion,

Family:

but

all

37 unworked and worked

pp. 526, 528).

Comment: Although
ably larger

which might have

Contoy, Q.R. Unreported on the north and

west coasts; prevalent on offshore

atolls.

"One complete shell was the only


object found under Stela 5, Group B" (RR, p.
199); "a massive pendant made from the [perforated columella] of a large S. pugilis"

201,

pi.

(RR,

p.

69,^,2; archaeological context not noted).

Ricketson suggests that several of the crude Early

10

MOLLUSCA
from the

Classic figurines

were made from

site

the body whorl of this shell.

One unworked

speci-

men, Chicanel, one unworked specimen, Tzakol

(K,p.6i).

Illustration: Plate 5,d,dd.

Modern

ISLA

Common

distribution:

from Turneffe

Isla

coast,

Contoy, Q.R., and

atolls.

on Caribbean coast

CANCUN MIDDEN:

10 unworked, For-

mative.

Islands, B.H., to Isla Contoy, Q.R.,

and the offshore

Unreported from north

atolls.

Cypraea zebra Linne


Illustration: Plate ^,c,cc.

coasts.

Modern

Archaeological occurrence:

ISLA

on Caribbean

Archaeological occurrence:

Illustration: Plate <\,d.

and west

Common

distribution:

Turneffe Islands, B.H., to

Strombus raninus Gmelin

THE MAYA LOWLANDS

Cypraea cinerea Gmelin

on offshore

Modern

IN

CANCUN MIDDEN:

57 unworked, For-

Common

distribution:

Turneffe Islands, B.H.,

on

to Isla

east coast

from

Contoy, Q.R. Also

Cayo Areas.

mative.

Archaeological occurrence:

Comment: The

striking

abundance

all-year

of

conchs on the entire Yucatan coast, especially the

Caribbean

and the offshore

littoral

a plentiful supply of food in return for a


5. gigas

of labor.

with

relish

from

and

British

delightedly by me),

S. costatus are

minimum
eaten

still

CANCUN MIDDEN:

39 unworked, For-

mative.

BARTON RAMIE:

unworked, one Formative

(Barton Creek), one Protoclassic (Floral Park)

(W,pp.

526, 528).

to

Tabasco (and

TIKAL:

spices,

shredded and

netta" the

Honduras

raw with

offered

atolls,

ISLA

unworked, "either zebra or

latter a Pacific species

cervi-

(MMS).

boiled as a broth, or fried in oil as "biftec de concha."

The

smaller S. raninus (which

was obviously eaten

The ponderous

in

have not sampled)

Formative days

at

Cancun.

Comment: It is odd
in so many parts of

that the cowry,

which was used

the world for ornaments or for

were probably stripped of

money, seems

to

their small animals (as they are today) before the

ancient Maya.

The numerous specimens from Can-

shells

meat was shipped inland, leaving the


coastal

middens. In the inland

cities,

form

shells to

which

have been of

cun were probably

little

interest to the

collected as food.

surely

enjoyed the meat, the shells served as the most

OVULIDAE

Family:

important single material in the manufacture of


jewelry and a variety of small artifacts.

Cyphoma gibbosum (Linne)


Illustration: Plate $,b,bb.

Modern
Family:

CYPRAEIDAE

(cowries)

coast,

from Turneffe

Q.R. Also offshore

Cypraea cervus Linne

ISLA

distribution: Rare,

on north

specimen each from Chavihau and

coast only.
Sisal,

One

DZIBILCHALTUN:

unworked fragment

in

unworked

in For-

worked
i960,
this

outer

lip,

apparently

un-

(illustrated but not identified in Sanders,

fig.

19

with

4, all

b, 14, called

might be C. zebra).

"ornament (?) of

shell";

unworked, For-

2 holes pierced

(Merwin and

5,

on back

Vaillant, 1932, pi.

cache, one

from Early

perforated, four

Classic

from Late Formative (Cauac) tomb

(M-MS, "Cyphoma,

mative deposit.

35,#, not mentioned in text).

TIKAL:

CANCUN MIDDEN:
Q.R.:

atolls.

mative.

for suspension

Formative deposit.

TANCAH,

Islands, B.H., to Isla Contoy,

CANCUN MIDDEN:

HOLMUL:

Yuc.

Archaeological occurrence:

ISLA

Caribbean

Archaeological occurrence:

Illustration: Plate 5,a,aa.

Modern

Uncommon on

distribution:

probably Atlantic," there-

unworked, undated

fore probably this species); 7,

(M MS, "Cyphoma

UAXACTUN:

1,

through wall (K,

sp.,"

with

p. 62).

probably this species).


2

perforations

broken

ii

Marine Species

Morum

NATICIDAE (moon shells)

Family:

tuberculosum (Reeve)

Keen, 1958,

Illustration:

Polinices duplicatus (Say)

Modern

Illustration: Plate 3,/,/.

Archaeological occurrence:

Modern
Chencan

Southwest coast only, from

distribution:

Carmen.

to Isla

one Formative

and shoul-

1 tinkler, spire

%.

52,).

V tomb

SAN JOSE:

1, in S.J.

Lambidium

tuberculosa

(T, pp. 180-1, "as

morum," which

this

is

species).

Polinices hepaticus (Roding)


Illustration: Plate 3,//.

Comment:

distribution: East coast only,

from Turneffe

Q.R.

Islands, B.H., to Isla Mujeres,

CANCUN MIDDEN:

un worked, For-

mative.

It is

strange to find the Pacific species at

San Jose and Piedras Negras when the almost identical

Archaeological occurrence:

ISLA

PIEDRAS NEGRAS:
(C, pp. 55, 57,

2 pierced for suspension,

(Chuen), one probably Late Classic (M-MS).

Modern

distribution: Pacific.

der removed and base perforated, probably Classic

Archaeological occurrence:

TIKAL:

316.

fig.

was

Atlantic form

both

sites.

into

the

to be obtained so

near to

Separation of highly altered specimens

two

species

precarious.

is

was influenced by

of the Balankanche tinkler

graphic provenience;

might

it

Identification

also

geo-

have been the

Polinices lacteus (Guilding)


Pacific species.
Illustration: Plate 5,\,kk..

Modern
only,

Common

distribution:

on Caribbean

coast

Islands, B.H., to Isla Contoy,

from Turneffe

Q.R. Also the offshore

Illustration: P\ate6,b,bb.

atolls.

Modern

Archaeological occurrence:

ISLA

Phalium granulatum (Born)

CANCUN MIDDEN:

9 unworked, For-

on

Illustration: Plate

CANCUN MIDDEN:

Camp. Also

at

mative.

Common

from

on

entire periphery

Belize, B.H., to Isla

Aguada,

Alacran Reef.

two with

ITZA:

large

"6,

round

Illustration: Plate 6, a, aa.

distribution:

from

Probably

Decadent

"pierced" specimens (P, p. 387,

CHICHEN

Phalium inflatum (Shaw)

Modern

Archaeological occurrence:

MAYAPAN:

fig.

period,

44,^).

one of these cut

holes,

Isla

two perforated"

(P,

DZIBILCHALTUN:

what

Uncommon on

Islands, B.H., to

east

coast,

Proskouriakoff

"Phalium
this

is

sp.,"

is

387,

fig.

probably in-

fig.

94,i)

mentioned

illustrates
It is

not

in the text.

Cancun, Q.R.,

on the offshore

atolls.

1 tinkler, spire

and north

coasts

of both these species

and shoulder

perforation at base, age uncertain


p. 54, fig. 55, d).

in that P.

tum,

is

granulatum

relatively

is

much

on

show neither geographical

They

differ

about half the size of

infla-

overlap nor morphological intergrading.

Archaeological occurrence:

(Andrews, 1969,

is

p.

probably a shell of this genus.

the east

off, drilled

which

Longyear (1952,

Comment: Large samples

cut

(P,

the only north-coast species,

and on west coast (Chencan, Camp.). Also found

BALANKANCHE:

fragment, unworked in

very closely resembled by her illustration.

is

COP AN:

Plate 6, dd, dd'.

from Turnefle

lists

flatum, as

oniscus (Linne)

distribution:

Carmen. Also

Isla

Formative debris.

and

Modern

to

coasts only,

Cayo Areas.

47,f)

Holbox, Q.R.,

MAYAPAN:

CASSIDIDAE

Illustration

North and west

Archaeological occurrence:

at base,

422, archaeological context not noted).

Morum

6 unworked, For-

6,;';'.

distribution:

of the peninsula

Family:

Mujeres,

east coast only.

ISLA
Natica canrena (Linne)

p.

Isla

Archaeological occurrence:

mative.

Modern

Cancun and

distribution: Isla

heavier and thicker-shelled,

strongly cancellate rather than spiral sculpture, and

MoLLUSCA IN THE MAYA LoWLANDS

12
in adult specimens has a strong

former varix roughly

Archaeological occurrence:

MAYAPAN:

opposite the aperture.

together

cist,

Cassis madagascariensis

Warmke and

Illustration:

Modern

Lamarck

to Isla Mujeres,

pi. 1,/.

with

smaller

Corker Cay, B.H.,

Q.R.

perforated

p. 387, fig.

CANCUN MIDDEN:

ISLA

shells,"

47,).

unworked, For-

mative.

BARTON RAMIE:

Archaeological occurrence:

TIKAL:

unworked, "from a house mound

Decadent period (P,

Abbott, 1961,

distribution: East coast,

p.

unworked,

Classic

(W,

526).

unworked, "probably madagascarien-

Cymatium parthenopeum (von

(M-MS).

sis" undated

Salis)

Illustration: Plate ~/,c,cc.

Cassis tuberosa (Linne)

Modern

Illustration: Plate 11, a.

Modern

from

distribution: East coast,

from Turneffe

Is-

lands, B.H., to Isla Contoy, Q.R. Also Alacran Reef.

Archaeological occurrence:

Isla

36 unworked, For-

mative.

JOSE:

1 artifact

osa"

S.J. Ill

(T,

of Cassis, "probably tuber-

to Isla

DZIBILCHALTUN:

three coasts,

all

Carmen.
unworked, from Cenote

probably thrown

in

offering.

as

Not

datable.

ISLA

SAN

Mujeres

on

Archaeological occurrence:

Xlacah,

CANCUN MIDDEN:

ISLA

Uncommon

distribution:

CANCUN MIDDEN:

unworked, For-

mative.

p. 181, pi. 28,c).

TIKAL: 1, slightly
debris (M-MS).

altered, probably

Late Classic

Cymatium

[=

(Linne)

pileare

martinianum

C.

(d'Orbigny)]
Illustration: Plate ~/,d,dd.

Cypraecassis testiculus (Linne)

Modern

Illustration: Plate 6,c,cc.

Modern

Islands,

B.H., to Isla Contoy, Q.R. Also Cayo

Areas.

Islands, B.H., to

MAYAPAN:

387).

p.

and

Turneffe

Archaeological occurrence:
1

specimen,

perfect

un-

ISLA

CANCUN MIDDEN:

unworked, For-

mative.

TONNIDAE (tun shells)

Family:

CYMATIIDAE

unworked, For-

mative.

CANCUN MIDDEN: n

Family:

atolls.

east

worked, in Late Early period deposit.

fragment, unworked, probably

Decadent period (P,

all

Punta Palmar, Yuc.

DZIBILCHALTUN:

Archaeological occurrence:

ISLA

Uncommon on

north coasts and on the offshore

from Turneffe

East coast,

distribution:

distribution:

Tonna
(tritons)

galea (Linne)

Illustration: Plate 7,/,//.

Charonia variegata (Lamarck)

[=

C. tritonis nobilis

and

(Conrad)]

distribution:

Frequent on

Belize to Isla Mujeres.

hau on north

coast.

east coast

single shell

from

from Chavi-

Also found on offshore

Rare on

CANCUN MIDDEN:

coasts,

Alacran Reef.

at

ISLA

CANCUN MIDDEN:

7 unworked, For-

unworked, For-

Illustration: Plate 1,e,ee.

Modern

Cymatium jemorale (Linne)

at

distribution:

More common on

distribution: Rare. East coast

Islands, B.H., to Isla Mujeres. El

Chavihau and

to Isla

Sisal

east coast

Contoy. Collected

on north

coast,

and

at

Alacran Reef.

Illustration: Plate J,b,bb.

Alacran Reef.

mative.

from Turneffe Islands

east coast.

and north

Tonna maculosa (Dillwyn)

mative.

Modern

east

atolls.

Archaeological occurrence:

ISLA

distribution:

Archaeological occurrence:

Illustration: Plate 7, a.

Modern

Modern

from Turneffe

Cuyo on

north-

Archaeological occurrence:

ISLA

CANCUN MIDDEN:

mative.

4 unworked, For-

Marine Species

13

Comment: Taken

for food

Archaeological occurrence:

CHICHEN ITZA:
FICIDAE

Family:

me on

unworked, found by

surface in area of Modified Florescent construc-

(fig shells)

tion.

Ficus

communis Roding

Comment:

Illustration: Plate J,g.

Modern

distribution:

Common

on

east coast south

north coast and west coast to

to Isla Mujeres,

Isla

Carmen.
96 unworked; most datable

unworked, presumably Decadent

period (P, p. 387,

47,4, "Ficus papyratia Say,"

fig.

tation

well with

fit

from the western Gulf

its

apparent impor-

coast.

Illustration: Plate 8,b,bb.

Modern

specimens are Formative (see Table 2).

MAYAPAN:

Chichen Itza would

Murex pomum Gmelin

Archaeological occurrence:

DZIBILCHALTUN:

Location in Modified Florescent area at

The common Murex on

distribution:

peninsular

entire

B.H., to

Isla

periphery;

Turneffe

the

Islands,

Carmen, Camp. Also on offshore

atolls.

which

is

ISLA

CANCUN MIDDEN:

this species).

unworked, For-

Archaeological occurrence:

DZIBILCHALTUN:

unworked,

in the

Cenote

mative.

Xlacah, probably as an offering. Undatable.

Comment: The frequency

of this very delicate shell

Formative de-

at Dzibilchaltun, particularly in the


posits, suggests that

The

shell

is

it

may have been

so thin that

it

used as food.

could have had no use

ISLA

CANCUN MIDDEN:

TIKAL: 1 unworked
cache (M-MS).

Comment:

MURICIDAE

Family:

Murex

dilectus

Alacran Reef. Fairly common.

p.

61).

In 1964 this species was collected and


at

Corker Cay, B.H.

unworked (M,

p. 67,

Modern

Rare on west

distribution:

Celestun,

Yuc,

to

coast

only.

Chencan, Camp.

Archaeological occurrence:

Archaeological occurrence:
3

unworked, Tzakol (K,

Illustration: Plate 21, dd.

Can-

cun, north coast, and west coast to Isla Carmen,

TIKAL:

in Early Classic structure

Murex rubidus Baker

distribution: East coast north of Isla

also at

used for food by natives

Adams

A.

Illustration: Plate 8,cc

Modern

(murex)

unworked, For-

mative.

UAXACTUN:

as material for jewelry or other artifacts.

"Murex, prob-

TIKAL: 1 unworked,
(M-MS).

as

"Murex

recurvirostris"

ably florifer Reeve," archaeological context not

Comment: M. rubidus was

noted).

recurvirostris

Comment: Emily Vokes

called to

our peninsular specimens of

all

my

attention that

this

form were

rubidum

of this species.

It

originally

called

F. C. Baker, the local

M.

form

has recently been given specific

status.

the above species, not M.. florifer Reeve, a larger and

much

heavier, although related, form. It

that this beautiful

and

fairly

common

is

strange

shell has

not

appeared in the Yucatan archaeological collections.

Purpura patula (Linne)


Illustration: Plate

Modern

distribution:

from Turneffe

Murex

fulvescens

Sowerby

distribution:

ISLA
fragment of

this

was found by Emily and Harold Vokes


Carmen, Campeche.

It

species

exas.

on Caribbean

Islands, B.H., to Isla Contoy,

coast,

Q.R.

CANCUN MIDDEN:

unworked, For-

mative.

at Isla

has not been collected

else-

where on the peninsula. Abbott (1954) gives


distribution as "North Carolina to Florida and
1

Common

Archaeological occurrence:

Illustration: Plate8,a,.

Modern

8,^-.

its

to

Thais deltoidea (Lamarck)


Illustration:

Modern
Isla

Plate 8,//.

distribution: Caribbean coast,

Contoy. Cayo Areas.

Cozumel

to

MoLLUSCA

i4

THE MAYA LOWLANDS

valid species. Proskouriakoff's specimen

Archaeological occurrence:

ISLA

IN

CANCUN MIDDEN:

unworked, For-

corona).

CANCUN MIDDEN:

ISLA

mative.

clearly

is

unworked,

555

Formative.

Thais rustica (Lamarck)

Melongena melongena (Linne)

Illustration: Plate 8, d,dd.

Modern

Caribbean coast only, from

distribution:

Turnefre Islands, B.H.,

to Isla

Modern

Contoy, Q.R.

Common

distribution:

Turneffe Islands, B.H., to

Archaeological occurrence:

ISLA

Illustration: Plate 10, a, a'

CANCUN MIDDEN:

unworked, For-

Isla

coasts

all

from

Carmen.

Archaeological occurrence:

DZIBILCHALTUN:

mative.

on

135 unworked,

but one

all

datable example in Formative deposits (Table 2).

Family:

COLUMBELLIDAE

(dove

ISLA

shells)

CANCUN MIDDEN:

unworked, For-

mative.

BARTON RAMIE:

Columbella mercatoria (Linne)


Illustration: Plate 6, e.

Modern

1,

unworked, Classic (W,

pp. 504, 526).

distribution: Entire

littoral

of peninsula,

Carmen. Offshore

Turnefre Islands to Isla

atolls.

TIKAL:

unworked, undated;

four of these Early Classic

UAXACTUN:

Archaeological occurrence:

5 slightly altered,

(M-MS).

worked, Tzakol, three sawed

DZIBILCHALTUN: i unworked, Formative.


ISLA CANCUN MIDDEN: i unworked, For-

near

mative.

perforation of hollow logs in the

SAN

JOSE:
(T,p.i8o).

TIKAL:

unworked,

unworked, not dated;

Early Classic,

perforated, Classic

IV

in cache vessel, S.J.

perforated,

Comment: Except

the

for

fig.

48).

example from

single

from Tikal which were

of the

"slightly

none of the 925 archaeological specimens


were worked. The whorls are

of this genus

BUCCINIDAE

making

ancient drum, or tun\ul (K, pp. 61, 62,

altered",

Family:

perforated in body whorl

probably intentionally imitating the

orifice,

Uaxactun and the

(M-MS).

form of an

cuts in

so thin

on exceptionally large specimens would

that only

Cantharus auritulus (Link)

the shell be of any use as material.

Illustration: Plate 6,g.

both species were found as offerings at Cenote

distribution: Collected at Isla Mujeres and

Modern
Isla Cancun

only.

the Formative.

CANCUN MIDDEN:

unworked, For-

this

in votive caches

The enormous
Isla Cancun

in contrast to

MELONGENIDAE

(crown

conchs,

whelks)

Table 2),

total
its

abundance

a striking

is

usage over time at the

from Boca

Paila, Q.R., to Isla

all

three coasts,

Carmen, Camp.

seven of

known

MAYAPAN:

which

Abbott (1954,

unworked,

all

but

p.

fig.
is

47, s, called

this

from

species.

"M.
I

at

Isla

Uncommon

bispinosa

agree with

234) that bispinosa

is

not a

on

east

and north

Mujeres, Q.R., to Punta Palmar,

Cayo Areas.

Archaeological occurrence:

DZIBILCHALTUN:

unworked, probably Decadent

period (P, p. 387,


Philippi,"

226

age were Formative.

coasts

distribution:

Yuc, and

Archaeological occurrence:

DZIBILCHALTUN:

Modern

in

site.

Illustration: Plate 9,c,cc.

on

Formative (see

example of the change

Illustration: Plate io,, b'

Common

no doubts that

leave

in the

Busycon coarctatum (Sowerby)

distribution:

quantities present at

absence during later deposits,

Melon gena corona (Gmelin)

Modern

during

mollusc was an important source of food.

The almost

mative.

Family:

common

Dzibilchaltun and

Archaeological occurrence:

ISLA

Xlacah, and are

At Dzibilchaltun

men, found under

unworked

juvenile speci-

of Late

Early period

floor

vaulted building.

ISLA

CANCUN MIDDEN:

mative.

4 unworked, For-

Marine Species

J5

fragments. These doubtful specimens have been

Busycon contrarium (Conrad)

ler

Illustration: Plate 9,a,aa.

assigned to the locally

Modern

Mujeres and

from

Contoy.

Isla

Holbox

Isla

and west

to

from

coasts

coast

east

Common

at

Isla

on north coast

Sisal to Isla

Carmen, where

taxonomy

DZIBILCHALTUN:

118

unworked,

largely

Table 2); 9 worked fragments, 8 from Formative and Copo complex

from Formative

(see

was used

it

We

tabulations.

have followed the

of Abbott (1954, p. 236).

Busycon spiratum (Lamarck)


Illustration: Plate 9, d,dd.

from

Archaeological occurrence:

where

the above

Modern

Alacran Reef.

deposits,

in

species contrarium

Rarer on northwest

Sisal.

largely replaced by B. perversum. Collected

it is

at

Rare on

distribution:

common

manufacture

in the

distribution:

Common

Mujeres, Q.R., to

Isla

on

all

three coasts,

Carmen, Camp.

Isla

Also at Cayo Areas.


Archaeological occurrence:

DZIBILCHALTUN:

unworked,

12,

in

most

periods (see Table 2); one found in Late Early

period cache.
of jewelry.

MA YAP AN:

unworked

period,

Decadent

probably

specimens,

(P, p. 387,

fig.

47,0, listed as

B. perversus but clearly from photograph

MAYAPAN:

period (P, p. 387,

which
it is

unworked, probably Decadent

is

fig. 47,/?, as

pyrum Dillwyn,

B.

this species).

this

LABNA:

1,

pierced

near base for suspension,

species).

GRUTA DE OXKINTOK:
posits dated

by Mercer

unworked,

by Brainerd as Florescent (identified

this sin-

dextral. Cf. Mercer, 1896, pp. 47, 53,

18; Hatt

figs. 17,

and

others, 1953, p.

CANCUN MIDDEN:

ISLA

581

TIKAL:

unworked (M,

this shell); 2 cut

unworked,

lists

"about 105,
sp.,

imma-

tiny,

which may be

fragments, one of which

is

late

(M-MS).

UAXACTUN:
(K,

CANCUN MIDDEN:

illustrated

19 unworked, For-

mative.

NASSARIIDAE (mud

Family:

in).

p. 67, also listed as

unmodified" as Busycon

Classic

X, 18,

pi.

snails)

Nassarius vibex (Say)


Illustration: Plate 6,//.

perversum; she also


ture,

ISLA

173-74,

Formative.
2

H. Thompson, 1897b,

(E.

var. co-

B. contrarium whereas coarctatum

estral shell is

otherwise unworked, probably Pure Florescent

but not identified).

"Fulgur perversum Linne

as

arctatum Sowerby"; photograph shows

is

in de-

p. 61, as

Modern
all

three coasts,

in Chicanel deposit

perversum).

from Turneffe

on

Archaeological occurrence:
1,

with single hole for

drilled

suspension, Tepeu; found with lot of

apicinum virgineum and a single Oliva


also

Busycon perversum (Linne)

areas

Islands, B.H., to

Chencan, Camp., and Cayo Areas.

UAXACTUN:
unworked,

swamp

In or near

distribution:

with a single perforation (K,

Prunum

reticularis,

p. 61, as

"Nassa

vibex")

Illustration: Plate <),b,bb.

Modern

distribution:

western north coast

Common

to Isla

from Progreso on

Carmen, Camp.

Family:

FASCIOLARIIDAE

(tulips, horse conchs,

latirus)

Archaeological occurrence:

DZIBILCHALTUN:

unworked, Formative.

Fasciolaria hunteria (Perry)


Illustration: Plate io,<:,\

Comment:
ferent

B. contrarium and perversum are dif-

species

on the peninsula, the former the

"normal" form, the

latter characterized

by a

much

Modern

distribution: Collected only

of Yucatan, Celestun,

Archaeological occurrence (the following occurrence

modern known

heavier shell and a strong swollen ridge about the

is

middle of the body whorl in semimature

cun was very heavily collected):

to

mature

specimens. This difference cannot be detected in


juveniles,
shell,

and

which
is

are

much commoner

than the adult

often impossible to distinguish in smal-

on north coast

and the Alacran Reef.

outside

ISLA

habitat,

CANCUN MIDDEN:

although Can-

unworked, For-

mative.

UAXACTUN:

The

Ricketsons report one "Fasci-

MOLLUSCA

i6
olaria distans

suspension, in

Lam." with two perforations for


Chultun 3 (RR, pp. 199-200, prob-

may be F.

ably repeated in K, p. 61). This


(see

hunteria

CHICHEN
worked,

ITZA:

captioned

(provenience of

comment below).

Canche"). Dr.

Comment: Regarding

confusion of F. hunteria and

There

related forms, see Hollister, 1957.

nal form, obtained

from shrimp

he opts the F. lilium (F.

hunteria (Perry).

is

obviously closely

Cam-

shrimp
and Abbott. Oddly,
Rehder
F. branhamae
trawlers off

the peninsula are clearly the

our specimens from


Florida

a later-

has been called F.

also

third,

origi-

which

trawlers, for

related form, taken by

peche,

an

Waldheim), and

v.

Florida species which

named

is

hunteria,

species,

Campeche which were

those

including

from

collected in or near shal-

all

low water. F. distans Lamarck

a later

is

synonym

J.

Ladd

ISLA

CANCUN MIDDEN:

BARTON RAMIE:
(W,

from Turneffe

Camp. Also

Islands,

TIKAL:

unworked,

Isla

Carmen,

67;

Middle Formative (Chuen), one Early


one undated;

two of these Early

3 slightly altered,

(M MS).

one undated

Classic,

Classic,

with
is

removed,

spire

which

trumpet; identification not

(RR,

it is

pi.

69, c; K, p.

clearly this species.

Latirus ceratus

Modern

37 unworked, mostly For-

may have been drilled for suspension,


may have been natural (see Table 2).

(Wood)

Keen, 1958,

fig.

603.

distribution: Pacific.

Archaeological occurrence:

TIKAL:

unworked, not dated (M-MS).

but this

MAYAPAN:

unworked, probably Decadent

period (P, p. 387,

ISLA

p.

period not yet determined); 3 cut fragments, one

Illustration:

Archaeological occurrence:

mative;

mixed debris

in

34 unmodified, immature (M,

offshore atolls.

DZIBILCHALTUN:

84 unworked, For-

three coasts,

all

to

spire

pp. 526, 528, as Fasciolaria gigantea).

61, both as "Fasciolaria"),

on

its

mative.

Illustration: Plates 10, d,dd; 11b.

B.H.,

which had

of

given, but from photograph

Common

text

(personal communication)

Fasciolaria tulipa (Linne)

distribution:

in

listed

off.

Ricketsons suggest

Modern

correctly

"Chichen Itza and Balam

lot:

from the Sacred Well, one

UAXACTUN:

for F. lilium, not hunteria.

not

un-

two adult specimens were recovered

notes that

cut

and

51, h)

fig.

species,

this

as

specimen,

juvenile

(P,

illustrated

THE MAYA LOWLANDS

IN

47,/).

fig.

Latirus injundibulum (Gmelin)

Modern

CANCUN MIDDEN:

478

unworked.

Formative.

distribution:

Abbott, 1961,

Not

collected

pi. i,i.

on peninsula.

Archaeological occurrence:

TIKAL:

Pleuroploca gigantea (Kiener)

Warmke and

Illustration:

Family:

unworked, not dated (M-MS).

TURBINELLIDAE

(chank

shell)

Illustration: Plate 11, d.

Modern

distribution:

Rare on

Common

from Corker Cay, B.H.


west coasts from

Isla

east coast, collected

on north and

Holbox, Q.R.,

to Isla Car-

men. Alacran Reef.

Modern

distribution:

from Turneffe
on offshore

Archaeological occurrence:

DZIBILCHALTUN:

Turbinella angulata (Solander)


Illustration: Plate 11, e.

25 unworked and 4 cut,

Common

mative (see Table 2);

spire

removed, Proskouriakoff

may

384,

47, , as "Fasciolaria gigantea,'''

fig.

this species),

have been used as trumpet (P,

unworked

"Fasciolaria papulosa",

is

(P, p. 387, listed as

which may have been

species; cf. Abbott, 1954, p.

Decadent period.

which

p.

this

242); both probably

Carmen. Also

Archaeological occurrence:

through Pure Florescent (see Table 2).


1,

three coasts,

atolls.

DZIBILCHALTUN:

suggests

all

Islands, B.H., to Isla

preparatory to some use as jewelry, Formative

MAYAPAN:

on

24 unworked, mostly For1

with spire removed for

use as a trumpet, in Formative cache; 3 other


pieces of

body whorl and columella

partially cut

for use in manufacture.

ISLA

CANCUN MIDDEN:

96 unworked, For-

mative.

HOLMUL:

2,

one with spire removed, one neatly

cut in half vertically with resultant edges finely

Marine Species

J7

smoothed (Merwin and Vaillant, 1932,


fig.

no date

27, pi. 34,/,;,

BARTON RAMIE:
shell,

which has

"A

87,

hinge portion of a Xancus

ground edges, has

(W,

507,

p.

310,,?).

fig.

forated bivalves,
2,

tain date

(M-MS).

the per-

clearly a mistake.

it is

TIKAL:

among

listed

is

surely, 12 doubtfully this species), Formative.

Oliva porphyria (Linne)


Illustration:

Modern

(K,

pi.

VIII.

p.

61).

family Turbinellidae and the genus

9 unworked, Full Classic; 6 tinklers,

removed, drilled hole

(Longyear, 1952,

TIKAL:
Comment: The

Keen, 1958,

distribution: Pacific.

COPAN:
spire

unworked, Tzakol

14 unworked (2

Archaeological occurrence:

described as trumpets, neither of cer-

UAXACTUN:

CANCUN MIDDEN:

Turbinella [Xancus], being a gastropod, has no


hinge; further, as this

Archaeological occurrence:

ISLA

listed).

carefully

perforation"

central

p.

p.

no,

bottom, Full Classic

at

109,^).

fig.

8 "uncut tinklers," Early Classic;

"cut

(M-MS).

tinkler," probably Late Classic

Turbinella are published as Xancidae and Xancus.

For changes

in

nomenclature, see Vokes, 19^4-

Ohva

reticularis

Lamarck

Illustration: Plate i2,c,cc.

VASIDAE

Family:

Modern

(vases)

Contoy, and

Isla

Vasum capitellum (Linne)


See comment under V muricatum
.

lected

below.

north and east

TurnefTe Islands, B.H.,

to

Punta

DZIBILCHALTUN:

shoulder fragment, cut

2 sides, unfinished, Late Early period.

CANCUN MIDDEN:

unworked, For-

ground

and

flat

TIKAL:
lum," see

unworked (M, p.
comment below).

67, as "V. capitel-

with back-

drilled for suspension, spire not

and

either

"sawed" (four)

Formative (two in burial), one in Cenote Xlacah,


one in unstratified deposit; 3 ornaments made by
sawing off horizontal sections of shell and percache, one in unstratified deposit, one

muricatum, even though

they resemble capitellum.


ological specimens

in

It is

Vasum

followed

(E.

perforation,

apex removed, base with

H. Thompson, 1897b,

unlikely that archae-

GRUTA DE LOLTUN:

which reasons

include the

X,i6,22,23,

pi.

Florescent

tinkler,

with sawed

perforation, spire not removed, period not

(E.

H. Thompson, 1897a,

p.

432)

to a separate family rather-

in assign-

than to the

MA YAP AN:
riod,

73, probably mostly

Decadent

to a

number

Certain of the specimens illustrated (ibid.,

and Simpson

CHICHEN

Q.R., and Punta Palmar, Yuc.

fig.

45)

are surely not reticularis; see O. sayana below.

Illustration: Plate i2,a,aa.

Cancun and

of

which Proskouria-

koff gives a detailed description (P, pp. 38586).

(olive shells)

distribution: Isla

pe-

ranging from unworked through tinklers

specially carved examples, of

Modern

known

10 illustrated but

fig.

with a variety of perforations,

Turbinellidae.

caribaeensis Dall

illus-

not identified).

Keen (1958,

OLIVIDAE

Pure

probably

trated but not identified).

Tikal occurrence above.

We have

sawed

tinklers,

characteristics

some

from the Peten would be of a

separate species, for

from Cenote

Xlacah.

Comment: The Vokes, who have checked our


Vasum species from the peninsula, feel that they are

Ohva

Cenote

removed, Late Early period or Pure Florescent;

LABNA:

Family:

in

forating tip for suspension, one in Pure Florescent

mative.

ing

unworked

or drilled (one) perforation for suspension, three

Archaeological occurrence:

all

5 tinklers, spire cut off

Palmar, Yuc.

ISLA

coast.

Xlacah, presumably an offering;

n, c.
Modern distribution: Uncommon on

on

Isla Jaina,

DZIBILCHALTUN:

Illustration: Plate

fro'm

on north

Archaeological occurrence:

Vasum muricatum (Born)

coasts,

Cozumel to
Campeche. Not col-

distribution: East coast, Isla

Isla

Contoy,

ITZA: "77

[sic]. 2

unaltered, 8 with

cut spire; 39 cut horizontally or broken with

slit

perforation near base; 5 with drilled perforation,

MOLLUSCA

i8

6 with two
near spire;
51,^).
species.

perforations, 5 with perforation

slit

carved; 7 others" (P, p. 422,

fig.

The specimen illustrated is surely this


}. Ladd reports 2 additional specimens

from the Sacred Cenote, one with

spire

ground

O.

fied as

CANCUN MIDDEN:

ISLA

106

unworked,

TANCAH,

Q.R.:

with

2,

apparently

holes

either say ana or

caribaeensis.

CANCUN MIDDEN:

ISLA

unworked, For-

mative.

BARTON RAMIE:

2 tinklers,

belong

removed (W, pp. 50708,


"Olivella"). Sev-

than any Olivella, they clearly

genus Oliva, and

to

both with "sawed"

310,/', identified as

309, a;

figs.

eral times larger

Formative.

THE MAYA LOWLANDS

must be

reticularis,

perforation and spires

down.

IN

may

be identified as

drilled at shoulder for suspension (illustrated but

either of the 2 closely related species sayana or

not identified by Sanders, i960,

caribaeensis.

BARTON RAMIE:
for

perforation,

pp.

50708,

much

spire

removed (W,

illustration that these

sayana"; age not

known from

this area.

They

are

22 tinklers, "weathered and probably of various

have spires cut

species"; all

off

and have

a cut

suspension hole near the apex

or drilled

deposits;

illustrated are surely reticularis

131,^,

pi.

some

(RR,

p.

all

of those

201,

fig.

68, b); Kidder reported 9, Tzakol and

Tepeu, "some

presumably, Oliva

surely, others

(K, pp. 63-64,

reticularis"

sherds

67) "Oliva, probably

listed.

Although not reported

illustration

(pi.

Kidder's illustration

68, b)

as such,

left in

and

Ricket-

59

nos.

85,^) are either

(fig.

or O. caribaeensis.

They might be

in
this

the

Pacific O. porphyria.

Oliva spicata (Roding)

Ricketsons report 15 Olivas,

Mamom

but one from

p.

probably the tinkler fourth from

species

IV

(M,

pp. 67, 70).

UAXACTUN:

UAXACTUN:
son's

reticularis";

unworked (M,

S.J.

from

unworked "probably O.

180).

p.

unworked, with

TIKAL:

probably Oliva reticularis.

TIKAL:

(T,

JOSE:

310, ); identified as

larger (as well as differently shaped)

than any Olivella

SAN

309, ;

"Olivella" but clear


are

19,^,15, 16).

pierced by drilled hole

one with

figs.

fig.

fig.

85,^).

Keen, 1958,

Illustration:

Modern

fig.

625.

distribution: Pacific.

Archaeological occurrence:

COP AN:

14 tinklers, spire sawed off and hole

drilled in base,

1952,

p.

from Full

Classic

tomb (Longyear,

no).

Oliva say ana Ravenel


Illustration:

Modern
tun

Comment:

Plate i2,b,bb.

West
Carmen.

distribution:

to Isla

coast only,

from Celes-

DZIBILCHALTUN:

unworked, one Forma-

n tinklers, with both sawed

one unstratified;

and

drilled perforations, all

with spire removed,

Formative and Early periods or

in

undated de-

tinkler,

Thompson, 1897b,

removed, sawed for

spire

probably

perforation,

pi.

Pure

Florescent

(E.

H.

X,2i, illustrated but not

GRUTA DE LOLTUN:

tinkler

with spire

removed and sawed perforation, period unknown

H. Thompson, 1897a,

fig.

11, illustrated but

not identified).

MAYAPAN:
45).

Some

Used

making me
same

feel

O.

that these are really

species. Distinction

between the

bleached and altered specimens must be

questionable, as

phyria.

must be

Twelve

the distinction of

damaged

of these specimens, tentatively identi-

Cancun specimens, not

definitely

have been included with the

caribaeensis.
differentiation

and the smaller

between these larger species

reticularis,

which

have

sug-

gested on the basis of photos and measurements of

Uaxactun and Mayapan specimens,


O. reticularis

for tinklers (P, p. 385, fig.

Isla

identified as sayana,

The

identified).

(E.

used to define O. sayana and

varieties of the

in

islands of the

shows complete intergradation in the

caribaeensis,

two

from the northern

fragments of both these from the Pacific O. por-

(Table 2).

LABNA:

coast

characteristics

tive,

posits

large collection of fresh specimens of

large olive shells


east

Archaeological occurrence:

shell.

is

the

Abbott (1954,

reticularis as

is

more

specific.

more globose and much smaller


p.

245-46)

3844 mm., sayana

as

lists

the size of

5166 mm. All

19

Marine Species
our modern specimens

this range, so

within

fall

mm.
mm.

assuming that an Oliva 50


removal of spire (K, fig. 85) or 60

are fairly safe in

long after

complete (P,

p.

385)

one of the larger

is

we

species,

rather than reticularis.

Modern

Plate

from

common on

Very

Turneffe

B.H.,

Islands,

three

all

Isla

to

DZIBILCHALTUN:

14 with apex ground

off

GRUTA DE BALANKANCHE:
off for stringing as beads,

from

a wrist-

pectoral.

CANCUN MIDDEN:

Isla

and north

coasts,

from
col-

CANCUN MIDDEN:
Archaeological,

or

unworked, For-

even

when broken

similar species.

beach-worn

or intentionally

The

one of

species nivea, above,

relatively easy to separate because of size

and the

fact that the

similar Jaspidella jaspidea lacks the

marked

on the columella. The

Olivellas, all of

lina,

which

(marginellas)

n,.

One specimen

distribution:

collected

at

apicinum

See P.

vir-

gineum (Joussaume), below.

Prunum apicinum virgineum (Joussaume)


Modern

altered, are extremely difficult to assign to

may

MARGINELLIDAE

Family:

have

lots of

smaller

classified as dealbata,

Common

distribution:

from Turneffe

Camp.

callus

cache

Illustration: Plate 12,^.

mative.

is

slightly

structure

Classic

Archaeological occurrence:

Plate 12, d.

Olivellas, particularly

Early

67);

p.

Dolores, Yuc.

Archaeological occurrence:

Comment:

an

in

Illustration: Abbott, 1954, pi.

(Gmelin)

distribution: East

many

altered,

unworked (M,

unworked, For-

lected at Alacran Reef.

the

TIKAL:

Prunum apicinum apicinum (Menke)


1

Cozurhel, Q.R., to Dolores, Yuc. Also

ISLA

Carmen.

Modern

Illustration:

west coast, from Celestun

apex

153,

mative.

Modern

Commoner on

east

(M-MS).

Pure Florescent tomb.

Olivella nivea

Absent on

collected only at Telchac Puerto.


coast.

north coast,

Archaeological occurrence:

for stringing, offering in Late Early period or

ISLA

(nutmegs)

Uncommon on

distribution:

to Isla

Archaeological occurrence:

band or

CANCELLARIIDAE

Family:

Modern

Aguada, Camp. Also Cayo Areas.

ground

Johnson, 1964.

Illustration: Plate 6,hh.

i2,e>.

distribution:

coasts,

data on this very rare species see

Cancellaria reticulata (Linne)

Olivella dealbata (Reeve)


Illustration:

Comment: For

three coasts

Isla

Carmen,

Archaeological occurrence:

DZIBILCHALTUN:
for suspension, all

Early

period

28 unworked, 75 pierced
Formative; 1 pierced in Late

deposit;

pierced

from Cenote

Xlacah.

MAYAPAN:
for
p.

suspension,

386,

fig.

Decadent period

probably

as

listed

44, <i;

and perhaps other

mm.

Menke

in

which were pierced

20, fifteen of

well contain specimens of O. mutica, O. roso-

by color.

all

to

Alacran Reef.

Menke). However, the 7

local species identified largely

on

B.H.,

Islands,

Marginella apicina

illustrated

are about

whereas apicinum apicinum

length,

in this area

(P,

is

at least twice that size; they

are probably the subspecies virgineum.

MITRIDAE

Family:

ISLA

(miters)

CANCUN MIDDEN:

unworked, For-

mative.

Mitra florida Gould

SAN

Illustration: Plate 21, b, bb.

181).

Modern
Isla

distribution: Rare, one specimen taken at

Lobos, Chinchorro Banks.

Archaeological occurrence:

ISLA

CANCUN MIDDEN:

mative.

unworked, For-

JOSE:

COP AN:

unworked

"About

in S.J. Ill cache (T, p.

handful from

Tomb

1,

aver-

aging 7 mm. long. Each shell has a hole broken


through the back" (Longyear, 1952, p. no, fig.
107, ). Again, this is only half the average size of
apicinum, and

is

probably the present subspecies.

20

MOLLUSCA

TIKAL:
(M,

unmodified, 4 pierced for suspension


67, "Marginella, probably all apicina
3

p.

Menke"; however,

as she cites

ProskouriakofPs

photo, above, and Kidder's photo, below,

it is

most

Ricketsons

cists,

another (RR, pp. 199-200,

185 in two Tepeu caches,

lists

all

6162,

82, b).

fig.

As

from Kidder's

clear

at

pierced (106 in
Olivella;

K, pp.

Mayapan, above,

it

and are probably

Menke

Comment:

common

was apparently not conall

pierced

Dzibilchaltun, the hole was broken,

at

not drilled. Kidder mentions the same at Uaxactun;


this

seems

to be true also at

on peninsula.

collected

unworked, not dated (M-MS).

Marginellas, in general, are exceedingly

in

Formative deposits

in

Yucatan

altered specimens. Later they occur less

as un-

commonly,

usually perforated for use as beads (see Table 2).

CONIDAE (cones)

Family:

Con us

sidered worth drilling for perforation. In

examples

9> fig s - J > 2

or

this subspecies.

tiny shell

Archaeological occurrence:

floridanus

Gabb

Illustration: Plate

Comment: This

Not

distribution:

is

illustration that these shells

are half the size of apicinum apicinum


less,

perforated

63,^). Kidder

pi.

with snake vertebrae and

jar

Modern

Couthouy, 1837, P

unworked

64

list

"Marginella apicina" in two


in

Illustration:

THE MAYA LOWLANDS

(Couthouy)

storeria

cf.

TIKAL:

probably this subspecies).

UAXACTUN:

Prunum,

IN

Modern
from

12,^,^.

distribution:
Isla

Common

Mujeres, Q.R., to

three coasts,

Carmen, Camp.

Archaeological occurrence:

with spire cut

Prunum guttatum (Dillwyn)

Isla

all

Collected at Alacran Reef.

DZIBILCHALTUN:

Mayapan.

on

unworked, Formative;

off (unfinished tinkler?),

Forma-

unworked, Pure Florescent.

tive; 1

Illustration: Plate 12,^.

Modern

distribution:

from Turneffe

Common

on

Islands, B.H., to

peche and on the offshore

three coasts

Conus mus Hwass

Chencan, Cam-

Illustration: Plate

all

Modern

atolls.

CANCUN MIDDEN:

4 unworked, For-

on

Isla

east coast,

from

Contoy. Also Ala-

cran Reef.
Archaeological occurrence:

mative.

ISLA

Prunum

Common

Turneffe Islands, B.H., to

Archaeological occurrence:

ISLA

12JJI.

distribution:

labiatum (Valenciennes)

CANCUN MIDDEN:

unworked, For-

mative.

Illustration: Plate 12,/.

Modern

distribution: Moderately

three coasts, Isla

Camp. Also

Cozumel, Q.R.,

common on
to Isla

all

Carmen,

coast

Archaeological occurrence:

46 unworked, Formative;

with drilled hole near rim, Formative; 4 un-

worked, probably Formative;


Early period;

tinkler, spire

unworked, Late

removed, sawed per-

foration at base. Late Early period or Pure Florescent;

unworked, Pure Florescent.

MAYAPAN:

8, all

Decadent period (P,

p. 386, fig. 44, c, as

"Margi-

ITZA:

Plate 12,7,77.

distribution:

from Belize

Uncommon

to Isla

on

Caribbean

Cancun, Q.R.

Archaeological occurrence:

ISLA

CANCUN MIDDEN:

unworked, For-

mative.

Conus sozoni Bartsch


Illustration: Plate 12,

Modern

but one perforated, probably

nella labiata").

CHICHEN

Illustration:

Modern

the offshore atolls.

DZIBILCHALTUN:

Conus regius Gmelin

distribution:

m.

Not

collected

on peninsula.

Archaeological occurrence:

ISLA

CANCUN MIDDEN:

unworked, For-

mative. Identification of these eroded specimens


1

perforated (P, p. 422,

fig.

is

uncertain.

51, h).

TIKAL:

unworked, not dated;

perforated,

four of these Formative (Chuen), one probably

Late Classic

(M-MS).

Conus spurius

atlanticus

Clench

Illustration: Plate I2,/,m.

Modern

distribution:

Common

on

all

three coasts,

21

Marine Species
from

Mujeres, Q.R., to

Isla

Carmen, Camp.

Isla

one Late Early period, one probably Decadent


period, two unstratified); 6 worked fragments of

body whorl (three Formative, three Late Early


period), each a triangular pendant, with 2 perforations at top for suspension.

1897^,

Florescent

H. Thompson,

(E.

X,20, illustrated but not identified;

pi.

probably this species).

MA YAP AN:

is

eoffeus (Linne)

Plate

Illustration:

Modern

6,i,ii.

distribution: All three coasts,

at

from Turneffe

Aguada, Camp.

Collected

Cayo Areas.

Archaeological occurrence:

CANCUN MIDDEN:

ISLA

unworked, For-

"small conch

lists

trumpets" of Conus with "cut spires" (P,

illustration

Melampus

(coffee beans)

mative.

Proskouriakoff

refers to fig. 47,/

AURICULIDAE

Family:

Islands, B.H., to Isla

near base for suspension,

pierced

Pure

probably

much hand-

6 unworked (two Forma-

tive,

1,

clearly fossil, but

in Late Early period deposit.

Archaeological occurrence:

LABNA:

rubbed specimen obviously kept for some purpose,

Collected at Alacran Reef.

DZIBILCHALTUN:

Cenote Xlacah;

and m, but

missing).

is

species.

surely this

p. 3^4>

agree with

SCAPHOPODA

Class:

The

DENTALIIDAE

Family:

(tooth shells)

Proskouriakoff in questioning the use of these

Dentalium texasianum cestum Henderson

small shells as trumpets.

CANCUN MIDDEN:

ISLA

unworked, For-

Modern

mative.

TIKAL:
1

Illustration:

unmodified (M,

probably

tinkler,

p. 67,

date not listed);

Formative (Cauac);

late

distribution: Collected

by us only on Cayo

Norte, Chincharro Banks. Richards and Boekel-

man (1937)
Monkey

(M-MS).

tinkler, Early Classic

See below.

note

it

has been collected

from

River, B.H.

Archaeological occurrence:

TEREBRIDAE

Family:

HOK SKUM"

"RIO

(augers)

worked,
Terebra (?) dispar Deshayes
Illustration:

Modern

p.

JOSE:

Comment: Willey

unworked from

S.J.

IV cache (T,

collected in

is

queried by the author,

may

be what

suggest that the specimens

we now know

is

the

common

in these waters, Terebra cinerea (Born),


is

very similar to the exotic dispar

Abbott, 1961,

pi.

16768,

notes 25 beads of Dentalium (not

identified as to species), with a similar

(W,

burial

West Indian species, not


peninsular waters. As the identity is

T. dispar

Thomas Gann

1937, pp.

sea-urchin spines from a Spanish

180).

Comment:

by

un-

collected.

Archaeological occurrence:

SAN

mound dug

no. 4).

pi. 6,

Not

(near Corozal, B.H.),

(Richards and Boekelman,

None.

distribution:

in burial

pp. 509, 526,

and Boekelman's ideas


Class:

fig.

number

of

Lookout Phase

309,^). Note Richards'

cited above.

PELECYPODA

augur

and which

ARCIDAE

Family:

(Warmke and
Area imbricata Bruguiere

25,^).

[=

A. umbonata La-

marck]
Family:

BULLIDAE

Illustration: Plate i$,a,aa.

(bubbles)

Modern
Bulla occidentalis A.

Adams

distribution:

Also on the offshore

Common

from Water Cay, B.H.,

on

to Isla

all

three coasts,

Carmen, Camp.

Archaeological occurrence:

DZIBILCHALTUN:
tive,

Common

on the

entire coast

of peninsula, Turneffe Islands to Isla

Illustration: Plate 21,//.

Modern

distribution:

atolls.

Archaeological occurrence:

ISLA

CANCUN MIDDEN:

9 unworked, For-

mative.

4 unworked, one Forma-

two Late Early period (1

Carmen.

in cache),

one in

PIEDRAS NEGRAS:
sic

cache (C, p. 55).

unworked,

in Late Clas-

MOLLUSCA

22

Area

Keen, 1958,

Illustration:

Modern

Anadara

Sowerby

pacifica

fig.

Modern

Tzakol (K,

p.

(Roding)

Found on

distribution:

un worked, one Chicanel, one

[=

A. occidentalis Philippi]

Common

distribution:

Belize, B.H., to Isla

umbo,

hole below

with broken, not

drilled,

possibly for suspension.

Forma-

tive.

Illustration: Plate i$,b,bb.

on

all coasts,

from

Carmen, Camp. Also on

off-

ISLA

CANCUN MIDDEN:

DZIBILCHALTUN:
2

deposits,

mative.

Anadara transversa (Say)

unworked

box of Late Early

in cache

(pairs)

Formative

in

CANCUN MIDDEN:

ISLA

6 unworked, For-

Modern

Plate 13, d,dd.

North and west

distribution:

to Isla

MAYAPAN

unworked, probably Decadent

?), 1

period (P, p. 387,

fig. 46*?, listed as

Area

sp.? in

56 unworked (M,

association not noted).

p. 66, archaeological

Some

DZIBILCHALTUN:
hole below

of these,

from

others not datable.

MAYAPAN:

unworked, probably Decadent

1958,

but clearly from photo

p.

44)-

(RR,

unworked, apparently Forma129; K,

p. 199, fig.

"Area noae Linne,"

p.

61; both listed as

unworked,

in

Late Clas-

caches, one coated with cinnabar on inside

(C, p. 55,

TIKAL:

of A. zebra to

Lunarca

i,gg,gg

distribution: Collected only at Isla

as

Actually,

and speculation

much

like incised

thinking these "were

they are the normal

They aroused our


when we first found them

in the field.

to

north on the peninsula or on other coasts.


Archaeological occurrence:

BARTON RAMIE:

unworked,

TIKAL:

identity

Anadara grandis (Broderip and Sowerby)


Keen, 1958,

fig.

site

56.

8 unworked, not dated

may

Archaeological occurrence:

unworked,

re-checked,

cache

Late Classic (Longyear, 1952,

p.

of

Stela

53, as

distribution

is

exist as a rarity

shell at the
if

the above

complete. However, the shell

which we

7,

"Area

specimen, whose

would be the only

the east coast.


in

(W,

(M-MS).

imported from considerable distance

modern

distribution: Pacific.

Classic

526).

p.

Comment: The Barton Ramie

Carmen

Camp. These would seem

nearby Zacatal,

Coast distribution, as they are not found farther

ligamental grooves of this species.

grandes").

ovalis (Bruguiere)

the deep scratchings on the

show

industry."

COP AN:

pierced for suspension,

be the southernmost limits of a western Gulf

probably the result of boring sponges and not of

Modern

sp.,"

this species).

Ricketsons illustrated a specimen

They quote Clench

Illustration:

28 unworked,

Illustration: Plate x

Modern

^)-

ligamental area, which do look

curiosity

is

it

not dated (M, p. 66).

and

Comment: The

"Area

64,/, listed as

fig.

Mediterranean species).

PIEDRAS NEGRAS:
fig- 5 2

for suspension, For-

4 unworked, one of Decadent period,

period (P, p. 387,

UAXACTUN:

with irregular broken

umbo, probably

probably Late Classic caches (Coe and Broman,

human

Aguada, Camp. Cayo

Areas.

mative;

almost certainly this species.)

TIKAL:

design.

coasts only,

Archaeological occurrence:

mative.

text, is

Illustration:

Minas de Oro, Yuc,

period.

sic

unworked, For-

atolls.

Archaeological occurrence:

tive

atolls.

Archaeological occurrence:

61).

Area zebra Swainson

shore

three coasts of

Aguada, Camp. Also on offshore

Isla

DZIBILCHALTUN:

Modern

all

the peninsula, from Turneffe Islands, B.H., to

Archaeological occurrence:
2

THE MaYA LOWLANDS

Illustration: Plate I3,<r,cr.

37.

distribution: Pacific.

UAXACTUN:

notabilis

IN

Noetia ponderosa (Say)


Illustration: Plate i^,,e,ee.

failed to collect

on

23

Marine Species

Modern
Isla

West

distribution:

Arenas

Campeche

coast,

only,

found

Archaeological occurrence:

DZIBILCHALTUN:
TIKAL:

strange that Modiolus americanus, by far the

commonest present mussel on

Carmen.

to Isla

It is

the north coast,

is

not

in archaeological context.

unworked, Formative.

22 unworked, not dated (M,

Brachidontes exustus (Linne)

p. 66).

Illustration: Plate i$,b,bb.

GLYCYMERIDAE

Family:

Modern

(bitter sweets)

Quintana Roo, Yucatan, and Campeche.


Archaeological occurrence:

Glycymeris decussata (Linne)

Modern

(Cozumel and Can(Isla Carmen), and the

distribution: East coast

cun Islands), west coast

Not

offshore atolls.

collected

on north

CANCUN MIDDEN:

DZIBILCHALTUN:

19 unworked, For-

Musculus

lateralis

mative.

in

Modern

"probably exustus"

valves,

(Say)

Warmke and

Illustration:

Glycymeris undata (Linne)

unworked specimens

cache offering, Late Early period.

TIKAL: Unworked
(M-MS).

coast.

Archaeological occurrence:

ISLA

distribution: Collected at scattered sites in

distribution:

Abbott, 1961,

Not

collected

pi.

31, c.

from periphery

of peninsula.
Illustration: Plate 13, h.

Modern

distribution: East coast only. Xcaret to Isla

Mujeres.

Archaeological occurrence:

TIKAL:

6 unworked (M,

p. 67, archaeological

context not stated).

Archaeological occurrence:

MAYAPAN:

period (P,

pi.

\6,g

pennacea"'

decussata).

pointing

umbo

unworked, probably Decadent


illustrates a
It

specimen of "G.

(tree oysters)

lacks the posteriorly

and more

of that species,

closely

Isognomon

alatus

(Gmelin)

Illustration: Plate 14, c,cc.

resembles undata.

ISLA

ISOGNOMONIDAE

Family:

CANCUN MIDDEN:

40 unworked, For-

Modern

Turneffe Islands, B.H., to

sula,

mative.

distribution: All three coasts of the penin-

Carmen,

Isla

Camp.

Comment: Whichever of
Mayapan specimen is one
shells

the

two

species

it

the

is,

of the few archaeological

from Yucatan apparently imported from a

Archaeological occurrence:

DZIBILCHALTUN:
from Formative

37

strata,

unworked fragments
35 unworked and 33

worked from Late Early period and Pure

considerable distance.

Flores-

cent deposits.

MYTILIDAE

Family:

ISLA

(mussels)

CANCUN MIDDEN:

4 unworked, For-

mative.

Modiolus demissus granosissimus Sowerby

Isognomon radiatus (Anton)

Illustration: Plate i/[,a,aa.

Modern

distribution:

Collected at scattered

always near mangrove swamps, on

and west

east,

sites,

north,

Illustration: Plate i^,d,dd.

Modern

distribution: All three coasts

B.H., to

coasts.

unworked

valves,

For-

DZIBILCHALTUN:
Formative;

mative.

ISLA
Comment: The form

granosissimus can

now

be

Bravo, and probably elsewhere.

the above

and

abundance

also sent to

in the

Merida

offshore atolls.

mangroves

unworked, unknown
2

worked,

date.

unworked, For-

in the

It is

as a delicacy.

unworked and

mative.

Comment:

in

CANCUN MIDDEN:

swamps
behind Progreso (near Dzibilchaltun) and Dzilam
found

Camp. Also

Belize,

Archaeological occurrence:

Archaeological occurrence:

DZIBILCHALTUN:

Isla Jaina,

from

eaten locally

which

it

It is difficult,

two

is

or impossible, to separate

species unless the hinge

is

present,

not on most of the small fragments used

MoLLUSCA IN THE MAYA LOWLANDS

24
for mosaic or thoroughly
ler

worked. Most of the smal-

fragments, which might have been either species,

have been tabulated above with the larger

Comment: Boekelman (1935,


detail, all outside area of

were used
Family:

PTERIIDAE (wing

oysters, pearl oysters)

wooden handle),

and

as a source of inferior pearls,

as food.

on the beach

not used by the

Isla

distribution: All three coasts of Yucatan,

Mujeres, Q.R., to

Isla

Aguada, Camp. Also

the offshore atolls.

DZIBILCHALTUN:
unworked

Maya

as food.

terial for

mosaics, for

Copo

in unstratified

deposit.

that they

were

The many fragments

which they are most

Dolls,

suitable.

in several of the "jewelers' caches" in

Temple

the structures opposite the

unworked,

in

might indicate

Dzibilchaltun were probably brought in as ma-

They occur

Archaeological occurrence:

deposit. 1

at

there,

Their

common

absence in the Cancun Midden, although


Illustration: Plate 14,/,//.

in

lowland Maya. They

as hoes (strapped to a

Pteria colymbus (Roding)

Modern

figs.

13) describes archaeological use of Pinnidae

some

alatus.

25763,

pp.

which usually contained


and

material, obsidian tools,

of the Seven

wide variety of raw

several unfinished

and

finished items of jewelry.

Pinctada radiata (Leach)


Illustration: Plate i/[,e,ee.

Modern

distribution:

All

Family:
three

coasts,

Cozumel

Chencan, Camp. Alacran Reef.

Island, Q.R., to

Archaeological occurrence:

worked, Late Early period or Pure Florescent;

unworked, from cenote.

MA YAP AN:

period (P, p. 387,

ISLA

fig.

46, d).

Modern
coasts,
at

distribution:

Very common on

from Cozumel

to Isla

all

three

Carmen, Camp. Also

Cayo Areas.

CANCUN MIDDEN:

DZIBILCHALTUN:

unmodified, from Cenote

Xlacah, not datable.


1

unworked, For-

mative.

TIKAL:
sp.,"

Reports numerous unworked "Plicatula

perhaps

this species

(M MS).

"2 unmodified, 10 fragments, 4 worked

TIKAL:

pieces," not dated

Comment: As with

(M,

p.

Family:

67).

the Isognomonidae, these oys-

ters rapidly lose their attractive surface coloration

when

Lamarck

Archaeological occurrence:

unworked, probably Decadent

Plicatula gibbosa

paws)

(kitten's

Illustration: Plate i5,<?.

DZIBILCHALTUN: 4 unworked, Formative; 4


unworked, Late Early period; 1 unworked, 1
1

PLICATULIDAE

dead.

They

were apparently valued for the

highly nacreous undershell, which was useful

for

(scallops)

Pecten laurenti Gmelin


Illustration: Plate 21, c.

Modern

distribution: Collected at Isla

Cancun, Q.R.

Archaeological occurrence:

ISLA

ornamentation, including mosaics.

PECTINIDAE

CANCUN MIDDEN:

fragment, un-

worked, Formative.

Family:

PINNIDAE

(sea pens)

Lyropecten nodosus (Linne)


Atrina seminuda (Lamarck)

[=

A. rigida (Dill-

Modern

wyn)]
Illustration: Plate i$,a,aa.

Modern

Illustration: Plate i$,d,dd.

distribution:

Mujeres

to Isla

All

distribution:

Usually

three coasts. Collected


three

coasts

from

Isla

Carmen.

Isla

DZIBILCHALTUN:

ken pectoral made of

9 unworked in Formative

adorno

cache.

of this shell in Late Early period offertory caches,

ISLA

worked in Pure Florescent tomb, 3 unworked


from Cenote Xlacah, and 3 others unworked in

mative.

undated debris.

Early Classic

all

Mujeres, Q.R., to

Archaeological occurrence:

DZIBILCHALTUN:

unworked fragments and

uncommon on

Isla

Aguada, Camp.

Archaeological occurrence:

deposits, 11

from

3 fragments, all
1 valve, in

CANCUN MIDDEN:

TIKAL:

Late Early period

6 unworked, For-

unworked, undated;

(M-MS).

from bro-

perforated,

25

Marine Species
Lyropecten subnodosus (Sowerby)
Illustration:

Modern

Keen, 1958,

pierced

distribution: Pacific.

made

Archaeological occurrence:

TIKAL:

from

11, perforated for suspension, ten

an Early Classic burial, one undated

UAXACTUN:

(M MS).

2,

Mujeres, Q.R., to

Isla

Carmen, Camp.,

Areas.

Archaeological occurrence:

"RIO

HOK

worked

SKUM,"

in burial,

near Corozal, B.H.:

"may be

un-

derived from a

fossil

deposit" (Richards and Boekelman, 1937, p. 166,


pi. 6, no. 2, cited as

of adornos, these often for inclusion in mosaic.

MA YAP AN:

2 beads.

16 whole and broken valves, prob-

P. gibbus exasperatus Dall).

with drilled perforations for suspension; in deposits

identified by Brainerd as Late Early period

or

Pure Florescent (as "Spondylus echinatus"

S.

p.

118,

ISLA

americanus; see Hatt and others,

of the peninsula
to Isla

Common

distribution:

on

all

from the Turneffe

three coasts

Islands, B.H.,

Carmen, Camp. Also Alacran Reef.

CANCUN MIDDEN: in

DZIBILCHALTUN:
wings

with 2 holes drilled on

for suspension, Late Early period; 1

on wings

2 holes crudely broken

with

for suspension,

in unstratified debris. Several very well preserved

unworked, found

fossils,
its,

may have been

Comment: Note
one found

at

in archaeological depos-

Uaxactun and

is

is

the only

the most frequent at


is

nearby shores.

45 worked and unworked,

(W,

528).

p. 526,

unworked (M-MS).

5 pairs,

Keen, 1958,

pi. II.

distribution: Pacific.

Archaeological occurrence:

COP AN:

Frequent in Full Classic tombs and

none worked. Several

stela caches,

which

94, as "S. crassisquama,"

PUSILHA:

SAN

Hermann

unworked,

pairs,

1930,

Modern
coasts

distribution:

Common

from Turneffe

and on the offshore

on

east

and north

Islands, B.H., to Sisal,

Yuc.

483,

p.

fragments,

all

raw materials

unworked

valves

but one (unstratified) found

or

among

in the "jewelers' caches," Late Early

52 worked valves, fragments, or small


artifacts, from all periods, but mostly Late Early
period.

3 valves,

IV, one

undated;

pi.

may
15

Tepeu

XXI,

all

S.J. Ill

in caches,

Tzakol

TIKAL:

burials,

two

in

Tzakol,

and caches; 27 with two

them

one in undated debris (K,

fig. 82,a, as "S.

3 pairs,

as

(T, pp. 18081).

unworked, two

burials

1,

this species.).

unworked,

be

fig.

drilled holes for suspension, twenty-six of

pp. 6162,

Archaeological occurrence:
11

S.J.

thirteen in

in
atolls.

DZIBILCHALTUN:

JOSE:

UAXACTUN:

Illustration: Plate 15,/,/'.

not this

used containers for "small personal ornaments

are

Spondylus americanus

is

species).

(Gruning,

SPONDYLIDAE (thorny oysters)

no,

other small shells (Longyear, 1952, pp. 42,

"Spondylus," but almost surely

Family:

pairs used as

"jewel boxes" to hold pearls, jade, cinnabar, and

fig.

that the Pacific species

unworked,

Spondylus princeps Broderip

part of the cultural remains.

Tikal, although the very similar Atlantic species

common on

TIKAL:

Modern

periods

all

Illustration:

Archaeological occurrence:

1953,

pi. 3, fig. 1).

Formative.

from

Illustration: Plate 15,^.

complete

valve with sawed incision, then finished at 2 ends

BARTON RAMIE:
Aequipecten muscosus (Wood)

Modern

raw material

ACTUN XKYC (CALCEHTOK):

distribution: All three coasts of the penin-

common. Also Cayo

a variety

for beads, etc. (P, p. 385, fig. 44,0).

Illustration: Plate 15, bb.

sula. Isla

and

into beads, carved pendants

ably Decadent, also used widely as

Aequipecten gibbus (Linne)

Modern

Worked fragments were

pendants.

as

BALANKANCHE:

each drilled with 3 holes for

Tzakol burial (K, pp. 6162).

suspension, in

in caches

(see Table 2). Unaltered or slightly altered valves

137.

fig.

where they were very common

period,

crassisquama").

unworked, undated; 148

slightly altered, mostly in burials

follows: 1 Formative (Cauac),

and caches

84 Early

(M MS,

58 Late Classic,

5 uncertain

most of these are

S. princeps").

valves,
as

Classic,

"probably

MOLLUSCA IN THE MAYA LOWLANDS

26

PIEDRAS NEGRAS: 12+


caches;

perforated

and caches;

burials

"jewel boxes"

which

pairs

5556,

Gulf

and

suspension in Classic

several

(C, pp.

a Persian

is

for

in Classic burials

were used

as

cache contained 10, nine of which were

pierced (P, pp. 386-87,

44 ,).

fig.

as

limbatus,

S.

tion;

OSTREIDAE (oysters)

Family:

species).

Ostrea equestris Say

Comment: The
found

Tikal

at

very large amounts of Spondylus

still

and may

are

largely

remain un-

between the Pacific princeps, and the

differentiated

Atlantic americanus, except as noted above.

Of more

Illustration:

Modern

Archaeological occurrence:

ISLA

1964, more than 2500 were beads (mostly Formative) and over 2400 were "cached fragments"

mative.

CANCUN MIDDEN:

unworked, For-

Ostrea jrons Linne

(mostly Early Classic).

Illustration:

Modern

LIMIDAE

Plate i6,c,cc.

Lima lima (Linne)

on

and north

east

from Chapel Cay, B.H.,


Also on offshore

Palmar, Yuc.

Illustration: Plate ^5,gg.

Common

distribution:

coasts only,

to

Punta

atolls.

Archaeological occurrence:

Only on Caribbean coast


(Turneffe Islands to Isla Mujeres) and on the

Modern

Collected only at Isla Can-

distribution:

cun, Q.R.

than 5200 worked valves and chips collected by

Family:

Plate 16, a.

distribution:

ISLA

CANCUN MIDDEN:

unworked, For-

mative.

offshore atolls.

Crassostrea virginica (Gmelin)

Archaeological occurrence:

CANCUN MIDDEN:

ISLA

unworked, For-

Illustration: Plate i6,bb.

Modern

mative.

distribution:

Mujeres, Q.R., to

Lima

scabra (Born)

Modern

from

Isla

Cozumel

Cancun, Q.R. Also Alacran

to Isla

CANCUN MIDDEN:

unworked, For-

juvenile, in

large Strombus.

SAN
(T,

mative.

CANCUN MIDDEN:
JOSE:

p. 180,

unworked

unworked, For-

COROZAL:

(jingle shells)

list

in cache, S.J.

IV

or

specimens illustrated by Richards and

Boekelman, 1937,

ANOMIIDAE

unworked,

mative.

Archaeological occurrence:

Family:

Late Early period, possibly attached to

cache,

ISLA

Reef.

ISLA

Isla

Carmen, Camp.

DZIBILCHALTUN:

distribution: East coast

and Xcaret

Isla

from

three coasts,

Archaeological occurrence:

Plate r^,h,hh.

Illustration:

All

p. 166, pi. 6, no. 6).

Richards and Boekelman (op.

this species

from

a burial

mound

at

"Rio

cit.)

Hok

Skum" near Corozal.

Anomia simplex d'Orbigny


Illustration: Plate 15,/.

Modern

Mujeres, Q.R., to

Alacran Reef,

three

All

distribution:

Isla

common

coasts,

from

Isla

Carmen, Camp. Rare

at

elsewhere.

19 unworked, from Late

Early period deposits (sixteen in a single votive

unworked

cache),

worked

in

for

in a Florescent deposit, 1 un-

Cenote Xlacah, presumably an offering.

MA YAP AN:

13 specimens,

man

all

but two pierced

goes, the area


is

sometimes with a second smaller perfora-

180) quotes Boekel-

knowledge

between Cabo Catoche and Puerto

not at the present time inhabited by any

type of oyster." But


in the area:

we have

collected four species

Ostrea equestris, O. jrons, Crassostrea

rhizophorae, and C. virginica.

fifth oyster closely

resembling O. permollis Sowerby was taken at Alacran reef.

suspension, usually a single hole near the

center,

p.

as stating that, "so far as present

Castillo

Archaeological occurrence:

DZIBILCHALTUN:

Comment: Thompson (1939,

Family:

CARDITIDAE

Marine Species

27

Carditamera floridana Conrad

Archaeological occurrence:

DZIBILCHALTUN:

Illustration: Plate 15,7,/'.

Modern
Isla

distribution:

Common

on

three coasts,

all

Camp.

Mujeres, Q.R., to Isla Carmen,

unworked,

8 in Formative deposits,

umbo for
below umbo for

pierced below

sion as bead, Late Early period;

suspen-

TIKAL:

ISLA

CANCUN MIDDEN:

in

Illustration:

Warmke and

from Turneffe

Chavihau, Yuc.

distribution: Collected at

unworked,

in Late Early

Comment: This

may have been

pelecypod

tiny

introduced inadvertently in beach drift inside large

Common

Islands,

pi. 36,;'.

period cache.

Plate i6,d,dd.

distribution:

Abbott, 1961,

Archaeological occurrence:

unworked, not dated (M-MS).

Pseudocyrena floridana (Conrad)

Modern

9 unworked, For-

Phacoides radians (Conrad)

Modern

an offering in Cenote Xlacah.

CORBICULIIDAE

Illustration:

in Late Early

mative.

DZIBILCHALTUN:
Family:

sus-

suspen-

unworked

probably Decadent period deposit; 2 unworked,


unstratified,

unworked

period or Pure Florescent.

with hole drilled

sion; 1

with 2 perforations near ventral margin for


pension, Formative;

Archaeological occurrence:

DZIBILCHALTUN:

6 unworked, Formative;

on

all

B.H., to

three coasts

Isla

conchs in the offering.

Carmen,
Coda\ia orbicularis (Linne)

Camp.

Illustration: Plate i6,g.

Archaeological occurrence:

DZIBILCHALTUN:

unworked,

in

Formative

Modern

distribution:

from Turneffe
deposits.

Common

on

all

three coasts

Islands, B.H., to Isla Jaina,

Camp.

Collected at Alacran Reef.

Family:

Archaeological occurrence:

DIPLODONTIDAE

DZIBILCHALTUN:

Modern

Warmke and Abbott,

1961,

ISLA

pi. 35,/.

distribution: Collected at Dolores, Yuc.

1,

CANCUN MIDDEN:

BARTON RAMIE:
unworked,

in Late Early

tiny shell

may have been

Family:

(lucines)

Modern

Belize to Isla Holbox,

on

east coast

from

CANCUN MIDDEN:

507,

p.

fig.

310,^).

age not given).

p. 66,

distribution:

East

coast

Islands, B.H., to Isla Contoy,

from Turneffe

Q.R. Also

at

Alacran

Reef and Cayo Areas.

and on Alacran Reef.

Archaeological occurrence:

Archaeological occurrence:

ISLA

(W,

Chama congregata Conrad

Illustration: Plate i6,e,ee.

Common

suspension,

for

CHAMIDAE (jewel boxes)

Lucina pensylvanica (Linne)

distribution:

pierced

unmodified (M,

Illustration: Plate ij,bb.

Modern

unworked, For-

introduced

inadvertently in beach drift inside a large conch.

LUCINIDAE

hinge downward, margin considerably reduced,

TIKAL:

Family:

Spanish Lookout phase

period cache.

Comment: This

in For-

mative.

Archaeological occurrence:

DZIBILCHALTUN:

unworked, one

mative deposit, one unstratified.

Diplodonta semiaspera Philippi


Illustration:

unworked, For-

DZIBILCHALTUN:
unworked,

mative.

pair,

single valve,

in Late Early period cache

all

(was prob-

ably attached to large conch in offering).

Phacoides pectinatus (Gmelin)

[=

L. jamaicensis

Comment: As

Lamarc1(\
Illustration: Plate 16,/.

Modern

distribution:

the peninsula,

Common

ably attached to a large Strombus costatus in the

on

entire littoral of

from Chapel Cay, B.H.,

Carmen, Camp.

Dzibilchaltun specimens were prob-

to

Isla

cache, they almost surely originated

on the nearby

north coast, although the species has not been

corded in modern north coast collections.

re-

MOLLUSCA

28

Chama echinata
Modern

fig.

Illustration: Plate 17,/,/'.

239.

Modern

distribution: Pacific.

28 unworked, not dated; 4 slightly


Early

altered,

(M-MS, "Pseudochama

Classic

distribution: All three coasts

Islands to Isla

Archaeological occurrence:

TIKAL:

THE MAYA LOWLANDS

Pseudochama radians (Lamarck)

Broderip

Keen, 1958,

Illustration:

IN

from Turneffe

Carmen, Camp., and the offshore

atolls.

Archaeological occurrence:

CANCUN MIDDEN:

ISLA

echinata"}.

unworked, For-

mative.

Chama

florida

Lamarck

Illustration: Plate i-/,d,dd.

Modern

collected

on north or west

atolls.

Not

Trachycardium egmontianum (Shuttleworth)


This form has not been collected from the penin-

coasts.

Archaeological occurrence:

sula,

CANCUN MIDDEN:

ISLA

8 unworked, For-

mative.

where

The

has been collected at 25 stations, from

Isla

latter

from

distribution:

anum from

Common

Belize, B.H., to Isla

on the offshore

on

three coasts,

all

is

13 unworked, For-

San

unworked, within cache, "probably


181

this shell illustrated in

Richards and Boekelman, 1937,

COROZAL:

(Burial

mound

excavated by Gann):

have derived from a


pi.

Modern
from

It

Illustration: Plate 18, a, aa.

mative.

Jose III" (T, p.

Tikal. These should be re-examined.

probable that they are actually T. isocardia.

Trachycardium isocardia (Linne)

atolls.

CANCUN MIDDEN:

SAN JOSE:

reports 31 unmodified T. egmonti-

Aguada, Camp. Also

Archaeological occurrence:

ISLA

Carmen, Camp.

to Isla

Moholy-Nagy

Illustration: Plate ij,a,aa.

replaced by the

is

closely related but distinct species T. isocardia.

macerophylla Gmelin

Modern

almost certainly

it

Cancun, Q.R.,

Chama

(cockleshells)

from Turneffe

and the offshore

Islands to Isla Contoy,

CARDIIDAE

Family:

East coast,

distribution:

at

pi.

Hok Skum"

unworked, which may

fossil

Isla

Common

Cancun, Q.R.,

on

three coasts

all

Carmen, Camp.

to Isla

Archaeological occurrence:

DZIBILCHALTUN:

58

unworked,

periods (Table 2), fourteen of these

6).

"Rio

distribution:

deposit (ibid., p. 169,

raw materials

all

among

the

one of the Late Early period

"jewelers' caches;" only

two reasonably complete

valves appeared.

MA YAP AN:

6).

in

from

Probably Decadent period,

listed

in collection but not illustrated (P, p. 387).

Chama sarda Reeve


Illustration:

Modern

TIKAL:

distribution:

Common

on

east coast,

neffe Islands, B.H., to Isla Mujeres, Q.R.

offshore atolls. Rare

on north

Trachycardium

Also

Illustration: Plate 18, c,cc.

coast; collected at

Modern

Mujeres,

CANCUN MIDDEN:

38 unworked, For-

Cancun, and Alacran Reef.

(p.

Chama sinuosa

Broderip

Illustration: Plate x~[,e,e

distribution:

unworked, For-

mative.

UAXACTUN:

mative.

Listed in

RR

(p.

61) as "Cardium magnum."

199) and

No

illustration;

archaeological association not given.


f
.

East

coast

Islands, B.H., to Isla Contoy,

only,

Turneffe

Q.R.

CANCUN MIDDEN:

Trachycardium muricatum (Linne)


Illustration: Plate 18, b,bb.

Modern

Archaeological occurrence:

mative.

Isla

Rare. Collected only at Isla

CANCUN MIDDEN:

ISLA

Archaeological occurrence:

ISLA

distribution:

(Linne)

Archaeological occurrence:

west coast.

Modern

magnum

Tur-

Telchac Puerto and Chavihau. Not collected on

ISLA

See T. egmontianum above.

Plate i~?,c,cc.

$0 unworked, For-

from

distribution:

Common

Belize, B.H., to Isla

Areas.

on

all

three coasts,

Aguada, Camp.

Cayo

29

Marine Species
Antigona

Archaeological occurrence:

DZIBILCHALTUN:

18 unworked, in

all

periods

listen

(Gray)

Illustration: Plate i9,tf,.

Modern

"Cardium, unidentified species," probably is T.


muricatum. Probably Decadent period.
ISLA CANCUN MIDDEN: 2 unworked, For-

Archaeological occurrence:

MAYAPAN:

mative.

unmodified, archaeological context

not given (M, p. 67).

UAXACTUN:

and

entire

under Stela

fied in cache

fragment, unmodi-

A-n

(RR,

1995 K

p.

61 as "Cardium muricatum"}.

PIEDRAS NEGRAS:
p.

CANCUN MIDDEN:

atolls.

4 unworked, For-

mative.

Antigona rigida (Dillwyn)

TIKAL:

p.

Contoy, Q.R. Offshore

to Isla

ISLA

from Belize

distribution: Caribbean coast,

except Decadent (Table 2), mostly Formative.


1
valve listed (P, fig. 4 6 >^) as

Illustration: Plate 19, .

Modern

distribution: Collected only at Isla

Q.R., and

Cayo Areas.

Archaeological occurrence:

ISLA

In Late Classic cache (C,

Cancun,

CANCUN MIDDEN:

unworked, For-

mative.

55 as "Cardium muricatum").

Mercenaria campechiensis (Gmelin)

Dinocardium

Clench and

vanhyningi

robustum

L. C. Smith

Modern

Illustration: Plate 18, d,dd.

Modern

distribution:

of east coast to Isla

on north

From

Plate ic>,c,cc.

Illustration:

mon from
Isla

Contoy

at

north

tip

Carmen, Camp. Very common

Camp.

North and west

distribution:

Holbox, Q.R.,

Isla

Archaeological occurrence:

DZIBILCHALTUN:

Cayo Areas.

suspension

for

on both surfaces with

one perhaps a broken triangular

plete specimens,

pendant, Formative;

Formative, but nevertheless frequent in later de-

Early period.

(Table 2). Surprisingly, only 3 occurrences

of reasonably entire valves of this hardy shell: 1

foundation of undated house-mound;

specimens carefully nested, formed

Cache

1,

of

D. robustum Solander

is

listed

but

almost certainly this subspecies; frequency or

date,

although

listed.

This

Decadent period, not

probably

shell clearly not as

(K,

p. 61,

important as

it

unworked,

Illustration: Plate 19,^.

was

sula,

distribution: Entire periphery of the penin-

Turneffe

34 unmodified,

perforated

(M,

p. 66,

Carmen,

atolls.

76 unworked, commonest

Formative, 3 perforated for suspension (2 Formative; 1 Late Early period) (Table 2). Found as
offerings in 1

section of Str.

Comment: The Cardiidae

are the

most numerous

family of molluscs at Dzibilchaltun, although almost

never used for jewelry or artifacts and not

and used

Isla

on the north coast.

tomb and

3 caches of Late Early

period. 5 specimens found in mortar of a small

age not noted).

as votive offerings.

to

Archaeological occurrence:

in

subspecies).

shell

Also found on the offshore

tioned as unidentified Cardium,

probably this

B.H.,

Islands,

Camp. The commonest

DZIBILCHALTUN:

TIKAL:

Chicanel deposit

in

"Venus campechiensis").

at Dzibilchaltun (P, p. 387; her fig. 46, a, capis

partially cut fragment, Late

Chione cancellata (Linne)

Modern

Str. 38, Late Early period.

MAYAPAN:
is

all

UAXACTUN:

in

Cenote Xlacah, presumably an offering; 16 perfect

46 unworked, mostly For-

plex deposits (Table 2); 3 worked, two incom-

red pigment, Formative; 418 unworked, mostly

in

Carmen,

mative but found in Early period and Copo comdrilled

near ventral margin, coated

posits

Isla

com-

Archaeological occurrence:

DZIBILCHALTUN:

coast.

to

coasts,

Were

common

MAYAPAN:
period (P,

TIKAL:

500 (Formative).
3

unworked, probably Decadent

fig. 44,/,

not in text).

25 unmodified (M,

p. 66,

age not listed).

these imported in the shell

Anomalocardia cuneimeris (Conrad)

for food?

Illustration: Plate 19,^.

Family:

VENERIDAE

(venus clams)

Modern

distribution:

Very

common on

entire pe-

MOLLUSCA

3
riphery of peninsula, from
Isla

Water Cay, B.H.,

to

Carmen, Camp.

DZIBILCHALTUN:

9 unworked, eight Forma-

Mentioned

cadent period (P,

sp.,

as found, probably

De-

on the

mentions "8 Anomalo-

unmodified," probably

not

this species,

Holbox, Q.R.,

Modern
Isla

Cancun, Q.R., on

Abbott, 1961,

pi.

39,^.

east coast; only at

and

Chavihau,

coast.

11 unworked, in Forma-

Early period and Florescent deposits, two as

tive,

offerings in Cenote Xlacah; 1 Late Early period

DZIBILCHALTUN:

with

altered

Formative

drilled

holes

for

MAYAPAN:

Proskouriakofr

and concentrica,

both elegans

lists

illustrating only one,

captioned D. concentrica.

As

which

is

concentrica has not

been collected on the peninsula and the very simi-

Archaeological occurrence:

lar

4 valves, unworked, in Late

Early period cache.

Comment: These

Aguada, Camp.

suspension.

distribution: Collected at Isla Mujeres

Yuc, on north

to Isla

Archaeological occurrence:

considerably

Warmke and

Contoy

on north and west

with single hole for suspension,

Transennella cubaniana (d'Orbigny)


Illustration:

Common

east coast.

DZIBILCHALTUN:

(M-MS).

dated

distribution: Collected only at Isla

coasts, Isla

387).

p.

TIKAL: Moholy-Nagy
cardia

Dosinia elegans (Conrad)

Modern

one Pure Florescent.

MA YAP AN:

THE MAYA LOWLANDS

Illustration: Plate 19,/.

Archaeological occurrence:

tive,

IN

but

the nearby coast,

might have been

included inadvertently in beach drift inside large

conchs in cache.

and

fig.

quite

is

as the local

when this
made, both specimens may be
been

tiny pelecypods

elegans

less inflated

established

common on

form had not

was

identification

elegans (P, p. 387,

46,c).

ISLA

CANCUN MIDDEN:

unworked, For-

mative.

TIKAL:

Macrocallista maculata (Linne)

See under D. discus above.

Illustration: Plate *9,g,gg-

Modern

Common

distribution:

from

Isla

Mujeres, Q.R., to

on

Isla

all

three coasts,

Carmen, Camp.

Also at Cayo Areas.

DZIBILCHALTUN:

in unstratified

umbo

Decadent period (P,

for suspension, probably

fig.

not in text).

On

distribution:

east coast, collected only

on Water, Corker, and Chapel Cays, B.H.

common on
with sawed hole below

2,

(tellins)

Tellina lineata Turton

Modern
unworked,

deposits.

44,;',

TELLINIDAE

Illustration: Plate 20,c,cc.

Archaeological occurrence:

MAYAPAN:

Family:

Very

north and west coasts, from

Holbox, Q.R.,

to

Isla

Carmen, Camp. Also

Isla

at

Cayo Areas.
Archaeological occurrence:

DZIBILCHALTUN:

Dosinia concentrica (Born)

unworked,

in

Formative

deposit.

None.

Illustration:

Modern

distribution:

Not

collected

MAYAPAN:

on peninsula.

unworked, probably Decadent

period (P, p. 387).

Archaeological occurrence:

MAYAPAN:

See discussion of D. elegans below.

Tellina listen

Roding

Illustration: Plate 20, , b'

Dosinia discus (Reeve)

Modern

Modern

None.

Illustration:

Not

collected

on the peninsula.

Archaeological occurrence:
1

as the very similar

and

Tikal specimen

coast,

D. elegans

this shell

has

is

abundant on

Q.R.

Also

off-

atolls.

be the latter species.

ISLA

CANCUN MIDDEN:

mative.

all

at three archaeological sites, the

may

shore

from TurnefTe

Archaeological occurrence:

unworked (M-MS). As

not been collected from peninsular waters, where-

three coasts

East

Islands, B.H., to Puerto Juarez,

distribution:

TIKAL:

distribution:

Tellina radiata Linne


Illustration:

Plate 20, a, aa.

18 unworked, For-

Marine Species

Modern
bean

distribution:
coast,

from Turneffe

Contoy, Q.R.

common on

Fairly

Carib-

Islands, B.H., to Isla

Also on offshore

atolls.

Absent on

Turneffe Islands, B.H.,

Punta Palmar, Yuc.

Alacran Reef.
Archaeological occurrence:

TIKAL:

north and west coasts.

to

unmodified (M,

p. 66,

not dated).

Archaeological occurrence:

CANCUN MIDDEN:

ISLA

ioo

unworked,

MACTRIDAE

Family:

(surf clams)

Formative.

Mulinia

Modern

Modern

Plate 20, d,dd.

from Turneffe

distribution: East coast

lands, B.H., to Isla Contoy, Q.R.

from north

Yuc,

coast.

West

to Isla Jaina,

coast

Not

Is-

collected

from Punta Palmar,

Camp. Also

the offshore atolls.

and

On

west coast, collected only

north as Seybaplaya,

Camp. Absent on north

east coasts.

Archaeological occurrence:

TIKAL:

"about 42," unworked (M,

Family:

CANCUN MIDDEN:

GASTROCHAENIDAE

unworked, ForGastrochaena hians (Gmelin)

mative.
Illustration:

Comment: One

of the

no age

p. 67,

fragment, in Formative

deposit.

ISLA

as far

distribution:

listed).

Archaeological occurrence:

DZIBILCHALTUN:

(Say)

Illustration: Plate 20, //,//'.

Arcopagia fausta (Pulteney)


Illustration:

lateralis

few

shells

from Dzbilichaltun

not found on nearby beaches.

Warmke and

(=

Rocellaria hians)

Abbott, 1961,

pi.

Modern distribution: Collected at Telchac


Yuc, in coral thrown on beach.

44,^.
Puerto,

Archaeological occurrence:

Apolymetis

MAYAPAN:

intastriata (Say)

Illustration: Plate 20,<5r.

Modern

distribution: East

Unworked, reported by Proskouria-

koff as "Rocellaria sp." (P, p. 387). This

and north

coasts,

from

only species of this genus

known

is

the

in these waters.

Annotated Checklist of Freshwater Species


GASTROPODA
Family: AMPULLARIIDAE
Class:

Pomacea

flagellata arata (Crosse

and Fischer)

DZIBILCHALTUN:

Xlacah, where

in all levels of

it is

ish

fig. 309,?-,

TIKAL:

p. 68).

PIEDRAS NEGRAS:

This species

fill.

mud

(W,

Listed as present; archaeo-

logical association not described (C, p. 55).

Cenote

in

6 Span-

deposits, the other

Protoclassic

"Pomacea
1

Late

45, unworked, about 39 of

from Formative

Lookout phase,

in

not found alive today.

BARTON RAMIE:
these

(M,

Archaeological occurrence:

unworked, one

one in Formative

common

very

is

available

unworked, archaeological context not

Illustration: none.

Archaeological occurrence:

fill,

Pachychilus indiorum (Morelet)

Illustration: Plate 21, h.

Early period

TIKAL:

Pachychilus

lar gillierti (Philippi)

Illustration:

Willey and others, 1965,

fig. 309,^,/.

Archaeological occurrence:

BARTON RAMIE:

pp. 52627,

557 unworked, from various


periods, but heavily concentrated in the Formative

flagellata Say").

cut fragment, Late Classic debris; 5

phases

(W,

pp. 52627, fig. 309,5-,?).

perforated, one in Early Classic cache, one in Early


Classic burial, one in Late Classic burial,

Late Classic debris. 189 unworked were


1964,

archaeological

two

Comment: Moholy-Nagy (M MS)

in

listed to

cal context

(M-MS).

at

PIEDRAS NEGRAS:
sic

unworked

"Hemisinus

cation of one

not yet available

context

in Late Clas-

notes identifi-

sp." at Tikal, archaeologi-

not yet available. She also collected one

Tayasal on Lake Flores, and informs

local

name

is

jute, the

popular

name

me

for

that the

Pomacea.

cache (C, p. 55).

PELECYPODA
Family: UNIONIDAE
Class:

Comment: The

Dzibilchaltun specimens have been

identified as subspecies arata

mens from

the four other

by Alan Solem. Speci-

were

sites

Nephronaias goascoranensis (Lea)

published

all

Illustration:

as P. flagellata Say.

Richards and Boekelman, 1937,

pi.

6,q.

Archaeological occurrence:

SAN
Pomacea

flagellata ghiesbrechti

Illustration:

Coe, 1959,

fig.

(Reeve)

II

52, g.

JOSE:

unworked,

in burial, probably S.J.

(T, p. 180; see also Richards and Boekelman,

937, P- 169,

pi.

69).

Archaeological occurrence:

PIEDRAS NEGRAS:
Classic caches;

with

Classic cache (C, pp.

Family:

Nephronaias ortmanni (Frierson)

Various unworked in Late


2 large drilled holes in

5556,

fig.

Illustration:

Late

fig.

309,^.

Archaeological occurrence:

52,^).

BARTON RAMIE:

unworked, 4 perforated

for

suspension, in 2 Spanish Lookout phase burials;

THIARIDAE

758
Pachychilus glaphyrus (Morelet)
Illustration:

Willey and others, 1965,

Willey and others, 1965,

others, all

unworked, from various periods

but mostly in Preclassic contexts


fig.

507, 526-27,

309,^,2/.

fig.

(W,

pp. 504,

309, l-n).

Archaeological occurrence:

BARTON RAMIE:

248 unworked, from

Nephronaias

(W,

pp. 52627,

yzabalensis (Crosse and Fischer)

Illustration: Fischer

ous periods, heavily concentrated in the Formative


phases

cf.

vari-

4; A,a;

fig. 309,^,*/).

and Crosse, 1894,

pi.

44;

figs.

Archaeological occurrence:

SAN
in
1

Modern

distributions are not given here as they are not

enough known to reflect trade practices. Most


water molluscs were probably collected locally.
accurately

JOSE:

tombs of

others, bored

10,

with bored holes for suspension,

S.J. Ill,

IV, V, and possibly

fresh-

excavations (T, p. 180).

32

S.J. I;

and unbored, found elsewhere

in

Freshwater Species

33

Psoronaias quadratus (Simpson)


Illustration:

Coe, 1959,

fig.

in Late

sic

burial

(C, p. 55,

quadrata," which

is

MAYAPAN:
unworked

fig.

52,^),

unworked, Late Early

period.

52,^.

Archaeological occurrence:

PIEDRAS NEGRAS:

Formative tomb;

in Late Clasas

pierced, probably

1,

riod (P, p. 387,

fig.

Decadent pe-

44,^).

"Quadrula

this species).

Comment:
listed

Unclassified freshwater clams have been

from Uaxactun by the Ricketsons (RR,

Psoronaias semigranosus (v. d. Bush)

199) and by Kidder (p. 61). Moholy-Nagy

Illustration: Plate 21, g.

slightly altered (usually pierced)

Archaeological occurrence:

including five paired valves, and a smaller

DZIBILCHALTUN:

4,

pierced for suspension,

of

unworked

valves

(M MS).

lists

p.

61

Unionidae clams,

number

Annotated Checklist of Land Species

Land mollusca

present problems separate from

those of their marine or freshwater cousins in that

they form an almost ever-present normal


of the materials used for construction

Once favored

architecture.

component

fill

Workers

with

human

them

as

human

are

artifacts,

To

47, w).

Phalium

is

a purely

Phalium

marine genus,

see

no reason

to believe that the

land species

CANCUN: A

number

of species of small

land molluscs were found in the deeply sealed parts

these intruders

attractive.

fig.

ISLA

enormous num-

to retain

most

387,

of a

shells

were of other than natural occurrence,

of the midden, but they were only those

artifacts collected in excavations, par-

some

ticularly as

wont

are

and Oleacina, which may be intrusive" (P,

We

open rubble have been established, they migrate

bers.

species

"also

and could be intrusive only through human agency,

living conditions such as

into these artificial environments in

and

p.

Maya

in

unworked

hole),

would have been expected

establish

one must demonstrate their

its

to inhabit the site

during

brief occupation.

TIKAL: Moholy-Nagy's

provenience in a completely sealed receptacle, show

which

preliminary notes

list

were intentionally altered by human

effort,

perforated "Orthalicus princeps" in Late Formative

or prove that they were amassed in quantities

which

(Chuen)

that they

Maya

lowlands.

We

have

She

also

lists

the following un-

worked molluscs, on which archaeological context

could not have occurred in nature. This has rarely

been possible in the

debris.

is

little

not yet available:

reason to believe that land molluscs (in contrast to


Aplexaelata (Gould) (1)

freshwater genera such as Pomacea) were ever an


r

,-r

Euglandina

important
source of food, lodav
they are not eaten.
r
J

Peninsular species were and are so thin-shelled that

as pendants.

Any

if

perforated

for

we

PIEDRAS NEGRAS: Coe

have been reported

number

of land mol-

single Late

Classic

lists

6 land

snails in

K-5-5, Euglandina
Choanopoma radiosum

cache,

decussata (Deshayes) and

in archaeological publicain this checklist

(Morelet), but does not state whether or not the

them, in the customary geographic

cache was found in condition which would disallow

For the sake of completeness

briefly list

intrusion.

order.

DZIBILCHALTUN:
tions

(numerous)
,
N
(numerous)

sp.

usage would probably have been

Despite these strictures, a

tions.

sp.

Neocyclotus dysoni (Pfeiffer) (30)


Orthalicus princeps (Broderip) (30)

use

symbolic.

luscs

Neocyclotus (fragment')

they would have been of no use as raw material and

most ephemeral ornaments

,.

nelictna

Although

all

BARTON RAMIE:

our excava-

the Belize Valley

were heavily peppered with land molluscs,

including tombs and


caches,

no

all

Willey

lists

3 species

from

sites:

but the most tightly sealed

evidence
,.._,.
any was obtained. The
clear

Euglandina carminensis (Morelet) (7)


Bulimulus sp. (100)

of archaeological use of

largest,

most

attractive,

and

Neocyclotus dysom (Pfeiffer) (12)

thickly shelled of these, Orthalicus princeps prin-

ceps (Broderip), was frequently encountered, but

All were unworked.

never with evidence of intentional alteration.

is

common

It is

arboreal species.

MAYAPAN:

found

in

He

notes that the Bulimulus

various periods, but

is

concentrated in the Formative phases

Proskouriakoff reports 2 specimens

very heavily

possible

evi-

dence that the specimens are not intrusive (W, pp.

of Orthalicus princeps (one pierced by an irregular

52627).

34

Discussion

on what forms are available along any particular

sandbar separates the swamp from the Gulf of Mexusually extending out as a sandy floor to the
edge of the Campeche Bank. All coastal settlements
are situated on this sandbar. Water along the shore,

beach or coast and, particularly in the significant

in strong contrast to

Ecology
Collection of molluscs by

lection for food, in

ico,

humans must depend

what quantity they

Zone I, is usually murky, either


from cienaga mud, or the fine calcareous sand. Accumulations of seaweed are common on the beach.

col-

are present.

Some species are found virtually everywhere; others


demand rather specific environmental conditions
and are therefore of more

Because of the shallow gradient, wave disturbance is


much less severe than on the Caribbean coast.
Zone IV, West Coast Province, from Punta
Palmar to Isla Carmen and the Laguna de Terminos, Campeche. This coast again is bordered by
the Campeche Bank, and the consequent shallow
gradient found on the north coast. It is a lee shore,
protected by the peninsula from the prevailing

restricted distribution. In

archaeological shell, these distributions can often

and must be

carefully

when attempting

to reach

define original proveniences,

taken into consideration

any conclusions regarding early trade relationships.

The

coast of the

Yucatan Peninsula

falls

into

northeast trade winds and lacking the strong eastwest current traversing the north coast. Perhaps
because of its protected position, sandy beaches are

several quite distinct ecological provinces (fig. 2).

Caribbean Province, comprising the mainland coast and nearby offshore islands of Quintana
Roo, Mexico, and British Honduras. Both coast and

Zone

I,

much
are

islands are largely a coral-reef formation, character-

the shore and inside the islands,

is

large sections of the coast

formed of mangrove swamp.

It will

ized by alternating sandy and rocky shores dropping


off sharply to very deep waters. Water, even near

common, and

less

much

be seen that the north and west coasts are


sharply differentiated from each other

less

than they are from the Caribbean Province and the

ordinarily clear

A number

atolls.

of the faunal changes (e.g., Strom-

and clean all year. With offshore winds, which prevail most of the year, waves are frequently very
large, and their effects on the shallow-water fauna

perversum) begin well

very violent.

Much

Zone II, Offshore Atolls, Alacran Reef to Cayo


Areas. Along the edge of the Campeche Bank, where

well be extensions of the western gulf fauna onto

it

drops off into deep water, there

reefs, usually in the

form

form of

is

atolls,

a separate ecological province.

bus costatus to pugilis or Busy con contrarium

to

The fauna

in-

ralis,

mined

Lunarca

might well be wiser

ovalis). It

have not done so because of our

in precise provenience)

Caribbean coast and absent on the Campeche Bank,


but also others characteristic of the sandy shelf whose
outer edge they inhabit. Although numerous, the
principal atolls are the so-called Alacran and Triangulos Reefs, Isla Arena, and Cayo Areas, only the
first and last of which have been collected by us.
(For more detailed description of the geology and
ecology of these fringe atolls, see Kornicker and
others, 1959; Rice and Kornicker, 1962, 1965.)
Zone III, North Coastal Province, from Isla Holbox, Q.R., to Punta Palmar, Yucatan. This is the
final extension of the Campeche Bank, which slopes
very gradually from the shore to a depth of 25
fathoms at about 100 miles, then drops sharply into
deeper water. Virtually the entire north coast is
bordered by a brackish-water swamp of mud and
{la cienagd) extensively

from the west coast may

distinctive material

though

cludes not only most of the species present on the

mangroves

Punta Palmar.

to the east of

the peninsula (e.g., Nerita fulgurans, Mulinia late-

a series of coral

which seem

to

to

(al-

interest

suggest only the deep,

clear-water reef environment as one ecological province (calling Zones

and

II

above

and la) and

the deeply contrasting shallow, turgid waters of the

Campeche Bank
IV above II and
are,

of course,

Ila).

The

Zones

III

and

faunal changes involved

more marked

in the

much

larger

of present-day Mollusca than they are

collection
in the

as a second (calling

few

found

in archaeological

specifies archaeological

provenience and

selected species

deposits.

Table

known

present-day distribution of the species listed

in the checklist, to facilitate discussion in the next


section. It

for salt,

the

both before and after the Spanish conquest. Except


for a broken area between Dzilam Bravo and the
mouth of Rio Lagartos at San Felipe, a low narrow

should be re-emphasized

modern

distributions are solely those of our

collecting in the area

incomplete.

35

at this point that

and

at times

may

own

often be

Fig. 2

Ecological provinces of the Yucatan

Campeche Bank;

III,

The North

Coast; IV,

littoral. I,

The West

The Caribbean

Coast.

36

Coast;

II,

The

offshore atolls bordering the

Discussion

37
Table

ARCHAEOLOGICAL

OCCURRENCE AND MODERN DISTRIBUTION


OF MOLLUSCS FOUND AT LOWLAND MAYA SITES
Modern Distribution

Archaeological

Occurrence*

Species

Zone

Zone

II

Zone

III

Zone IV

MARINE GASTROPODS
Diodora cayenensis
Diodora listeri

D,T
T
D, C,
I

Cittarium pica

D,

Fissurella barbadensis

Calliostoma jujubinum
Astraea caelata

Astraea phoebia

Astraea tecta americana

I,

P,

M(?),T
I

Nerita tessellata

D,I,M(?)
I,T

Neritina meleagris

Neritina virginea

D, M,

Littorina ziczac

I
I

Echininus nodulosus

D,I

Tectarius muricatus

Petaloconchus irregularis

Vermicularia spirata

D,T,P

Planaxis nucleus

Modulus modulus
Cerithium eburneum

Cerithium floridanum

X
X

S(?)

Crepidula aculeata

Crepidula fornicata

D,I,T

Strombus costatus
Strombus gigas
Strombus pugilis

I,U,T(?),B
D, M, C, I, S,

Strombus raninus
Cypraea cervus

D, I,Tancah(?)

B,

X
X

X
X
X

X
X
X

I,T(?),B

I,H,U,T(?)

T
I

Polinices lacteus

Natica canrena

M, C

Morum
Morum

X
X

X
X
X
X
X
X

X
X
X
X

X
X
X

X
X
X
X
X
X

~
C
CN =

H
D
I

== Balankanche

Chichen Itza

Copan

=z Piedras Negras

Dzibilchaltun

Cancun Midden
Holmul

zz Uaxactun

Isla

X
X
X

X
X
X

X
X

(Pacific)

D, M, CN(?)

Barton Ramie

X
X

to symbols;

X
X

X
X
X
X

S,P

tuberculosum

Phalium granulatum
Phalium inflatum

Polinices hepaticus

(Pacific)

D,M,I

Polinices duplicatus

X
X

(Pacific)

I,T
P

*Key

X
X
X
X
X

Cerithium variabile

oniscus

X
X
X

X
X

X
X
X
X

Crucibulum auriculum
Crucibulum spinosum

Cyphoma gibbosum

X
X
X

X
X
X

D,I

Cypraea cinerea
Cypraea zebra

X
X

(not collected)
S,

Nodilittorina tuberculata

Cerithium literattum
Cerithium maculosum

Nerita fulgurans
Nerita peloronta
Nerita versicolor

X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X

Mayapan
San Jose
Tikal

MOLLUSCA

38
Archaeological

Occurrence*

Species
Cassis madagascariensis

Cassis tuberosa

I,

Cypraecassis testiculus

M,

Charonia variegata

Cymatium femorale
Cymatium parthenopeum
Cymatium pileare
Tonna galea
Tonna maculosa
Ficus communis
Murex dilectus
Murex fulvescens
Murex pomum
Murex rubidus

M, I, B
D,I
D,I

T
C
D.I.T.U

D,M,I

I
I

Thais rustica

Columbella mercatoria
Cantharus auritulus
Melongena corona

D,

Melongena melongena
Busycon coarctatum
Busycon contrarium
Busycon perversum
Busycon spiratum

D,

Fasciolaria tulipa

Pleuroploca gigantea

I,

S,

X
X
X
X
X
X

D,M,I
I,

X
X

U, T, B

D,I
D, M,

I,

T, U, Oxkintok

Zone

II

Zone

X
X
X
X

I,

Labna

X
X

I,U(?)
D, M,I
D, M, C,

X
X

D, M,

I,

B, T,

Latirus infundibulum

Turbinella angulata

D,I,B,H,T,U

Vasum capitellum
Vasum muricatum

(see text)

D,I,T

Oliva caribaeensis

III

Zone

X
X
X

X
X
X
X

X
X
X
X

X
X
X
X
X

X
X

T
T

Latirus ceratus

Purpura patula

Fasciolaria hunteria

Thais deltoidea

Nassarius vibex

MAYA LOWLANDS

Modern Distribution
Zone

X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X

S,

IN THE

X
X
X
X
X

X
X
X
X
X
X
X

X
X

X
X

X
X
X
X
X
X
X

(Pacific)

(not collected)

not collected)

X
X

X
X

Oliva porphyria

CN,

Oliva reticularis

D, M, C,

(Pacific)
I,

B, T, U, Labna,

Loltun, Tancah

D, M, I, B,
Loltun

Oliva sayana
Oliva spicata

CN

(Pacific)

Olivella dealbata

Olivella nivea

Mitra florida

Cancellaria reticulata

Prunum apicinum apicinum


Prunum apicinum virgineum
Prunum guttatum
Prunum labiatum
Prunum cf. storeria

(see text)

Conus
Conus
Conus
Conus
Conus

U, T,

D, M, C,

floridanus

mus

regius

sozoni

spurius atlanticus

D, M,
S(?)

Terebra dispar (?)

I,

CN

T
D

T, U, Labna,

X
X
X

D,K,I

D, M,

S,

X
X
X

X
X
X

X
X

T, Labna

X
X

B(?),Corozal

SCAPHOPODS
cestum

X
X

X
X
X

X
X
X

(not collected)
I,

t.

X
X

(not collected)

Bulla occidentalis

Dentalium

X
X
X

Melampus

coffeus

not collected)

X
X

X
X

Discussion

39
Archaeological
Species

Occurrence*

Mode rn Distribution
Zone

Zone

II

Zone

III

Zone IV

MARINE PELECYPODS
Area imbricata
Area pacifica

LP
U

Area zebra
Anadara grandis

D, M,

X
I,

T, U, P

D,

Glycymeris decussata

Glycymeris undata

M,

Modiolus

X
X

D,T
T

D,I
D,I

X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X

Musculus

lateralis

Pteria

alatus

radiatus

colymbus

D,I

X
I

D
D

I,

Plicatula gibbosa

D,T(?)

Pecten laurenti

Lyropecten nodosus

D,I,T

Lyropecten subnodosus

U,

Corozal

Spondylus americanus

D, M, K,

Spondylus princeps

CN,

I,

B, T,

S, Pusilha,

Lima lima
Lima scabra
Anomia simplex

Ostrea equestris

Ostrea frons

Crassostrea virginica

D,

I,

Carditamera floridana

D,

Pseudocyrena floridana

Diplodonta semiaspera

D
D

Lucina pensylvanica

Phacoides pectinatus

D,I

Phacoides radians

D,

M
S,

Codakia orbicularis

D,

Chama congregata
Chama echinata
Chama florida
Chama macerophylla
Chama sarda
Chama sinuosa

Pseudochama radians

Trachycardium egmontianum

T(?)

B,

I,

Corozal

I,

X
x

X
X
X
X

X
X
X
X
X
X

X
X
X
X
X
X

Actun Xkyc

X
X
X

X
X
X

X
X
X

X
X

X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X

X
X
X

U, T, P

X
X
X
X
X

X
X
X

(Pacific)

X
X

X
X

X
X

X
X
X

X
X
X

X
X

X
X

X
X
X

X
X

(Pacific)

S,

Corozal

{not collected)

D,M,T(?)

i,u

X
X
X
X
X

Trachycardium muricatum

D, M,I, T, U, P
D, M,

listeri

X
X
X
X
X

T
I

Dinocardium
Antigona

X
X

(Pacific)

Aequipecten muscosus

vanhyningi

X
X

Aequipecten gibbus

r.

X
X

{not collected)

D, M,

magnum

Atrina seminuda

Trachycardium

T,B(!)

Pinctada radiata

Trachycardium isocardia

(Pacific)

Noetia ponderosa

Isognomon
Isognomon

CN
D,M, T

d. granosissimus

X
(Pacific)

Anadara notabilis
Anadara transversa
Lunarca ovalis

Brachidontes exustus

Antigona rigida

Mercenaria campechiensis

P,u

Chione cancellata

D,M, T

Anomalocardia cuneimeris

D, M,

Transennella cubaniana
Macrocallista maculata

D
D,M

Dosinia discus

T(?)

Dosinia elegans

D, M,I

X
X
X
X

X
X

X
X
X
X
X

X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X

X
X

X
X
X
X

{not collected)

MOLLUSCA

4
Occurrence*

Tellina lineata

D,

Tellina

listeri

Tellina radiata

Arcopagia fausta

D,I

Apolymetis

T
T

Mulinia

intastriata

lateralis

Gastrochaena hians

THE MAYA LOWLANDS

Modern Distribution

Archaeological
Species

IN

Zone

X
X
X
X
X

Zone

X
X

II

Zone

III

flagellata arata
f.

ghiesbrechti

D, B, T, P

Pachychilus glaphyrus

B,T

Pachychilus indiorum

P
B

Pachychilus

largillierti

FRESHWATER PELECYPODS
Nephronaias aff. calamitarum
Nephronaias goascoranensis
Nephronaias ortmanni

Nephronaias cf. yzabalensis


Psoronaias quadratus
Psoronaias semigranosus

B
P

LAND GASTROPODS
Oleacina sp.

Euglandina carminensis
Euglandina decussata
Euglandina sp.

B
P

Orthalicus princeps princeps

D(?),M,T

Bulimulus

T
B

sp.

Aplexa elata

Neocyclotus dysoni

B,T

Choanapoma radiosum

Helicina sp.

Total: 192

species

X
X
X

X
X

X
X

FRESHWATER GASTROPODS
Pomacea
Pomacea

Zone IV

{not sufficiently collected)

Discussion

4*

Trade

(i), Cittarium pica (1), Tectarius murlcatus (5, in

Table

gives

some

definite clues to probable trade

activities in ancient times.

Two

show up

categories

one cache offering), Nerita


f austa

(*)

One specimen
were

sula. Shells

A. Shells from coastal midden (only Isla Cancun,


to date). These were Mollusca collected at

encampments

trade or commerce.
ci it
B. bnells

immediate

than the animal inside, although


such as Dzibilchaltun,
some animals may have been brought in their
...
shell rather

At Mayapan, 50 miles

smaller collection of shell produced a similarly strik-

Cancun

series, is, as

would

The

be expected, entirely composed of local material.


species listed are without exception

local beaches today.

The

as such.

An

is

c
u ,,
which ,,
73 were found. Only three shells were clearly
im P orted fr m * distance, all from the east coast:
1

,-.

<

Glycymeris undata (1), Cymatium femorale (1),

and Cypraecassis

from Chichen

shell artifacts
-j

*-c

testiculus (1).

Deen identified by species. As

...

Itza have mostly not


t

at

u
r
Mayapan, ^
Ulivas

common

'

No

(77).

other evi-

dence published by Proskouriakoff (1962) indicates


trade other than with the north coast.

found one

complete and unaltered Murex fulvescens on the

midden may

surface in the Modified Florescent complex. This

dwellers at the

composed of

exception, as at

found on the

well have exported both seafood and shells.

Category

The

Dzibilchaltun, was the Oliva used for tinklers, of

for tinklers are very


Isla

much

farther inland, a

ing lack of trade specimens.

shells as table delicacies.

Category A, the

abundance on

at sites close to the sea,


1

/111

an item of desiderata

clearly not

in tradC) pro bably because of their

eat-

from inland sites (the balance of our material). These finds of Mollusca were in largest
part brought from the ocean for use of the

99

was

'

either for

ing or, at the most, for extraction of the edible


portions of the animal for shipment inland.
One would expect them to be entirely of local
fauna, and therefore irrelevant to matters of
t,

of Noetia ponderosa

probably traded from the west coast of the penin-

immediately

coastal

Arcopagia

tessellata (1),

shells largely

examination of where these

was almost

imported

shells

surely imported

from southern Cam-

peche or the west shore of the Gulf of Mexico,

might

Archaeological shell from Yucatan proper, in sum-

have come from shows interesting evidence of trade.

mary, although found in huge quantities, seems

We

have been gathered mostly along the north

again at this point that the

stress

butions listed in Table


lections

are based

modern

distri-

on our own

and may be incomplete, but we

col-

believe these

reservations are not sufficient to invalidate the gen-

We

also note here (as discussed fully in the next

section)

that there

is

little

probability of faunal

change on the shores of the peninsula during the


brief

20003000

tions.

At

Isla

dence, there

is

years represented by our collec-

Cancun, where we have

no hint of difference

no great distance on the west


specimens were brought

ous pilgrims

2200 years

in,

coast.

handful of

possibly as souvenirs,

perhaps by the numer-

coast,

who we know

visited the shrines of

pre-Columbian Cozumel Island. In terms of trade


in shell, the northwest peninsula

seems

to

have been

logically self-contained.

Barton Ramie and other Belize River Valley

positive evi-

in the

coast,

Olivas are an exception, but were available at

from the Caribbean

below.

eral patterns described

The

between the midden collections and present-day


shore fauna.

snails

the 2,380 specimens

commonly found on the immenorth coast. Of the 33, 23 are Oliva

and clams, doubtless gathered

a vast majority of the

represent species not

at other

diately adjacent

proximity of the

reticularis

could have

and O. sayana (or

come from

which were,
tinklers.

as

caribaeensis),

either east or west coast,

and

noted below, so widely used as

The remaining handful show

Dzibilchaltun utilized in

all

that although

periods largely

its

molluscan fauna, trade from a distance did

Nine

which

shells of five species

from the Caribbean

local
exist.

were probably imported

coast:

Fissurella

barbadensis

settle-

ments share the general pattern of the northern


described above (Willey and others, 1965).

At Dzibilchaltun, only 33 of

to

sites

numbers only
cies

to

Formative

they are
sea,

less

locally,

shell

formed

encountered;

frequent. Despite the

marine species

first

appear in

The nine
offer much

in the Classic period.

identified by Willey

sites

Land

do not

spe-

clue

broader trade relations. They could have been

imported from nearby British Honduras beaches,

where (with one


found.

possible exception)

The numerous Spondylus

all

are

are to be
all

of the

Atlantic species,

At San

Jose

in

British

Honduras, Thompson

MOLLUSCA

42
(1939) reports nine Atlantic species, none of limited
distribution which might give hints of trade, all of

which we

More

collected along the nearby

interesting are reportings of

Caribbean

two

tuberculosum (as "Lambidium tuberculosa

which

We

this species).

is

produced an impressive quantity of archaeological

of both

amount

Hattula Moholy-Nagy published a valuable

shell.

preliminary

report

(1963)

material

of

gathered

through the 1962 season. She generously offered


us further manuscript notes on specimens acquired

British

Honduras border

in

Guatemala, Merwin and Vaillant (1932) report an


inordinate

further discussion of these trade pieces.)

Tikal, near Uaxactun in the Peten, has recently

the latter species below.

At Holmul, near the

and Spondylus princeps. (See pp. 4345 for

from

Morum
morum"

more

shall see

THE MAYA LOWLANDS

coast.

shells

and

the Pacific coast: Spondylus princeps

sus,

IN

of shell but give no specific iden-

From their illustrations, we can identify


Cyphoma gibbosum and Turbinella angulata,
common on the nearby coast. Vaillant notes

through 1964, of which

Much

we have made

material from Tikal

grateful use.

remains unidentified,

still

or identified only to genus, and

much

has not yet

tifications.

been collated with stratigraphic position of the

only

but

both

(ibid., pp.

must await future

this

lots,

publication. Seventeen

of the 47 presently identified Atlantic species have


a sufficiently restricted distribution to warrant spe-

8889):

manufacture of

inferences regarding trade. Six of these come

from Caribbean waters: Fissurella barbadensis (1),

of the isolated character of

Cittarium pica (3), Nerita versicolor (5), Cassis

the site, during Periods II-IV, as attested by the


pottery, it seems strange to observe shell as the only
evidence of trade relations with a coastal people.
.,,1that
r t>
u tu
j
c
of British Honduras was of

madagascariensis (2), C. tuberosa (1), and Strom-

^lhe presence
1

of so

much workedj
1

raises the question of the source of

the

raw product. In view

11

shell at

XJ
1 ,1
Holmul

most

possible

low culture until the closing days of the


"Old Empire," and the manufacture of shell into
ornaments was done at Holmul. On the other hand
high cultures might have existed in the seaboard
contemporaneously with Holmul, while only their
i
r 11
It is
ornaments were sought by the inland folk. tcertainly true that there is almost no evidence of
Holmul IIIV pottery on the coast, so that social
relatively

have been very

relations cannot

In the inland
picture

,.

was very

close.

of the southern lowlands, the

cities

different.

was traded from great

large

amount

of shell

distances, often apparently

from much farther than necessary. This probably


reflects the existence of a

number

of well-established

Uaxactun, in the central Peten, produced the


considerable collection of shell from the area

(Ricketson and Ricketson, 1937; Kidder,

Of

1947).

the 19 species of Atlantic molluscs reported, 5

give

Two

have been co n ected on l y


_. .
,.
N
the north and east coasts: Diodora listen (1)
v
'
( x )

and Apoly metis


lected only

species

intastriata (1).

Two

have been

from the north and west

coasts:

col-

Can-

and Anadara transversa (29).


haye been taken only Qn the west coast 0Um

cellaria reticulata (6)

Two

Murex rubidus

sayana |i) and


'
l

...

, .

'

(1).
v
>

rive

species
v

have been collected only on the southernmost west

where they seem

coast,

to

be overlappings of a

western Gulf shore fauna: Nerita julgurans (3),


Pohnices duplicatus (3), Lunarca ovalis (8), Noetia

ponderosa (22), and. Mulinia

lateralis (42).

where we can make an educated guess


ence, 8 of 17 species

Thus,

at proveni-

and only 15 of 130 specimens

originated on the nearby Caribbean shore, whereas

9 of 17 species and 115 of 130 specimens seem to

trade routes.

first

bm gigas

It,from

is

cific

some hint

as to provenience.

Three

species

have

have been traded in from the

Gulf of Mexico.

We

much more

distant

would have expected much

the reverse.
Six species reported

from Tikal are of

Pacific

Cerithium maculosum (1), Latirus, prob-

origin:

been collected only on the Caribbean coast and were

ably L. ceratus

presumably traded from that area: Strombus gigas,

subnodosus (n),

Cyphoma gibbosum, and Trachycardium magnum.

dylus princeps (150-)-). Actually, over 500 addi-

Two

tional

species

have been found only on the north and

west coasts and were presumably traded from that


area: Fasciolaria hunteria
ensis. It

is

clear that

and Mercenaria campechi-

Uaxactun was

with both the Caribbean and Gulf

Three

species

in trade contact
coasts.

from Uaxactun were imported from

the Pacific coast:

Area

pacifica,

Lyropecten subnodo-

1), Oliva

Chama

porphyria (9), Lyropecten


echinata (32), and Spon-

Spondylus fragments (divided almost equally

between beads and cached chips)

could

not be

classified as Atlantic or Pacific species.

At Copan, Honduras, Longyear (1952) found


but five species, only one of which is Atlantic in
origin: "Marginella apicina,"

above

is

which we have noted

probably Prunum apicinum virgineum.

Discussion

43
but not mentioned

shell illustrated {ibid., fig. 94, e)

in the text

is

genus Phalium, probably

clearly of the

the species granulatum referred to above collected on


the east coast of the peninsula.

The

Pacific species

Oliva porphyria, O. spicata, Anadara grandis

are:

("Area grandes"), and Spondylus princeps

The

first,

Oliva porphyria,

Keen, 1958,

ful shell (see

attractive

Atlantic

crassisquama"). These proveniences are remarkable

side

the lowland

from the more distant

was imported

Pacific ocean.

He

identified the species

it

eight marine species reported

(Coe, 1959), five are Atlantic,

may

only one of which

Cittarium pica

be of significant distribution:

("Livona pica"), which

in

our peninsular collections

has appeared only on the Caribbean coast, where


is

common. -Three

very

it

species are of Pacific origin:

Crucibulum spinosum,

Morum

tuberculatum, and

four

Bay

the

in

trade as

its

on ornamented

Islands.

on

girdles

and one from Quirigua, noting,

stelae

the shell

is

found sculptured

in stone,

probable that the natural shell will be found

is

also."
at

noting

area,

Roatan and Guanaja

does not seem to have been as abundant or varied

Of

Maya

as

equally interesting molluscan fauna, although shell

as at other sites.

discusses distribution of this shell out-

far

Copan
"Wherever

Piedras Negras, on the Usumacinta River, has an

much more

Boekelman (1935, pp. 26772,

Olivas.

813)

site

VIII) and, given the

pi.

and design than any of the

color

in

figs.

from the

an exceptionally beauti-

very widespread fondness for tinklers,

("S.

in that the bulk of shell

is

Longyear subsequently found the natural

shell

Copan. Moholy-Nagy points out several represen-

tations of this shell

on Tikal

again as belt

stelae,

ornaments. And, as noted above, the natural


also

found

The

shell

is

there.

second, Spondylus princeps,

again a

is

ingly beautiful shell (see Keen, 1958,

strik-

pi. II),

un-

Spondylus princeps ("S. limbatus") Again we have

derstandably traded very widely in pre-Columbian

the anomalous situation that half the species, and

Boekelman (1935, pp. 26266, figs. 47)


outlines its history of use and its distribution: "The

the bulk of actual shell found, are imported from


the Pacific

and the Caribbean instead

of the

Gulf of Mexico. At Piedras Negras,

closer

Barton Ramie, there

much
as

at

extensive offertory use of

is

freshwater and land molluscs (six species).

Maya

Itza the

lowlands. In the north

Chichen

Dzibilchaltun, Mayapan, and

overwhelming mass of archaeological

at

shell is trace-

able to the nearest convenient beaches, with a handful of exceptions

apparently brought from the more

distant Caribbean coast. Interest in the sea

products

is

emphatic here

as

it is

writer has been able to trace

western

down to
throughout which, among

district of the

Peruvian

territory,

use from the South-

its

United States

the

the

higher types of cultures along the Pacific Coast,

Quite different patterns emerge for the northern and. southern

times.

and

its

elsewhere, but local

appears to have been a very highly prized


especially closely connected

tions" (ibid., p. 265).

Pusilha, B.H.
fig. 1),

It

shell,

with religious supersti-

has been found at San Jose,

(Gruning, 1930,

483,

p.

pi.

XXI,

Tikal, Uaxactun, Copan, and Piedras Negras

lowlands and was probably present

in the

it

southern

where the genus

sites

species not differentiated.

common

is

Wherever

at other

but the

intensive exca-

supply seems to have been the dominant factor in

vation has been undertaken in the south, Spondylus

choice.

seems

In the south, where most

from the

sea,

trade

sites

are at

some distance

routes or selective choice of

to

have been of constant ceremonial import,

as well as the

To

raw material

for a

number

of artifacts.

explain the frequent occurrence of the Pacific

on the Atlantic watershed, Boekelman notes

material were obviously stronger factors than simple

species

geographic propinquity, perhaps because of ethnic

that the Atlantic species does not contain the deep

barriers of

which we are not

yet aware.

Where we

have evidence worthy of consideration, the tides of


trade

which brought

general

came from

in shells to the

the distant Gulf of Mexico, not

the closer Caribbean shores


pect simple forms of sea

more

Peten area in

whence one would

life to

significant, the southern

ex-

be collected. Perhaps

Maya lowlands im-

ported a very large proportion of their shell from


the

much more

With two

distant Pacific coast.

species, this

is

quite understandable.

red colors of princeps. There


the fact that both americanus

is

also to

be considered

and princeps are deni-

zens of deep water (10 fathoms or more) and could

be collected
skilled

pre-aqualung days only by very

in

divers.

Groups of such

important role on the Pacific coast

dom of Colima paid


of 1600 valves),

important. Such

played an

divers
(e.g.,

an annual tribute

to

the King-

Montezuma

and the profession must have been


feats

would be

ability of the Atlantic or

far

beyond the

Gulf coast fishermen of

Fig. 3

Trade

lowland Maya area. B, Barton Ramie;


Cancun; M, Mayapan; P, Palenque; S, San Jose;

relations suggested by archaeological finds of Mollusca in the

C, Chichen Itza; Cn, Copan; D, Dzibilchaltun; H, Holmul;


T, Tikal; U, Uaxactun.

44

I,

Isla

Discussion

45

and probably were

today,

would obviously have been

more

times.

Trade

efficient

answer

early

in

than transplantation of divers over such distances.

Spondylus

common

actually

is

on the

shell

beaches of both oceans, but by the time dead valves

thrown on the beach they have always

are

feathery fronds

which make the

lost the

shell so impressive.

These beach-worn specimens, however, have

cameo
that

qualities of white, orange,

made

we have

They were used

beads.

seen above, at the northern

...

these utilitarian purposes.


at the

and red layering

the shell such a valuable material for arti-

facts, particularly

as

the

all

southern

hand.

could have been true

would be

It

Anadara grandis (1) and


Copan, and Crucibulum spino-

L. ceratus (1) at Tikal,

Oliva spicata (14) at

sum

(1) at Piedras Negras. These are positive evi-

dence of the strength of Pacific trade connections,


but they were probably items that filtered in with
the

trade

than

rather

Moholy-Nagy has

causing or

called

supporting

it.

my attention to the fact that,

with the possible exception of Spondylus princeps,

all

trade in Pacific species apparently terminated by the

end of the Early Classic

at Tikal.

sites for just

where the raw material was

sites,

relatively near at

t-,,.
1 his

extensively,

Cerithium maculosum (1) and Latirus, probably

interesting to

Temporal Factors
Table

was prepared

partly to

summarize Dzibil-

chaltun archaeological molluscs, partly to plot these

pursue further the identification of the less glamor-

by pciiods

ous specimens in the southern lowlands to see

the choice of specimens. Examination of the table

if

they are possibly the beach-worn specimens of the

which were abundant

Atlantic species, americanus,

At widely separated San

Jose

was used

The

for tinklers.

and Piedras Negras,

Morum

related to the

Balankanche

in

Yucatan was

the

Gruta de

also tentatively iden-

of shells as listed obvi-

amount

is

another tinkler from

of excavation in debris

this

we

can

make

our belief (and

only a

this

must

be only approximate) that our actual excavations


into debris of the various periods

is

fairly closely

proportionate to the frequency of such deposits at


the
tion

site.

There were two periods of great popula-

(and therefore deposition): the Dzibilchaltun

tuberculosum. Later comparison with mod-

Middle Formative, roughly 500300 b.c, and the

was probably the

Late Early period and Pure Florescent, roughly

ern specimens indicated that


Atlantic

species,

although

it

its

much

and

altered

eroded condition makes the identification doubtful.

Lyropecten

is

another large, often very brightly

colored and attractive shell,

which would under-

standably be traded to great distances.


species nodosus, relatively

peninsular

periphery,

The

common on

was used

for

Atlantic

the entire

pendants in

Yucatan. At Uaxactun only the Pacific species sub-

nodosus

is

subjective appraisal. It

occurrences,

tified as

ously

changed

to period.

Piedras Negras examples

Gulf of Mexico. Because of these southern

is

found, and at Tikal most specimens are

greater distance

another

valve, of

is

another attractive Pacific

It

is

less

colorful

which were quite common

bi-

and much

less

in Atlantic

and

was

greatly reduced.

We

believe that

the frequencies recorded in Table 2 reflect fairly


accurately the

amount

of shells used at Dzibilchaltun

in the various periods.

the

The

differing figures

from

two peak periods of occupation are probably

proportionate.

The

paucity

epochs of low population

shells:

Area

paeifica (2) at

do not always coincide

of

specimens

during

will, of course, reflect the

Uaxactun,

at

Dzibilchaltun (or

else-

where). Architecture of the Late Early period and

Pure Florescent

is

unmistakably different, but the

pottery of this entire span,

which we

call

the

Copo

complex, continues with only minor change. So,

when

closer to the Peten.

other Pacific coast imports are scarce and

unimpressive

the population

diminished use of molluscs by the fewer inhabitants.

graceful than the Atlantic species, such as C. macero-

six

second (from Modified Florescent to modern times),

item to accentuate the

which 32 unworked and worked were

Gulf waters, much

after the

Ceramic complexes and broader cultural periods

echinata

at Tikal.

450750. Between these peaks, and

paucity of deposition in those times rather than a

from

Pacific trade route.

Chama

a.d.

much

of this species, although imported

The

in shell definitely

Of

was common on the nearby shores of

oniscus,

phylla,

from period

vogues

of the various periods.

are striking, as the almost identical Atlantic species,

found

clear that

tuberculosum

the Pacific mulberry shell,

the

it

The numerical frequency

nearby.

M.

makes

time was a significant factor in

to see if

excavations and the resultant stratigraphy are

associated
readily

with

architecture,

we can

distinguish

between the two periods; but when the

46

MoLLUSCA IN THE MAYA LOWLANDS

association

we

cannot.

is

purely ceramic, as

often the case,

this less firmly

we have

just noted, the excavated

and the Late Early period

-Pure Florescent were

This

dated material.

deposits of the Formative

Although, as

is

times as

The column headed "Copo complex"

Table 2 includes

in

is

of roughly equal volume,

Species

Early

Early

Period

Period

tive

II

this disparity

12

16

vs.
is

522).

much

is

makes

it

clear that

mostly traceable to several species

of shell which were present in great abundance in

it

Formative deposits and rare or absent

later.

SHELL FROM DZIBILCHALTUN

Copo
Complex

(1,409

despite the fact that the latter epoch

Closer examination of Table 2

ARCHAEOLOGICAL

Forma-

shells as the latter

richer in artifacts, of shell or other material.

interesting that the former contains almost three

Table

is

many

Pure

Modified

Flores-

Flores-

Black
on

WUWUWU
cent

cent

Cream

Decadent

WU

Unstrat-

WUWUW
ified

cenote

GASTROPODA
Diodora cayenensis
Fissurella barbadensis

Cittarium pica
Nerita tessellata

Neritina virginea

Tectarius muricatus

Vermicularia spirata

Cerithium eburneum
Crepidula fornicata

Strombus costatus
Strombus pugilis
Cypraea cervus
Phalium inflatum
Cymatium parthenopeum

Cymatium pileare
Ficus communis
Murex pomum

236

23

46

133

96+
2

226

I35
>

86

11

I
1

10

127

Fasciolaria tulipa

27

Pleuroploca gigantea

15

14

Vasum muricatum

3
i

38'

29
28

4
1

Olivella dealbata

14
28

75

46

I0

13

I
,

54

12

1
1

212

14
105

1
1

12

Oliva reticularis

Bulla occidentalis

21

215

Conus floridanus
Conus spurius atlanticus

19

13

53

Melongena corona
Melongena melongena
Busycon coarctatum
Busycon contrarium
Busycon perversum
Busycon spiratum

Prunum apicinum virgineum


Prunum labiatum

96

Oliva sayana

10

Columbella mercatoria

Turbinella angulata

10

PELECYPODA
Area zebra

4*

Anadara notabilis
Anadara transversa

3
3
5

Noetia ponderosa

Modiolus

d.

granosissimus

L
2

Brachidontes exustus

Isognomon
Isognomon

alatus

radiatus

Pinctada radiata
Pteria

colymbus

37
1

35

23

105

4
4

2
II

47

Discussion
Table

Forma-

Species

Early

Early

Period

Period

t1Ve

WU WU

11

Atrina seminuda

Copo

Complex

II

Continued
Black

Pure

Modified

Flores-

Flores-

on

cent

Cream

cent

WU WU WU WU

Unstrat-

Decadent

ified

Cenote

Total
28

Plicatula gibbosa
1

Lyropecten nodosus
Spondylus americanus

10

Anomia simplex

12

Pseudocyrena floridana
Diplodonta semiaspera
Phacoides pectinatus

63
21
3

Carditamera floridana

12

2
1

Phacoides radians

Codakia orbicularis

Chama

34

19

Crassostrea virginica

Aequipecten muscosus

congregata

Trachycardium isocardia
Trachycardium muricatum
Dinocardium r. vanhyningi

15

19

15

4
77

58
18

79

18

419

223
28

Mercenaria campechiensis

Chione cancellata
Anomalocardia cuneimeris

37

10

17

49
79

11

13

Transennella cubaniana

Macrocallista maculata

Dosinia elegans

Tellina lineata

Arcopagia fausta

13

1
1

FRESHWATER MOLLUSCA
Pomacea

flagellars arata

Nephronaias

Total: 73

aff.

2,376

cal^mitarum

species

U, unworked;

W,

worked.

pods appeared in impressive abundance during the

Most striking are Melongena melongena and M.


corona, of which there are 348 specimens, from

Formative period, but continued

Formative deposits, only 8 datable as Early period

during

or Florescent. These were found in cache offerings,

ticularly the oversized

but were also scattered through domestic debris,

Ficus communis, and Fasciolaria tulipa, as well as


most of the larger conchs of the genera Strombus,

sometimes in
that these

We

piles.

shall state later

were brought

scavengers are

now

belief

although such

considered inedible.

Another example

Prunum apicinum

in to eat,

our

is

the

Marginella.

The

tiny

virgineum, of which 105 were

found (75 with a hole broken for suspension as


beads), is almost entirely Formative in occurrence,
only

more

datable to later periods.


beautiful cousin

is

Its

Prunum

larger

and much

labiatum; of 54

later periods.

in

moderate use

These include the

cockles, par-

Dinocardium

vanhyningi,

r.

Busycon, Pleuroploca, and Turbinella.

It

noted later that the disproportion between periods


may reflect a change to bringing only the meat,
rather than animal with shell

and

all,

from the ocean

for table use.

Only two

Of

21

distributions follow a reverse pattern.

Anomia

deposits.

And

simplex, none are from Formative

of 63 Spondylus americanus, only 5

specimens, 47 were Formative period, only 3 datable


to later deposits. Unlike the tiny-Marginellas, these

are of Formative age. Both these cases

beauties were apparently not collected for beads;

and Florescent times.

only one was possibly perforated for suspension.

Their use

is

problematical, perhaps

religious

or

number

reflect

an increase of jewelry making

Although

it

is

possible to

of other larger pelecypods

and

gastro-

probably

in Early period

do no more than con-

jecture their significance, these striking changes of

mode from Formative

medicinal.

will be

present.

to later times are definitely

Use of Shells

as

worked. Only 333

preponder-

2 that the vast

ance of shell from Dzibilchaltun

out of a

We

Votive Offerings

from Table

plain

It is

completely un-

is

fragments

shells or identifiable

2,376 showed any sign of working,

total of

The

about 14 per cent.

larger part of these

were tiny

Marginellas worked as beads and small nacreous

Some

were doubtless brought

of the shells

but this would

table,

still

Other

of material found.

was probably brought

and use

in for slight alteration

for the

not account for the bulk

shell

as ornaments, or for

simple raw material in jewelry; but the

number

unworked specimens cannot be accounted

for

of
as

have endowed the marine

to

mollusc with magic or symbolic properties which

number

led to a

of ritual (or possibly only super-

stitious) usages. Unfortunately,

know

of no sur-

vival of such beliefs or practices into historic times..

"Ethnomalacology"
This

in this area

an empty word.

is

in startling contrast to the

is

Maya's continu-

My

ing knowledge of their botanical environment.

Merida housekeeper's Maya vocabulary


species

awesome

is

in size

and

her knowledge of their

is

nal qualities.

Time

therapeutic properties

for

plant

in specific definition,

life

history

after time, as

she gives most specific

many ways

that cults of interest

as

if

lists

of

they were

Gaumer or from Ralph Roys's Ethnobotany of the


Maya (1931). But despite the 73 species at inland
Dzibilchaltun, our informant
describing shells

knows only one word

the Spanish word concha. Efforts

Maya names

to obtain

for

marine

shells,

the coastal population, were fruitless.

even

among

The

generic

term hub occurs in early dictionaries with the meaning of

'shell'

or 'shell trumpet' (e.g., Perez, 186677,

143) and

p.

general

is

sense

still

name boc for


tionary. 1 Any cult

the

occasionally used in the

today.

Roys (1931,

oyster in the

p.

more

328)

cites

San Francisco Dic-

of interest has certainly long since

vanished.

1 Prof.

Alfredo Barrera Vasquez, whose knowledge of


is

unparalleled,

knows

Maya

of only

name; Pleuroploca gigantea, the largest of our


is called chacpel. "Chac" means red in Maya;
the vernacular ("termino indecente" Perez, 186677,

specific

marine molluscs,
"pel"

is

275)

for the

(Schellhas'

referred

Thompson

as

"The Mam")
conch on

as carrying a large

is

by

to

frequently depicted

his back,

and occasion-

emerging from one. The godhead and the

molluscan symbol are associated with the underworld, with death, and (according to Forstemann)
the five unlucky days at

By

extension, the shell

moon

with the

Uayeb

at the

end of the

year.

became associated with water,

goddess Ixchel (who was the goddess

of fertility and childbirth and also a water deity),


childbirth. In hieroglyphic writing, the

was symbolic

shell

of completion, being used as the

basic glyph for zero

and a component of various

glyphs describing completion, such as period-ending

Thompson (1950,

signs.

symbolism
a

number

in

some

pp. 13334), examines this

and

detail

illustrates

of graphic representations.

parative material

is

(fig.

21)

More com-

assembled by Schellhas (1904),

Spinden (191 3, pp. 83-84, figs. 108-11), Tozzer


(1957, p. 107, figs. 166-83) and Anders (1963,

numerous
Most

references

and

illustrations).

of the portrayals of the


in the codices,

some

Old God with the


of

which probably

date to not long before the conquest. But the concept

much

is

earlier one. Several

fied Florescent structures at

columns

female genitalia. The brilliant red Pleuroploca

in

Modi-

Chichen Itza portray

man emerging from a large conch shell


(Spinden, 191 3, fig. no; Tozzer, 1957, fig. 175).

an old

Two

of the gold disks recovered

Well

at

Chichen

Itza portray this motif (cf. Lothrop,

1952, pp. 6162,


figure

is

God N.

an old

from the Sacred

fig.

43). In one the emerging

man who might

well have been

In the other, however, the figure

is

that of the deity with the long, decorated nose

Schellhas called
later.

God K,

of

whom we

clearly

whom

shall see

more

Lothrop believed these gold disks belong

to

the very beginnings of the "Toltec" period (Modified Florescent) at

Chichen

Itza, as the central panels

contain design forms which are largely of Mexican


plateau inspiration, and the peripheries

faunal and floral terminology

one

of the ancients

collect plants,

Maya names and

which look

The Old God


and Anders' God N,

Maya

in

ideas of cosmogeny.

conch are

we

to the very

were deeply involved

distant past. Shells

and medici-

borrowed verbatim from the early works of George

p.

THE MAYA LOWLANDS

and some of these can be traced

exist,

and with

simply an artisan's backlog.

The Maya seem

did

shall see in

ally as

fragments possibly used in mosaic.

as

IN

MOLLUSCA

48

still

con-

somewhat graphically separated from the white animal


Strombus and Busycon, or the black Turbinella, the other
large conchs. Both Pleuroploca and Turbinella, however, are
known to most modern coastal fishermen by the Spanish name
abulon. Some popular names for freshwater and land molluscs
will be mentioned below.

is

of

thus

Discussion

49

Maya glyphic forms and designs. Recent


has shown that such "Toltec" motifs did ap-

what the

tain pure

sea. Precisely

research

text of this association was,

pear far back into the Pure phase of the Florescent.

The

Iglesia, attached to the

Chichen,

at

Pure Florescent

of

is

Casa de

las

Monjas

Two

date.

of the

religious or superstitious con-

we

shall

probably never

know, but the continuous presence

of other forms

of marine animals with shells in caches, and other


offerings,

must be

significant.

we

In the paragraphs below

niches in the front facade of this structure con-

shall

touch only upon

tain representations in carved stucco of individuals

raw

emerging from conch

of shell or shell perforated for use as jewelry are

shells

(best

by

illustrated

1963). Tozzer has suggested that these might

Bolles,

have been

later

replacements of original carvings,

but no such stuccowork


Florescent.

is

known from

the Modified

polychrome bowl from the

LXXXII),

pi.

God

conch

sitting

shell.

Caches" and "Artifacts."

Of

the

many tombs

have offerings of

at Dzibilchaltun,

shells.

Two

only seven

are Formative

and

Copo complex, one


Late Early period. The species found

five

datable

on or emerging from an enormous

to the

are:

This

may
Maya

Early period date,

vessel, of

In the southern area, no


representations of the

than

less

six different

Old God with the conch

on four pottery

vessels

from Chama

Alta Verapaz (Dieseldorff, 1926-33, vol.

shell

in the

1, figs.

70,

71, 136137, 237, 239).

On

paired panels, the god

emerging from the conch

is

Cerithium eburneum (2)

Strombus costatus (1)

two

of these vessels, in

communis

Area zebra ( 1 pair)


Chione cancellata (4)

None
life.

all

of the seven contained other forms of marine

At Mayapan, where

were presumably

burials

of the Decadent period, occasional lots of shell

and marine materials were included

as offerings,

These

but no identification of the tomb material, as such,

be assigned to the Late Classic of the

was published (A. L. Smith, 1962). At Copan three

in one, seated in front of

it

in the other.

south (Late Early period in Yucatan).

On

of the Foliated Cross at Palenque

let

will

"Tombs and

be described in separate volumes on

Fie us

may

and

topic,

are associated with the

lowlands.

vessels

this

to

has a beautiful panel representing

well have been imported from the southern

are found

germane

not considered

Bliss Col-

lection, said to be from Yucatan (Lothrop, i957>

introduced as such. Jewelry

shells intentionally

the Tab-

tombs contained offerings; one held four unworked

(also Late

Oliva porphyria; the second a Spondylus princeps

Classic), one of the principal figures stands on a

representation of

God K,

the god with the elongated,

decorated nose, emerging from a large conch, hold-

probably growing corn

ing in his hand what

is

(Maudslay, 1889-1902,

vol. 4, pis. 80,

81). This

is

valve, containing pearl, jade,

and cinnabar; the third

fragments" (Longyear, 1952, pp. 3550). At

"shell

Barton Ramie only two burials, both Protoclassic,


contained offerings of

shell,

both the freshwater

clam Nephronaias ortmanni (W,

fig.

309, /-).

At

reminiscent of the gold disk from Chichen Itza men-

San Jose only two burials had such material, both

Moholy-Nagy (1963, p. 78) notes that


at Tikal, "Four wizened, gnome-like creatures, probably Mams, are shown emerging from what seem
to be conch shells along the sides of Altar 4, which

probably

tioned above.

is

Early Classic in style and type of stone."

From

the above

it

conchs, were firmly entrenched


religious beliefs

reason that

we

ancient

for

and customs. But

the

Maya
same

cannot believe that the Oliva tinklers

so frequently used for belt

period were

in

worn

to

ornaments

in the Early

remind the wearer of the under-

world, death, or parturition

over the face, the other contained a single Nephronaias (T, pp. 193220).
several of the
ings,

is clear that shells, or at least

we cannot believe that

IV; one had a large ostreid cupped

S.J.

minor

At Tikal

the tombs and

burials contained shell offer-

prominently Spondylus.

tion of

all

Our working

defini-

tombs has been "stone-walled and stone-roofed

or vaulted areas containing burials." This

at vari-

is

ance with the Tikal Project's definition of tomb,

whereby

floor space

single interment
this is true at

is

(M,

in excess of the needs of the


p.

74).

The

rare cases

where

Dzibilchaltun are away from the major

ceremonial structures, and are not relatively richly

No

Maya
sites accumulated for the same reason. Rather, we
believe they were also important to the Maya because

endowed with

they symbolized, or at least were reminiscent

thatched dwellings, although numerous, shared the

the

enormous quantity of unworked

shell at

of,

the

offerings of

any

sort.

rich

tombs

of the type found at Tikal have appeared at Dzibilchaltun.

Those

in

ceremonial

structures

and

in

MoLLUSCA

same simple stone


ings.

No

cists

and the same shabby

offer-

one believed, apparently, that you could

with you." In the most fashionable burial


areas, the pottery offerings were often either broken
"take

or

it

worn out

before deposition.

With

these strictures,

two

sites

does

not seem too disparate, nor do those at other

sites

the frequency of shell offerings at the

in the

lowlands. In Uaxactun, five Early and

Maya

Diplodonta semiaspera
Phacoides radians ( 1
Chama congregata (3)

(1

Trachycardium isocardia (fragments)


Trachycardium muricatum (fragments)
Dinocardium r. vanhyningi (16)
Mercenaria campechiensis (fragments)
Chione cancellata (3 + fragments)
Anomalocardia cuneimeris (2)
Transennella cubamana (4)

61). At Piedras Negras, one Late Classic tomb

(the most elaborately equipped at the site) contained

and one Psoronaias

three Spondylus princeps valves

quadratus (C,

summary,
rarely,

THE MaYA LOWLANDS

IN

Crassostrea virginica (3)

Late Classic burials had offerings of raw shell (K,


p.

p. 55).

Over the area

burials occasionally, but at

some

cardium

sites

very

dants of perforated but otherwise unaltered shells

which might have

of this material,

component

played a prominent role as a

shell

Ten

of caches at Dzibilchaltun.

r.

vanhyningi

Formative cache from

caches

the caches followed even

volume on

this material in the

here note only that

much

have

we

which were
to say

artifacts,

about

but shall

are usually uncertain whether

such fragments were considered as raw material


suitable for

making

small jewelry such as mosaic,

or whether they

were

rejects or

such operations.

surprising

occurred in caches

(numerals

waste material from

number
indicate

of species

unaltered

all

(fig. 4).

plex.

500 contained 22 perfect

more

rigidly the temporal

on pp. 4548, above. For exbut one of the 62 cached Melongenas


Formative context;

in

of the

all

number

forms of marine

other

of

in

Three caches contained colonies of bryozoans; one,


nine of such.

Various

One contained

inclusions

of

spines of the stingray

chunk

of

remains,

fish

and the spiny

marine

scales of the

boxfish, will be discussed in detail elsewhere in our

No

substela caches

were found

that

all

were found
fall

in

at Dzibil-

the class of

Crepidula jornicata (3)

caches,

Melongena corona (50)


Melongena melongena (12)
Busy con contrarium (3)
Busycon spiratum

( 1

Fasciolaria tulipa (fragments)

coral.

particularly

"structure caches" as used by other writers.

Ficus communis (3

life

one cache, possibly brought in on large conchs.

Tectarius muricatus (4)


Vermicularia spirata ( 1

+ fragments)
+ fragments)

18

appeared in the caches. Thirty barnacles were found

chaltun;

Strombus costatus (5

single

Dinocardiums were associated with the Copo Com-

reports.

specimens):

which might have con-

variations discussed

were found

shall

Str.

as single

Melongenas, evenly divided between the species

ments of fragments, some of which showed marks

We

Dino-

tained animals as food offerings

ample,

simply smashed.

carefully nested

obviously arranged

valves, therefore not pairs

contained unaltered specimens; 16 contained assort-

of cutting or grinding, but most of

Copo

corona and melongena. Distribution of species in

served the same symbolic purpose.

Unworked

without container or other offerings.

Complex cache contained 16

considerably higher proportion contained pen-

made

shell,

as a whole, in

contained offerings of unworked molluscs.

or jewelry

Several caches contained only a single species of

At Mayapan,

in his

summary

of 27 residential

Smith (1962, pp. 25663) lists only one unidentified shell and no marine material. Proskouriakoff notes, to the contrary, that "small conchlike

apparently unworked, have been found in

shells,

many

cists

and caches containing other

She mentions

specifically only a

Cymatium

artifacts."

jemorale.

Six pieces of coral, of at least three species, were

Pleuroploca gigantea (fragments)

Prunum

virgineum (3)
Bulla occidentalis (fragments)
a.

Area zebra

(1 pair)

Brachidontes exustus (3)


Isognomon alatus (fragments)

Atrina seminuda (fragments)

Spondylus americanus (fragments)


Anomia simplex (16)

found "in tombs or

in association

ceremonial nature" (P,

At Copan,

all

p.

with objects of

387).

of the 14 caches found

had been

placed under stelae. Six were listed as containing

marine

shells,

of

which only Spondylus princeps

and Anadara grandis are


species.

One Copan

identified,

both Pacific

cache contained coral fragments

))

Discussion

Fig.

5i

Dzibilchaltun,

ciated with

and

Str.

Copo Complex

a stingray

38, Cache 1: 16 nested

another contained a pearl.

tail;

unworked

novel component was stalagmites, which appeared

At Balankanche

in four caches.

in

Yucatan we find

these connected with rain ritual

(Andrews, 1967).
At Barton Ramie, only three caches were found,

none containing

shell of

any kind. However

Jose, 7 structure caches of the

unworked

shell

were of Classic
found

at

20 found contained

and/or other marine material. All


date, mostly S.J. IV.

The

species

Cerithium variabile

Crassostrea virginica

shells.

Four

ing species (RR, p. 199):


Crepidula

sp. (1)

S'trombus pugilis

Prunum
Ostrea

a.

virgineum (54)

sp. (1)

is

cache contained 19 valves of Spondylus

Smith

number

of other caches

but these are not

shells,

pp. 10305). Also

cit.,

present in the caches were coral, pearls, marine

worm

a tendency to include other products

pumice fragments,

sevr

numerous box-

and even two manatee bones (T,

casts,

and stingray

spines.

Specifics are not yet available

on the uniquely

rich caches recovered in the Tikal excavations,

are

still

in progress as this

is

written.

which

However,

Moholy-Nagy's 1963 paper gives valuable prelimi-

summary of the data through the 1962 season.


Unworked shell and marine material is common in
nary

Thompson (1931,

lists

unworked

earlier caches, later


2

unworked

individually identified {op.

corals or bryozoans, a pearl,

84-92 ).

have been recorded

five

identified

caches of the Tzakol period contained the follow-

as containing

of the sea, including eight

92) only

p.

containing

as

princeps. A. L.

Spondylus princeps (17)

pp.

the 64 caches recovered at Uaxactun (A. L.

One Tepeu

Columbella mercatoria (2)


Terebra (?) cinerea (5)

fish spines,

Of

Smith, 1950,

Trachycardium muricatum (2)

Neritina meleagris (24)


Neritina virginea (1)

eral

Dinocardium robustum vanhyningi. Asso-

San

are:

Again, there

valves of

ceramics.

31) reports a fragment of


branch coral from a structure cache at Hatzcap Ceel, B.H.,
along with unworked, unidentified shells.
p.

273,

pi.

becoming unusual, and

disappearing from the offerings.


pletely absent in the

22

stela

They

are

finally

com-

caches dating after

) )

MOLLUSCA

52

Of 55

9.13.0.0.0.

marine

Moholy-Nagy notes

objects. In fact,

contents of these caches

This

is

the great

where

frequently at different

sites

however,

mass of unworked

unworked molluscs and

briefly,

life

frequent but form only a tiny

sites,

Summarizing

other forms of marine

percentage of the total from the

between the two

able for manufacture of jewelry.

Tikal" (M, pp. 72-74).

in strong contrast with Dzibilchaltun,

shells in caches are

from

that "the

Comparison

site.

is difficult.

shell

early Classic caches, this

Although

from Tikal comes

is

a period of

THE MAYA LOWLANDS

the exception of valuable Spondylus, were not suit-

comprise most of the un-

known from

modified shells

42 contained

structure caches,

IN

were included

and

They

more frequent

are

in caches than in

ponent of the assemblages of offerings.

Another but probably

little

found

closely

votive cult

few caches have been found. The very large number

wells of the northern peninsula.

from Dzibilchaltun are mostly of Late

refer to as

tombs, but never apparently an indispensible com-

construction at Dzibilchaltun; and correspondingly

of caches

different times as

components of the votive offerings we


caches.

rarely to

is

of

in the cenotes or freshwater

Well

that of the Sacred

is

form

related

at

The most famous


Chichen

Edward H. Thompson

Itza, first

Early period and Pure Florescent date; and where

explored by

these overlap the occupation of Tikal, caches at the

recently by the Instituto Nacional de Antropologfa

latter site are characterized

of raw-shell offerings.

by decreasing amounts

very large variety of non-

marine material was obtained

shell

tively,

apparently

much more

although the former

from the

than at Dzibilchaltun,

more than

is

at Tikal, rela-

ten times as far

This includes pearls, several species

sea.

of corals, bryozoans, gorgonians,

sea-urchin frag-

ments, a sand dollar, sponge, chunks of coquina,


stingray spines,

and

fish vertebrae, spines

(M, pp. 69-70, M-MS).


specimens

Nagy

is

and scutes

Specific association of these

not yet available, although Moholy-

notes that they are

Classic

caches,

worked

shell

when

become

more common

introduction
less

of

actual

un-

frequent.

At Piedras Negras, unworked

shells

Of 94 such

played a
role

in

less

the

offerings, 15

contained shells of 8 marine, 2 freshwater and 2


land species:
Cittarium pica

of the results have been completely

published (but

cf.

Lothrop, 1952; Tozzer, 1957;

Davalos H., 1961; Littlehales, 1961). Although an

immense quantity

of pottery

and

artifacts of gold,

copper, jade, and other materials was introduced as


sacrificial offerings

with

human

beings, few marine

animals or materials have been reported. Dr.

who

is

J.

Ladd,

studying Harvard's collections from

Sacred Cenote, reports


Fissurella barbadensis

six

the

molluscs of four species:

Pleuroploca gigantea (2)


Oliva reticularis (2)
as well as several

fragments of gorgonians obviously

brought from the


smaller but

sea.

much

deeper cenote within the

large collection of artifacts dating

from Formative

times until virtually the present (Andrews, 1959,

1962; Marden, 1959). Most of this long


offerings date to the Late Early period

Florescent,

Pomacea flagellata arata ( 1


Pomacea flagellata ghiesbrechti (4)

built.

when most

Mixed with

artifacts,

it

and Pure

of the ceremonial center

this large

forming, as

series of

and

was

rich assortment of

were, one continuous cache,

,,*

were 48 unworked marine molluscs of 20

species:

cache contained a single piece of coral. Again

in strong contrast to Dzibilchaltun,

unworked

None

has yielded, after several seasons of diving, a very

(1

Area imbricata (2)


Area zebra (5)
Spondylus princeps (11)
Ostrea sp. (1)
Trachy car dium muricatum (1)

One

States.

ceremonial group at Dzibilchaltun, Cenote Xlacah,

(1

Vermicularia spirata (2)

Euglandina decussata
Choanopoma radiosum

Mexico in cooperation with the Club

de Exploraciones y Deportes Acuaticos de Mexico


and the National Geographic Society of the United

Cruabulum spinosum

most

Strom bus pugilis (1)

prominent but nonetheless important


composition of caches.

in Late

e Historia of

in 1904,

Coe notes

that

shell and marine material have not been


found outside of offerings (C, pp. 55, 77-119). The
species that were brought in for this purpose, with

Large intentional offerings of pottery have been found on


Lake Amatitlan in Guatemala (Borhegyi, 1959),

the floor of

and Luis Marden informs

me

numbers of offertory
were encountered in a brief
hour of diving below the waters of Lake Flores (Peten-Itza)
in Guatemala. No material of marine origin was forthcoming.
that large

vessels in a very distinct tradition

))
))) ) ) )

Discussion

53

Diodora cayenensis ( i
Strombus costatus (3)
Cymatium parthenopeum (1)
Ficus communis

Murex pomum

(both of which would have been so easily available

on the beaches near Dzibilchaltun). The


were apparently favored

Turbinella angulata

5//fl occidentalis

have been removed but were not). These

( 1

so frequently partly filled

dence of any attempt

At Dzibilchaltun,

Dosinia elegans (2)

occupation with the

We

Also introduced were 14 gorgonians (sea fans) and


of coral (note that gorgonians have also been

impossible to

It is

number

of

Pomacea

not found

is

north fagade of

evi-

To

the con-

conserve the original

to

other evidence in Yucatan of presea.

Str.

The medial molding


(Temple

i-sub

of the

of the Seven

Dolls) at Dzibilchaltun, the side facing the sea,

is

whether or

adorned with a parade of maritime creatures,

sting-

rays, unidentified fish, aquatic birds (fig. 5).

Much

alive there today.

from the above data

much

have

no

prepare these

clean or

to

intro-

flagellata arata

tell

found in the cenote were introduced by humans;

It is clear

marine

of the

at least, there is

was made

trary, every effort

identity with the sea.

the species

Many

offerings as items of beauty or value.

Dinocardium r. vanhyningi (18)


Chione cancellata (3)

Tikal).

after death, not

forms were broken or fragmentary when

Carditamera floridana ( 1
Trachycardium isocardia (3)
Trachycardium muricatum (1)

not the large

drift

duced.

at

with sand and beach

were obviously collected

that they

Anomia simplex

found

were

( 1

Atrina seminuda (3)


Plicatula gibbosa ( 1

lump

shells

placed in the offerings as food.

Pinctada radiata

covered with barnacles

if

or other marine parasites (which often could easily

Melongena corona ( 1
Busy con contrarium (3)
(

larger shells

(1)

Oliva reticularis

nor were they usually perfect specimens

tive species,

that the

amazing

unworked shells found at Maya sites,


from the sea, must be accounted for, at least

later,

Chac Mool Temple (buried beneath the

the

Temple

of the Warriors) at Chichen Itza, featured

at least

two very

murals of

naturalistically painted

quantity of

seashore

even far

ditions of various molluscs, horseshoe crabs, aquatic

in part, by religious or superstitious belief or ritual.

birds,

Unfortunately no trace of such belief or practice has

important stingray).

survived into

modern times

for speculation

to give us a

Landa's scattered information

as

on the calendar did

for epigraphers. Quite

aesthetic or utilitarian usages

seem

distinct patterns
in particular)

were

to

(which did

the underworld, water

and childbirth

picted in the codices, architectural

and pottery

sculpture,

Early Classic

exist),

two

with death,

and

is

at a

number

of

a doubtful one. (2)

shell

The

have been a

We

and marine

sea

real

marine

life

beliefs

might

association, at best,

unworked

forms and representations, rang-

clusters of byrozoans, in

.all

an obviously

intense preoccupation with the sea. Shells, although

immediate identity in

The

intent

one.

The

was

shells

would seem

this

in ancient

might have been an impor-

chaltun which was at times vastly beyond what

large part of the

the most frequent items,

economic dependence

the coastal salt marshes

could

have been supported by

However,

"cult of the

this

distance

to lose their

is

life.

Use of Shells

Ornaments

Worked

as

shell

is

agriculture.

as

is

at a

and could have had much

ence on economic

has or has not retained

on the
its

strong or

much

greater

less direct influ-

usually divided into

gories by the archaeologist,


it

local

sea"

stronger at Tikal, where the sea

ing from shells to gorgonians, corals, sand dollars,

and even

empha-

what must

have suggested elsewhere that control of

from the area seems part of a larger configura-

tion of

life reflected

we

and monumental

at least as far back as the

sites.

still

tant factor in the support of a population at Dzibil-

account for the occasional occurrence of shells in

tombs

inclined to surmise that this strong

on the

times.

(emphasizing the obviously

fish

the basis of our Dzibilchaltun evidence,

would be
sis

ren-

are de-

the south. These

in

beyond

emerge: (1) Shells (conchs

closely associated

On

springboard

and

charming

(frontispiece), including

life

two

basis of

cate-

whether

original form. In the

former, for aesthetic or religious purposes,

it is

still

broader configuration.

clearly not primarily

an aesthetic

chosen for offerings were not

attrac-

Moholy-Nagy (1963,

at Tikal.

p.

73) notes that

this

was the

case

~Tf^

bo

SJS
d

-C

1N
Q

to

c
o

~-<

E
u

Cs
fA

J5

v>

U
C bo
<u
c
-3
>

<J*>

u
ii

J=!

M-l

o -o
U)

JH IS
o.

B-S
,->

"~"

_Q

rt

3
C7
rt

-rt

H H
bO
i-l

.5
4_i

C/3

i/>

D _c
-a />
n
U3
<j-

^"3
j=^S
c -a
bO

"o

_a
-o

13
o
-

E^
Ji

fc

a.

>,

_e

rt

rt

"

CO

u o

v>

*-J

rt

rt

,_]

E
X

J3

lH

*-W

in

Dh

a
rt

)
.

ft

bo

aj

c c
c

) )

) )

Discussion

55

a shell; in the latter

make something

simply a material used to

is

it

Occurrences of both are

else.

Twelve

species of pelecypods

chaltun to

make

species used at Dzibilchaltun were:

Olivella dealbata (14)

will be reserved for

our separate study of Dzibilchaltun

The

listed

in detail in the checklist above. Detailed discussion

and comparative study of both

stringing.

Prunum apicinum virgineum

Two

(77)

further uses of almost unaltered shells are

artifacts.

were used

difficult to place

at Dzibil-

pendants, usually with two drilled

logical

found

perforations at or near the hinge for suspension:

within our highly

artificial

taxonomy. Pairs of Spondylus

were

shells

Copan, Pusilha, and Tikal used

at

archaeo-

as "jewel

boxes," to contain offerings of pearl, tiny jade beads,

Anadara notabilis (3)


Anadara transversa (3)

and other small

offerings.

At Piedras Negras,

a pair

Aequipecten muscosus (2)


Lyropecten nodosus (3)
Spondylus americanus (10)
Carditamera fioridana (2)
Phacoides pectinatus (1)
Dinocardium r. vanhyningi (1)
Mercenaria campechiensis ( 1

Chione cancellata (2)


Dosinia elegans

Nephronaias

aff

Pendants were

(
.

calamitarum (4)

made

also

of three species of smaller

gastropods, usually perforated near the shoulder for


vertical suspension:
Fasciolaria tulipa

(1

Conus floridanus ( 1
Conus spurius atlanticus

remarkably long-lived ornament of

ally called a tinkler, is

area

from Early

found throughout the Maya

Classic times in the south to the

Decadent period in the north

always apparently a

popular item of jewelry. They are usually

an Atlantic or

usu-

shell,

made

a Pacific species of Oliva, but, as

of

we

have seen above, are sometimes of quite different


shells.

Usually, the spire

at the

shoulder (sometimes

twice),

and a sawn hole

pattern of alteration

is

is

is

cut
it

off,

is

approximately

merely perforated

The

cut near the base.

clearly not for suspension,

but to enable firm stitching to a fabric (see K,


85,^,4). Usually the

was

intact,

left

shell,

with

its

attractive design,

but some specimens

were elaborately reworked. The

fig.

85,^,6)

(fig.

species

used at

Dzibilchaltun are:
Oliva reticularis (7)
Oliva say ana (11)
Prunum labiatum (2)

Where
were used

shells largely retaining their original

as beads, drilled perforation

seems

to

form
have

been considered more labor than the product warranted.

Sometimes the apex was ground

off;

more

Fig.

lar,

often a single hole

was broken

in the side to

permit

Two

Hedlund
pan

but

tinklers

from the

in Merida, exact

much

cruder, specimen

(P, fig. 45,a).

collection of Richard E.

provenience unknown.

Scale 3/4.

is

illustrated

simi-

from Maya-

Mollusca

56

Area zebra was used

of

for this purpose.

The

valves

were sometimes painted with cinnabar.


Effective trumpets could be made by cutting
the apical whorls

this to

have been done

made from

blast

on

When
this

finally

Dzibil-

at

succeeded in producing a

instrument (and

convinced that

trumpet

was cached

a large Turbinella angulata

under a Middle Formative structure


chaltun.

off

and we know

at various sites.

it

was

a blast),

was

my lip membrane was perand my front teeth perilously

much

manently destroyed

of

shaken. Another, perhaps unique, use of shells

is

to

be found at a small ruined temple some 1500 m. up


the Caribbean shore

from the lighthouse

Celarain, the southern tip of

small temple

itself has, as a

Cozumel

at

Punta

Island.

The

use.

making was from

from the larger conchs {Strombus,

Pleuroploca, Turbinella, Busy con),

unknown

The

roof ornament, a perfect

Maya Lowlands

in the

great bulk of shell for jewelry

the larger conchs

and the Spondy-

Strombus costatus (74), Busycon contrarium

lus:

(1), Pleuroploca gigantea (4), Turbinella angulata

Vasum muricatum

(3),

canus (39).

number

(1),

and Spondylus ameri-

should be noted that a considerable

It

of smaller conch fragments

and most of the

finished jewelry of white shell could not be identified

and are therefore not included

surely even to genus,

in the present tabulations.

Most of

was

this material

probably S. costatus. Spondylus, on the other hand,


is

more completely

even small fragments

listed, as

of the shell can be recognized from

we

qualities. Finally,

of the
a

worked

should re-emphasize that

all

from Dzibilchaltun forms but

shell

very small fraction

recovered at the

cameo-like

its

(14 per cent) of the

total

site.

diminutive temple some 50 cm. high with a rounded

and facing the four

spire atop. Set into the spire,

directions, are four vertical series of


pets of varying sizes

perhaps the

wind-vane with

built-in sound.

Use of Shell

Raw Material

Strombus trumearliest

recorded

Use of Molluscs
Molluscs,
collected

as

Food

when used

for food,

usually be

will

from the nearest available shore. They

will

not normally be transported over any considerable


as

At Dzibilchaltun,
used for

making

area from their point of collection, and the shells

several species of molluscs

were

jewelry and a very few utilitarian

which the

artifacts, in all of

shell

form had been

would normally be
familiar coastal

left

on the beach

to

form the

middens (a 5-pound conch would

not be carried far inland for

its

half-pound of edible

Again, detailed discussion

meat). But inlanders under dietary need will go to

and comparative study are considered more appro-

unbelievable lengths to enjoy products of the sea.

almost or entirely

priate to

and

lost.

our separate report on

artifacts of the site,

will be presented there. 5

The 169 fragments

When

was surveying the upper Candelaria drain-

age along the Guatemala frontier in 193839, one

of identified

altered

shell

ate well in the area

if

he had a gun

When

and most people

represented 8 species of pelecypods, 7 of gastropods.

had, and used

Fine flakes of Atrina (1), Isognomon (31), and

and peccary were

Pinctada (1) were mostly found in caches contain-

delight for us), the natives

ing other materials such as jade and pyrites, and

had only come

were probably used, or intended

been flavored with cazon (the baby hammerhead

for use, in mosaics.

it.

available as

week

only wild turkey, venison,

meat (which was

would lament

earlier or later,

it

that

if

we

would have

We

Five smaller pelecypods were used in altered form

shark so traditionally dear to Campechanos).

Chione (1), Dinocardium (1), Dosinia


(1), and Mercenaria (2). Two small gastropods
were given special uses: Conus spurius atlanticus

suffered
local

(6) was used to cut out small triangular pendants,

fied

when the occasional muladas


down with 5 10-day-old, liquishark (which we could smell many hours before

probably

the

mulada

as pendants:

retaining

the

shell's

original

attractive

coloration. Horizontal sections of Oliva reticularis

(3) were cut to

make

corkscrew-like artifacts of

little,

but did have a rough time adjusting to

gourmets'

would

arrived,

direction). This

with

tastes

arrive loaded

all

if

would

tortillas,

the

wind were

in the right

then, with gusto, be

soups, or the

otherwise would have been so

merged

meat dishes which

tasty. I

cannot believe

that the choice, by a people otherwise discriminating,


5

Techniques of manufacture are well described in Fewkes,


1883. An excellent survey of Mesoamerican shell artifacts may
be found in Kidder, Jennings, and Shook, 1946, pp. 145-52.

could have been other than purely gustatory.

one considers trade from the


factors

must be considered.

sea,

When

such irrational

Discussion

The

57

Cancun Midden

Isla

radiocarbon at 250 B.C.

animal and

shell, turtle,

Only

few

Forma-

a sealed Late

human

debris dated by

It consists

of a mixture of

(Chicanel) deposit of

tive

is

fish bones, pottery

shell artifacts occurred,

and

this

the

is

taste

gastropod from which they are misnamed.

Such

Maya

Table

but
ISLA

area.

MARINE

Entire

Species

Calliostoma jujubinum

over the

last

to

acts as a

2000

gauge of possible faunal change

years.

This can then be extended

our appraisal of the inland

sites,

where the

shells

formed the

largely have

basis of value.

Whatever
were

clearly

occurred in the Cancun Midden

collected

for

gastronomic purposes,

either for the local settlement or for possible trade

of the

meat

to the interior.

We,

of course, have

no

evidence of the latter possibility.

Our
First,

tabulations are very surprising, at least to me.

comparison between the midden collections

and those taken on the present-day shore show no

Astraea phoebia

t.

americana

Nerita peloronta
Nerita versicolor

it is

clear that the ancients' appetite

must have been voracious: 99 species


are found in the midden, comprising not only the
but a variety of other minor

which we,

molluscs, often scavengers

modern works on

after reading

would have

the subject,

consid-

ered totally inedible. Apparently, the ancients took

whatever molluscan fauna was available


it

for food

about.

and used

and presumably knew what they were

Where we were

able to find molluscs

present beaches which were not on the

midden, each appeared

to be a rarity

menu

on the
in the

which had not

occurred in our archaeological sample. Table 3 sum-

marizes what was eaten at

Isla

Cancun.

In present times, most of the larger conchs, Strombus, Pleuroploca,

Cassis,

and Turbinella,

are not

only eaten by coast-dwellers, but shipped inland

(without shell) where transportation


larger inland

cities,

is

available, to

where they are prepared

in

escabeche as cocktails or soups which" are considered


as choice "regional" dishes.
tinas of

One

cannot

Chetumal without sampling

visit

the can-

this specialty.

Pleuroploca and Turbinella, by the way, because of

"Concha"

20

30

96

66
1

Echininus nodulosus

Tectarius muricatus

10

II

Petaloconchus irregularis

Planaxis nucleus

Cerithium eburneum

Cerithium literattum
Crucibulum auriculum
Crepidula fornicata
costatus

gigas
pugilis

raninus

81

353

412
1518

5i

6
25

Cyphoma gibbosum

Polinices hepaticus

Polinices lacteus

493
1871
1

57

4
14

10

39
1
1

9
6

17

19

36

Cypraecassis testiculus

11

Charonia variegata

Phalium granulatum
Cassis tuberosa

Cymatium femorale
Cymatium parthenopeum
Cymatium pileare
Tonna galea
Tonna maculosa
Ficus communis
Murex pomum
Purpura patula
Thais deltoidea
Thais rustica
Columbella mercatoria
Cantharus auritulus

Melongena corona
Melongena melongena
Busycon coarctatum
Busycon contrarium
Busycon spiratum
Fasciolaria hunteria
Fasciolaria tulipa

the darker color of the meat are called not

tasty larger conchs,

elapsed. Second,

15

Nodilittorina tuberculata

Cypraea cervus
Cypraea cinerea
Cypraea zebra

fauna over the 22 centuries which have

364

Littorina ziczac

for seafood

in

219

Astraea caelata

Strombus
Strombus
Strombus
Strombus

change

145

Nerita tessellata

shells

Total

Cittarium pica

Astraea

and not the animals must

Fragments

GASTROPODA

Maya utilization of local fauna for subsistence. And,


as we have quite thoroughly collected the modern
it

MOLLUSCS FROM
ROO, MEXICO

CANCUN MIDDEN, QUINT ANA

It,

therefore, gives us a hitherto unavailable insight into

beaches,

they resemble the Pacific

ash.

asset of archaeology,

be excavated in the

first to

"AbulonT In

and the remains

are clearly kitchen refuse of a small population.

middens are an invaluable

but

Pleuroploca gigantea

4
2
1

4
2
1

258

297

555
1

219

362

4
581

11

*9

389
70

478
84

89
14

MoLLUSCA

58
Table

and much of the west coast abound in mussels. Probably many species are used. Most popular are the

Continued

Entire

Species

Fragments

THE MAYA LOWLANDS

IN

Total

"Ribbed Mussels," here Modiolus demissus granoTurbinella angulata

Vasum muricatum
Oliva caribaeensis
Oliva reticularis

96

39

57

sissimus,

14
IOI

14
106

which are harvested

in great quantities in

(mangrove swamps) near Progreso

the manglares

and Dzilam Bravo, and probably elsewhere.

Oliva sayana

Olivella dealbata

Olivella nivea

Mitra florida

Prunum a. virgineum
Prunum guttatum
Conus mus

diminutive but very tasty race

from beds

Conus regius
Conus sozoni
Conus spurius atlanticus
Melampus cofTeus

Several varieties of oyster are available year-round

we

l628

in the

the specialty

1022

1022

4445

6073

Anadara

notabilis

6
5

5
1

38

19
40

Isogomon alatus
Isogomon radiatus

Pinctada radiata

restaurant or

75

36

Lima lima
Lima scabra

street-stand

a 14-oz. glass half-filled

is

the

is

with baby

a beautiful, nacreous shell, with

most unattractive

when

mal,

boiled,

consumed by
peninsula.

snail in residence.
is

makes

conchs, and

much

But

this ani-

than the larger

tastier

broth, frequently

a delightful

natives of the Caribbean coast of the

am

same

told that the

true of

is

many

other intertidal species, notably the Nerites.

Both ancients and moderns (among the

latter

Campeche) have been devoted

eaters

Pecten laurenti

Lyropecten nodosus
Spondylus americanus

Campeche,

now come from Champoton.

Cittarium pica

18

Glycymeris decussata
Glycymeris undata

supplied mostly

sized but tasty baby oysters (Ostrea frons ?). Both

Area zebra

now

shrimp (immaculately cleaned) capped with dime-

PELECYPODA
7
6

the oyster

is

Laguna de Terminos, but found on

in

these delicacies

Area imbricata

Most popular

eat in the north, Crassostrea virginica, here a

"Campechanito,"

sp.

Subtotals:

in the smaller pueblos.

the entire periphery of the peninsula. In

Unidentified fragments,

mostly Strombus

and are ever-present

in the peninsular restaurants,

6
I

particularly in

of the species of Pomacea, choice,

common

snails,

archaeological

in

Dzibilchaltun and

Mayapan

fat,

freshwater

deposits

from

in the north to Bar-

Ostraea equestris

Ostraea frons

ton Ramie, Uaxactun, and Piedras Negras in the

Crassostrea virginica

south.

Lucina pensylvanica

Phacoides pectinatus

Codakia orbicularis

7
8

Chama florida
Chama macerophylla
Chama sarda
Chama sinuosa

snails, called

13

37

38

47
1

Antigona listeri
Antigona rigida

50
2

2
1

at the

4
52

14
48

18

Tellina radiata

100

Arcopagia fausta

340
1968

134

474
6547

time he wrote

tion) has noted

the
of

New

99

species

Totals:

4579

what may be

World. In the cenote

unique practice in

at

Kaua, 18 km.

not seen, but from description

and lime
picnic
year,

Many other molluscs are eaten as delicacies today.


The mangrove swamps of the north-coast cienaga

Vasquez (verbal informa-

a large freshwater gastropod

identified

as

by

Pomacea)

visitors,

Honduras

in British

and they probably are today.

Chichen Itza on the modern highway

specialty

Subtotals:

181) notes that these

hute [jute] in Spanish, hooties in creole,

Prof. Alfredo Barrera

lid,

listeri

p.

were eaten in large quantities

1
1

Dosinia elegans

Thompson (1939,

ated.

in excavations (to

1964), their archaeological context not yet evalu-

Pseudochama radians
Trachycardium magnum
Trachycardium muricatum

Tellina

At Tikal, 195 were found

is

to Vallado-

(which we have

may

probably be

eaten as a

who come equipped

regional

with

juice as well as natatory intentions,

on the raw

when

snails.

At

east

salt

and

certain times of the

the molluscs are loaded with brilliant

red eggs, these are carefully separated, spread at the


water's edge in zones

where they are assiduously

Discussion

59

protected to assure the permanence of this culinary


attraction.

Excavations

Belize

the

in

River

have

Valley

furnished evidence that other freshwater molluscs

were an important source of food

in ancient times:

765 specimens of the clam Nephronaias ortmanni,

and

805

univalves

glaphyrus and

the

of

largillierti

Pachychilus

species

were found

in the trenches.

Although a few examples of each of these were


throughout the stratigraphy, the heavy

scattered

preponderance was in the Formative phases, after

which

either the supply diminished or the culinary

interest

dwindled. At Barton Ramie, over 100 land

snails of the

genus Bulimulus were found. Examina-

tion of the archaeological context of each specimen

showed

that, again,

most of them were deposited

during the Formative phases, which would indicate


that they

were intentionally

collected

and probably

used as food. However, with the exception of the


large Pomaceas,

no freshwater molluscs, univalve

known

or bivalve, are
area today.

do today, we
left

food and

delicacies, as they

pointed out above that the shells were

on

the shore in most cases

when

the

animals were, shipped any distance inland. So that


near to the sea as Dzibilchaltun,

at a site as

catalogues of archaeological shell offer

little

if

any

gauge of the extent or variety of use of marine


molluscs as food.
find in the ruins

Some

of the larger specimens

substitute for the gourds used today


in ancient times. It has also

were used

The

great quantity of shell

was probably brought

we

in for other

when certain categories of shell


common, and where other uses seem
is

hard

to escape the

conclusion that molluscs were brought from the sea

shells,

493 valves or fragments of cocklemostly the largest species, Dinocardium r.


as

chaltun).

Food seems

the only logical use,

and these

animals are large and eminently edible.

The genera Melongena (361) and Ficus (96)


seem another case in point. Not a single worked fregment has been found, nor can

It

may

be significant that the mass of species men-

tioned thus far are found in Formative deposits.

On

the other hand,

these

if

brought from

were

we

problem

face the

of the striking absence of shells of other species

which we can be almost

No

Crassostrea virginica are


five

in

certain were used for food.

adult oyster shell appeared, but Ostrea frons and

common on

the shore.

Only

mussel valves appeared (two Formative, three

an Early period cache). The very numerous larger


(Strombus, Busycon, Pleuroploca,

conchs

Turbi-

nella) can be well accounted for ty the variety of

commercial uses
again

to

which the

shell

was

put.

But here

should be noted that the great bulk of these

it

shells

were found

in

Formative deposits,

and jewelry are

shell artifacts

relatively scarce.

At Dzibilchaltun, we

shall risk

number

of clams

brought from the sea in their

to serve

and

snails

seem

to

were

Formative

have decreed

on the beach unless they

some purpose

life

what may be

shells in the

period. Later, efficiency experts

commercial
p. 17),

suggest any use other

than food for these small, thin-walled gastropods.

were

Teobert Maler (190103,

evi-

at Dzibil-

that shells should be left

Formative).

made

dence that any pottery was actually

rash guess that a

in their shells to be eaten.

utility

appear in such great quantities (we have no

where manufactured

it

unslipped

used for such a purpose, they would not

if

are exceedingly

be completely ruled out,

and probably

jars (or the preslip incised jars of the

But

a sorry

been suggested that they

to striate the surface of

larger

As many

might have been used

would have made

as cups or dippers, but

purposes. However,

to

frag-

showed any sign of working.

the sea in the shell for eating,

drew

can be sure that the ancients

heavily on the sea for

even

Only one

littered the site.

hole for suspension)

to be used for food in the

Whereas we

probably

vanhyningi (419),

ment (a fragment of ventral margin with a drilled

in the ceremonial or

of the inland city.

during his explorations

of the Chancala River in the Peten, noted that "all the streams

Xot ... of
Vasquez has suggested (verbally)
that this word is probably X-hot in Maya {hot in various
dictionaries means an object with face or head down and rear
parts elevated, which would fit well with these animals) and
that this may be the Maya derivation of the words jute and

are filled with edible snails (Melania levissima

the Mayas)." Prof. Barrera

hootie above. This

may have been

a generic

name

for fresh-

water univalves (see notes by Moholy-Nagy on p. 32).

7 Euell

Gibbons (1964) has published an

interesting,

if

necessarily very incomplete, account of the edible molluscs,

including, for the gourmet, suggestions on

may

be

tastily

prepared.

how many

of

them

Summary and Conclusions


from the East Coast; and there was no hint of trade

Molluscs, particularly marine molluscs, as well as


other forms of marine

Maya

in archaeological excavations in the

What began

as a brief listing of the

trade.

re-

covered at Dzibilchaltun, was expanded to include


the

also

at

unpublished material from our excava-

tions at the Late

Formative midden

Quintana Roo, and

from the lowland

material

published

resulting checklist of

area.

some 15,000 specimens

to

The

of

less

lar Atlantic cousins

logical shell

than existed before. Photographs

Negras

species,

most of

we have

and possibly

tance of mollusca and marine

is

results of these considerations

the archaeo-

all

Pacific origin, despite the prox-

Even

at Piedras

north corner of the Peten, Pacific

prominent. More interesting

is

their Atlantic shell not

from the nearby

to

which we are not otherwise aware. Despite

so heavily

evidenced

direction, even

Maya.

that salt

have been of

at

Dzibilchaltun,

though we have

which

we have no

inferential evidence

from the north may have been

factor of

balance.

Table

a significant

summarizes the geo-

graphical distribution of archaeological and

interest.

Ecologically, the peninsular littoral falls into four

and merges

the fact

hint of marine molluscs being traded in the reverse

considered

the early

life to

is

nearer,

the northward flow of Peten trade pottery,

species,

and commercial impor-

the ceremonial, aesthetic,

Some

trade of

significant chronological variations in

we have

was of

much

Gulf of Mexico. This might imply ethnic barriers

which might be inferred

archaeological usage. Finally

could be obtained

Caribbean but from the considerably more distant

considered the marine ecology of the area, possible

from the geographic distribution of ancient

number

that the central Peten sites appear to have imported

monograph.

aspects of ancient trade

including the

was imported from

farther south, nearly

at the

influence

checklist forms the bulk of

In brief sections following the checklist,

shell,

imity of the Gulf of Honduras.

with better-preserved modern counterparts where

the present

of the

impressive Pacific species whose very simi-

still

The

Much

the distant Pacific. But imports included a

of 192

At Copan,

considered useful.

were deeply

which probably made

treasured Spondylus princeps,

modern fauna now in preparation, which, if


incomplete, offers more precise grounds for spemost of the archaeological

which were

sites,

sea coast,

trade routes

shell.

of the

are included of

central Peten

some distance from any

terms of

species from 19 sites includes modern distributions


for most. These have been drawn from a larger study

cific identifications

sites,

excellent sense in general merchandise but not in

add other previously

finally to

However, the

committed

Cancun,

at Isla

Belize Valley

near the coast, followed the same pattern of local

lowlands.

specimens

The

in shells with the south.

are surprisingly frequent

life,

modern

species,

what would seem

Table 2 summarizes the occurrence of 73 mol-

of the molluscan fauna

luscan species in the various periods of history at

many of the
habitat. Making

Dzibilchaltun. Molluscan remains in Formative con-

the generally accepted assumption that no significant

period and the Florescent. Although there was surely

distinct zones,

to be a fifth (fig. 2).

extends through

all

Much

into

of these zones, but

species are quite restricted in their

faunal change has

come about during

the last

from those of the Early

text are strikingly different

2000

no change

in the fauna available for use, the corn-

years (confirmed by the identity of our pre-Christian

monest

and present-day

Cancun), we

absent in later times, probably because of a change

should then be in a position to predict roughly

in dietary habits. Increasing frequencies of certain

where archaeological specimens of the

species in the later periods

species

collections

at

Isla

were collected on the

enough of

coast.

these to give at least

restricted

There were

some strong

sites

Formative deposits are virtually

may

brief

examination was

forms of marine

utilized almost en-

life.

We

made

of the evidence

found that

the malacofauna of the neighboring north

definite religious connotation

coast.

tures, ceramics,

shells

an increase in

for ritual or votive significance of shells

tirely

handful of

reflect

the manufacture of jewelry and ornaments,

hints

regarding pre-Columbian trade.

The northern Yucatan

species in

were probably brought

60

and other

shells

documented

and the codices

as far

had

in sculp-

back

at least

Summary and Conclusions


Phase

as

61

of the Early period. Shells occur fre-

quently (but by no means always) in tombs, caches,

and other

Here they

offerings.

are often (but again

not always) associated with other forms of


the sea, to the extent that

we

feel the shells

life

from

have

lost

symbolic identity as such and have become

specific

part of a larger configuration of association with the

which was remarkably deep seated

sea

and
at

This would be simple

ritual practice.

as close to

sites

pendent on the sea

as Dzibilchaltun. It

importance.

either

aesthetic

commonest
effort to

life

clear

first

picture of

faunal environment.
shell

Isla

Cancun, Q.R., has given

Maya

The midden

and pottery mixed with

turtle, fish, birds,

and animals.

that these remains

were

by the ancients. Table

ash,

utilization of

consists mostly of

and the bones of

We can

summarizes the molluscan

shellfish

among them

were eaten

very

forms were used, without apparent

raw material

in the

which according

at the latter site,

seem
manufacture of

to

creasing

many

molluscs such as Melongena

have been eliminated from the

number

of

at

Dzibilchaltun

is

so

small that such industry cannot be considered a significant factor in the

enormous

total

accumulations

Detailed analysis and comparative

study of the worked material have been reserved for

de-

shells

of the larger conchs in Early period and Florescent

may

well indicate an increasing economic

practice of leaving the heavy shells

worked material recovered

diet.

Dinocardium valves and

ment of species for these purposes. But the amount

site.

prominently

to

deposits

of shell at the

all

such carrion-eaters as the Melongenas,

jewelry and artifacts reveals the use of a large assort-

of

be quite sure

of animals actually eaten

remains, with surprising implications. Virtually


collectible

the

wise unable to explain. After the Formative period

votive offer-

short examination of the use of shells as ornaas

the

midden on

Late Forma-

monetary considerations. The

many

practical

choose tasteful specimens.

ments and

tive kitchen

briefly inhabited

for

that the

little

were probably not chosen

life

or

diffi-

and Uaxactun,

have been of

was noted

ings of marine

more

de-

Excavation of the

artifacts.

modern texts are quite inedible.


This probably clears up the mystery of large masses
of raw shell at Dzibilchaltun, which we were other-

sea could
It

is

art

to explain

and possibly economically

cult at sites far inland such as Tikal

where the

Maya

in

our separate publication on Dzibilchaltun

on the beaches

where the animals were taken. Freshwater molluscs


of several species

seem

to

have replaced marine mol-

luscs as food at the sites farther inland, as they

today.

do

Plates i 21

Specimen numbers preceded by

are Dzibilchaltun archaeological lot

numbers; those

Cancun archaeological lot numbers; simple numerals are Tulane


University catalogue numbers of modern specimens. Precise data on stratigraphical associa-

preceded by

are Isla

tion of archaeological shells

Middle American Research

and provenience

Institute,

of

modern specimens

Tulane University.

Archaeological shells are designated by single lowercase

double lowercase

letters.

are available at the

letters;

modern specimens, by

MOLLUSCA

64

FISSURELLIDAE,

b.

TROCHIDAE, TURBINIDAE
Fissurella barbadensis Gmelin (M 200).
Diodora cayenensis Lamarck (M 101).

c.

Calliostoma jujubintim Gmelin

d.

Cittarium pica Linne

Pl.
a.

IN

e.

Astraea caelata Gmelin

f.

Astraea phoebia Roding

g.

Astraea tecta

(Actual size)

(Q 500),

(M 567), dd

cc (2726).
(7286). Both juveniles.

(Q 502), ee (5044).
(Q 500), ff (2710).
americana Gmelin (Q 500).

THE MAYA LOWLANDS

MOLLUSCA

66

Pl.

2 NERITIDAE,

LITTORINIDAE

aa,aa'.

Nerita fulgurans Gmelin (5244, 5277).

b,b'.

Nerita tessellata Gmelin

c.

Nerita peloronta Linne

(M 720, Q 500).

(Q 500), cc (4815).
Gmelin (Q 501), dd (7287).

d.

Nerita versicolor

e.

Neritina virginea Linne

f.

Nodilittorina tubercidata

g,g'.

Echinimis tiodtdosus

h.

Littorina ziczac

i,i'.

Tectarins muricatus Linne

(Actual size)

(M 825),

ee

(4498).

Gmelin (Q 500),

Pie'iffer

ff

(Q 501).

Gmelin (Q 502), hh (4505).

(Q 502).

(1293).

IN

THE MAYA LOWLANDS

MOLLUSCA

68

Pl. 3

VERMETIDAE,

(Q 500).
(Q 500), bb (4759).

Petaloconclms irregularis d'Orbigny

b.

Planaxis nucleus Bruguiere

ee.

Vermicularia spirata Philippi (M 239 B), cc (2142).


Cerithium eburneum Bruguiere (M 936), dd (2981).
Cerithium floridanum Morch (201).

c.

(Q 500).

f.

Cerithium literattum Born

g.

Crepidula fornicata Linne

hh.

Crepidula aculeata Gmelin (7288).

i.

j,j'.

k.
1,1'.

(Actual size)

THE MAYA LOWLANDS

TURRITELLIDAE, PLANAXIDAE, CERITHIIDAE,


CALYPTRAEIDAE, NATICIDAE

a.

d.

IN

(M 239 B), gg

(4068).

Crucibidum auriculum Gmelin (Q 503), ii (929).


Polinices duplicatus Say (5812, 5817).
Polinices lacteus Guilding (Q 500), kk (6650).
Polinices hepaticus Roding (Q 504, Q 500).

MoLLUSCA

70

Pl.

STROMBIDAE

a.

b.
c.

d.

(Scale 1/2)

Strombus gigas Linne (Q 500), aa (1022).


Strombus costatus Gmelin (M 239 B).
Strombus pugilis Linne (Q 500).
Strombus raninus Gmelin (Q 502).

IN

THE MaYA LOWLANDS

Mollusca

y2

Pl. 5

CYPRAEIDAE,

OVULIDAE

a.

Cypraea cervus Linne

b.

Cyphoma

c.

d.

(Actual size)

(M437),

gibbostim Linne

aa (6268).

(Q 500), bb (2673).

Cypraea zebra Linne (Q 500), cc (6017).


Cypraea cinerea Gmelin (Q-500), dd (6975).

in

the Maya Lowlands

MoLLUSCA

74

Pl.

cassididae

and miscellaneous small gastropods

Phalium inflatum Shaw (M-825), aa (3865).


Phalium granulatum Born (Q 504), bb (3700).
Cypraecassis testiculus Linne (Q 504), cc (7289).
Morum oniscus Linne (6982, 4561).
Columbella mercatoria Linne (Q 500).

a.

b.
c.

dd,dd'.
e.

hh.

Nassarius vibex Say (696).


Cantharus aurituluslAvik (Q 501).
Cancellaria reticulata Linne (6584).

i.

Melampus

jj.

Natica canrena Linne (6283).

ff.

g.

(Actual size)

IN

coffeus Linne

(Q-502),

ii

(7290).

THE MAYA LOWLANDS

9*
M

v^afl

^Ei

Efl

M^jferraSSl

^^F

^^F

^^B

^2B

19

ub

'

1|rV

n
1

'-

MOLLUSCA

-j6

Pl. 7

cymatiidae,

a.

b.
c.

d.
e.
f.

g.

(Scale 1/2)

tonnidae, ficidae

Charonia variegata Lamarck

(Q 502).

Cymatium jemorale Linne (Q 504), bb (4573).


Cymatium parthenopeum von Salis (M 101), cc (6571).
Cymatium pile'are Linne (Q 504), dd (4573).
Tonna maculosa Dillwyn (Q 501), ee (6099).
Tonna galea Linne (M 615), ff (3601).
Ficus com munis Roding (M 825).

IN

THE MAYA LOWLANDS

MoLLUSCA

78

Pl.

IN

THE MaYA LOWLANDS

8 MURICIDAE

a.

b.
cc.

d.
e.
if.

(Actual size)

Murex fulvescens Sowerby (Chichen Itza), aa modern,


Murex pomum Gmelin (Q 501), bb (7015).
Murex dilectus A. Adams (3897).
Thais rustica Lamarck (Q-501), dd (3633).
Purpura patula Linne (Q 500).
Thais deltoidea Lamarck (6683).

Florida, U.S.A.

MOLLUSCA

80

Pl. 9

MELONGENIDAE

a.

b.
c.

d.

(Scale 1/2)

Busycon contrarium Conrad (Q 500), aa (5080).


Busycon perversum Linne (M 720), bb (5835).

Busycon coarctation Sowerby (Q 500), cc (2281).


Busycon spiratum Lamarck (M-1567-A-9), dd (2086).

IN

THE MAYA LOWLANDS

MOLLUSCA

82

melongenidae,

a, a'.

fasciolariidae
Melongena melongena Linne (M 1002, M 824).

b,b'.

Melongena corona Gmelin (Q 501,

c.

Fasciolaria hunteria Perry

d.

Fasciolaria talipa Linne

Pl.

io

(Actual size)

(Q 504),

M 999).
(6578).
(4208).

cc

(M 544), dd

IN

THE MaYA LOWLANDS

MOLLUSCA

84

Pl.

1 1

MISCELLANEOUS

IN THE

LARGE GASTROPODS
immature specimen (Q 504).

a.

Cassis tuberosa Linne,

b.

Vasciolaria tulipa Linne, unusually large, specimens average less than half this size

c.

Vasum muricatum Born (Q 504).

d.

Pleuroploca gigantea Kiener, half-grown specimen

e.

Turbinella angulata Solander, half-grown specimen

(Scale 1/2)

MAYA LOWLANDS

(Q 500).
(Q 500).

(Q 500).

MoLLUSCA

86

Pl.

IN

12 OLIVIDAE, CONIDAE

a.

Oliva caribaeensis Dall and Simpson

b.

Oliva sayana Ravenel (Q-500), bb (5625).

c.

Oliva reticularis

d.

Olivella nivea

e.

Olivella dealbata Reeve (Q 504).


Prunitm labiatum Valenciennes (M 562).
Prunitm guttatum Dillwyn (Q 504).
Prunum apicinum virgineum Joussaume (M 105).
Conus spurius atlanticus Clench (M 720), ii (6827).

f.

g.
h.
i.

j.

k.
1.

m.
(Actual size)

Conns
Conus
Conus
Conus

Lamarck (Q 504),
Gmelin (Q 502).

(Q 502),
cc

(3480).

Gmelin (Q 500), jj (7228).


Gabb (M 431), kk (6597).
mus Hwass (Q-504), 11 (2960).

regius

floridanus

sozoni Bartsch

(Q 500).

aa (3693).

THE MaYA LOWLANDS

MOLLUSCA

88

Pl.

13 ARCIDAE, GLYCYMERIDAE

a.

b.
c.

d.
e.
f.

gg,gg'.
h.

(Actual size)

Area imbricata Bruguiere (Q 500), aa (7291).


Area zebra Swainson (M 138), bb (7292).
Anadara notabilis Roding (Q 500), cc (6603).
Anadara transversa Say (M-1669), dd (6604).
Noetia ponderosa Say (M 720), ee (5876).
Glyeymeris decussata Linne (Q 503).
Lunarca ovalis Bruguiere (5464, 5875).
Glyeymeris undata Linne (Q 504).

IN

THE MAYA LOWLANDS

MOLLUSCA

00

mytilidae,

c.

isognomonidae, pteriidae
Modiolus demissus granosissimus Sowerby (M 720), aa
Brachidontes exiistas Linnc (M 239 B), bb (3015).
Isognomon alatus Gmelin (M 539), cc (4279).

d.

Isognomon radiatus Anton (Q 500), dd (4421).

e.

Pinctada radiata Leach

f.

Pteria

Pl.
a.

b.

14

IN

(Actual size)

(M 204), ee (2657).
colymbus Roding (M-5 7i),f(i8i2).

(3966).

THE MAYA LOWLANDS

MOLLUSCA

92

Pl.

15 PINN1DAE,

PLICATULIDAE, PECTINIDAE, SPONDYLIDAE,


LIMIDAE, ANOMIIDAE, CARDITIDAE

c.

Atrina seminnda Lamarck (M 720), aa (7293).


Aequipecten gibbus Linne (6932).
Aequipecten muscosus Wood (M 2007).

d.

Lyropecten nodosus Linne, juvenile,

e.

PlicatulagibbosaLa.ma.rck

a.

bb.

(Q 502), dd (6314).

(M 101).

i.

Spondylus americanus Hermann (both Q 502).


Lima lima Linne (2628).
Lima scabra Born (Q 501), hh (7294).
Anomia simplex d'Orbigny (M 310).

j,j'.

Carditamera floridana Conrad

f,P.

gg.
h.

(Actual size)

IN

(M 433, M624).

THE MAYA LOWLANDS

MoLLUSCA

94

Pl. 16

ostreidae,

corbiculiidae, lucinidae

a.

Ostrea equestris Say

(Q 500).

bb.

Crassostrea virginica

Gmelin (5033).

c.

Ostrea frons Linne (Q-504), cc (7295).

d.
e.
f.

g.

IN

Pseudocyrena floridana Conrad (M 720), dd (150).


Lucina pensylvanica Linne (Q 502), ee (6124).
P'hacoides pectinatus Gmelin (Q 504).
Coda\ia orbicularis Linne (Q 504).

(Actual size)

THE MaYA LOWLANDS

MOLLUSCA

96

Pl.

IN

THE MAYA LOWLANDS

17 chamidae

a.

bb.
c.

d.

e,e\
{,{'.

(Actual size)

Chama macerophylla Gmelin (Q 501), aa (2427).


Chama congregata Conrad (4978).
Chama sarda Reeve (Q 502), cc (6133).
Chama florida Lamarck (Q 502), dd (6132).
Chama sinuosa Broderip (Q 502, Q 503). Both specimens
Pseudochama radians Lamarck (Q 501, Q 502).

illustrated are

upper valves.

'

l^^^^^^^^il

&k

-'*"

"'Cv'-i'-T'
;

^"As"T'

7^

-'

"

"

JUS FTP1

'v-F

'

a\

.'iVi'i'i^

^h1

'r

IH
aim
in

Bm r

_^hhh

t<

>7

'

^H
^H
'

.t*

fV*/''Wri^ *

<?

'

^^"M .!*?v bb9

""

^^'i-* '-a^^

**"**
'=-''V*''

f"

M^v^'bV^

!BHB

HT-'til.BV

Mi

Hk
'

'-^. jh? '"1

bbbbbbbbbM
~&3^
H f^y BBW
BW
i'
-

'

'^.

fc

(5^

:
-

-'
-

BBBB
v^

BBBnfl

-*"

ll

"^
BBB
'

..'

^HH

Hi

bV

^b
^h1

'

'

<<'

BflBBT

^1'-'

'"*"*'"
*HBf^

'''

BBTHYr

^^
HHHka

<

^^^B

BBB
^jot"'
BB BBBBBBfl
'HBBSfflfl^fir^ x
BBBBBBBB^^W<BVlW'-'.'^^^'t. >-/v^v> Bf
'
Bi s5ti*^3i^^
MBBBBBBBBBBB
fsBfBBBBBB

bb^v^hhI

_hbhbbbbhbbbISP^^^^^

^^BBBBB

^^^H|

*r

--F

"^'/Sf'^BV

S
Mi'^ *'*{&&*'"'

bW
:.'^

'

BB^

'

^Hl

BBBBBbI

Br

'

M1

BW

HH

B|

BL

^^Hl

Ban ^i bvhb1

_rf

''

c"

BBB^BBI

BuHnl

-'--,>

BW

v^'.-^06v -'^ Bit"- S L

'-,-<^r^
BB^^^

'*^^

1VJ

V^

1CIft

<m-*^M

bP*^^^^^"!

*hbWW'F
*P^' bJbT
^
IE
il

'

i bbv^^^^^^bI
^^P^
^^^1

WW*
W *w
HI

'

iT^ ^j%"

,'.

'

IbbK

f"-'

.^HH
^h1

",

--

'

:f:.,

W
J
Hv .wBS*- v>Si' HI

'

BJ

at

HnHHffi^^
oj *'i,&^-

bbT

;>
*W
BBH
B"
BB

--^i;^

I/bbt

HbbI

ri'-Jf

v, '-^>r^;-

V^F

_^b1

'

bV^^bbbI

EbbbhbbbmkbtcIi
hS

Bar
bbf

,V..'- ;

-<'*".'

F'Alkv

'

_.

!^)Hh^h

^^^^^^
:

A^^

'HW

bbkbbmI
"-.."? :.

2-r

^bt*

.Hi
'

I 1
Hi
AHi m.
A
M
BL
^fl

>Ct

BW

^^^^

^
*

kJ
/J

'-

bT

wJ
9

j^

/>

>m>
KSL^

^wJ

B"
BL

(*

"

-- b#

'

,;

'

Bbbbbs-

'

A^BHHBBflL^
'^BBHBBl

.;/
'.

,;

N*

>-,,

^J

^B
^B

'

"

.^bMMbk^

on

^BBBBBBfl
^BflHBflfl

MOLLUSCA IN THE MAYA LOWLANDS

C)8

Pl. 18

CARDIIDAE

a.

b.
c.

d.

(Actual size)

Trachycardium isocardia Linne (M 313), aa (4150).


Trachycardium muricatum Linne (M 220), bb (7203).
Trachycardium magnum Linne (Q 502), cc (4985).
Dinocardium robustum vanhyningi Clench and Smith (M 562A), dd (7296).

ioo

Mollusca

Pl. 19

VENERIDAE
Gray (Q 503), aa (979).

a.

Antigona

b.

Antigona rigidaDiUwyn (Q 500).

c.

d.
e.
f.

g.

(Actual size)

listen

(M 572), cc (5957).
(M 101).
Anomalocardia cuneimeris Conrad (M 825).
Dosinia elegans Conrad (M 332).
Macrocallista maculata Linne (M 243), gg (1374).
Mercenaria campechiensis Gmelin

C hione

cancellata

Linne

in

the Maya Lowlands

Mollusca

102

Pl.

20

tellinidae,

a.

b,b'.
c.

d.
ee.
ff,ff.

(Actual size)

mactridae

Tellina radiata Linne

(Q 503),

aa (7297).

Roding (Q 500, Q 503).


Tellina lineata Turton (M 720), cc (6951).
Arcopagia fdusta Pulteney (Q 501), dd (6391).
Tellina listen

Apolymetis intastriata Say (4734).


lateralis Say (5525,7298).

Mulinia

in

the Maya Lowlands

MoLLUSCA IN THE MAYA LOWLANDS

104

Pl. 2

MISCELLANEOUS

aa.
b.
c.

dd.
ee.

GASTROPODS AND PELECYPODS

Diodora listen d'Orbigny ( 1 5 69)


Mitra florida Gould (Q-501), bb (7594).
Pecten latirenti Gmelin (Q 504), cc (6434).

Murex rubidus Baker (6572).


Modulus modulus Linne (6460).

Adams (1502).
calamitarum Morelet (M 720).

ff.

Bulla occidentalis C. B.

g.

Nephronaias

h.

Pomacea

(Actual size)

aff.

flagellata arata Crosse

and

Fischer.

APPENDIX

Archaeological Occurrences of Other

Marine Invertebrates
At Dzibilchaltun and elsewhere,

number

of

have been found in some

other forms of marine

life

abundance. These are

listed

below, with comments.

COP AN:

lumps

in Full Classic stela cache

year, 1952, p. 51).

TIKAL: Moholy-Nagy (M-MS)


ments of

checklist.

ranged by age or context. However,

DZIBILCHALTUN:
who

also

Corals were kindly identified

fossil.

frequently very rich in

is

Limestone

their matrix.

corals.

fossil

were normally

Fossil specimens encountered

removed from

Insti-

determined which of our specimens

were "modern" and which were


at the site

it is

clear

from

The

fill.

UAXACTUN:
eleven in two

RR,

p. 66;

16 specimens, one in Tzakol cache,

Tepeu

fill

(K,

p. 159, pi. 68,^).

3 fragments,

unknown

caches, one of

p. 60, fig.

Tepeu

caches, four in

PIEDRAS NEGRAS:
sic

They were probably

of stone used as architectural

monial.

entirely

obtained in the course of breaking up the enormous

amount

coral not yet identified by species or ar-

her earlier paper that the context was largely cere-

by Dr. Donald F. Squires, of the Smithsonian


tution,

over 200 frag-

lists

Abbreviations of references are those used in the

CORAL

(Long-

two

in

two Clas-

exact provenience (C,

52,^).

Comment: Dr.

Squires writes of the Dzibilchaltun

fol-

material:

lowing species were found:


"Several things struck

Colpophyllia

Montastrea

sp.:

i,

modern,

fill,

1,

modern,

in Late

Copo Complex

fossil,

fill;

two on

Solenastrea bournoni:

modern

in

modern, nine

many

coralla

had

called Montastrea, rather than Solen-

astrea,

which

2,

one

2, fossil,

Late Early period

fill;

fossil in

The

is

one
4,

Formative, one

modern, two

."

fig.

JOSE: "Coral

fill,

one

in

Pure

nature,"

Decadent

HATZCAP CEEL:

or Bryozoa. Several fragments

shall explain. In

This

is

solid,

is

slight,

two

while in Solen-

which

obscured in the process of recrystallization

vesicular.

is

a difference

is

am

occurring as a part of fossilization. Hence,

moved

to question all of the occurrences of

Mon-

tastrea

without the time-consuming operation of

preparation of thin-sections."

"(2) All of the corals noted here with the exception of Porites astreoides have been

pi-

XXXI,

16).

Gulf of Mexico, and even that species

tially

capable of floating.

paper on

this subject

able thing, as

is

astrea

is

poten-

enclose a separate of a

by Dr. Louis Kornicker and

[Kornicker and Squires, 1962]. This

is

a remark-

the consistent selection of Solenastrea

a potentially larger selection.

is

tolerably

common on

species of corals are

quoted

found floating

in the

from

Classic caches

piece, in cache (Satterthwaite,

by Coe, 1959, p. 60).

Montastrea the

easily

is

"All of the corals occur in the


2 pieces in

(Thompson, 1931, pp. 273-74,


1

corals

it

me

44,^).

in S.J. II or possibly III cache (T,,p. 181).

CARACOL:

two

astrea

Forma-

in

6 pieces "in tombs or in association

period (P, p. 387,

peritheca between the calices

Copo

Formative, one in

in

with objects of a ceremonial

coral in this collection.

difference between these

Florescent cache.

SAN

common

the

fill.

one in Late Early period

MAYAPAN:

of the older, possibly fossilized

Forma-

in

surface.

Copo Complex

Solenastrea sp.:

tive,

15,

fill;

three in Formative, one

three in Late Early period and one

Complex

completed the

(1)

but important as

tive,

as

fill.

Solenastrea hyades: 4
in

me

listings:

one

fill.

Pontes, probably P. astreoides:


Early period

Cenote Xlacah.

three in Formative

sp.: 4, fossil,

in Late Early period

in

West

Indies. Solen-

reefs there.

But other

more common.

"There are known occurrences of windrows of


corals which Kornicker and I believe are accumula-

107

io8

Appendix
might be

tions of floating corals. It

were collecting from such

that your ancients

a selection,

and not from

There are obviously many other

a real reef suite.


possibilities."

As was
chaltun

Xlacah, obviously as offerings. After storms, beautiful

specimens of the sea fan are found on nearby

beaches.

TIKAL: Numerous. At

the case with Mollusca, coral

seems

to

from Dzibil-

have been collected from the

skull in burial. Others

least

one placed under

were epiphytic

uncleaned

to

molluscs.

immediately adjacent coast rather than the more


distant reef areas,

where

strikingly beautiful speci-

mens could be found. Again,

with molluscs, no

as

care seems to have been taken to choose attractive

though

material, even

At Dzibilchaltun,
marine offerings

was

it

coral

for

fill

some other reason

to suggest.
is

more

At other

clear.

all

for

its

and caches. At Uaxactun

it is

it is

At Tikal

it

none

Ceel, Caracol,

in three caches

occurs in great abun-

dance in tombs and caches of the Early Classic


period, then

markedly diminishes during the Late

Classic. Classification

and

analysis of this very large

body of material should prove most informative.

R.

J.

Scolaro, of

Miami, wrote (personal communication) that

such gorgonians as would be found in a cenote

many

so

lost

that any classification

essential

characteristics

would be highly

conjectural,

even to generic or often family determination.

PEARLS
Pearls, nacreous concretions

found about foreign

particles inside the shells of a variety of molluscs,

were highly valued


today.

As they

are

they were probably

in ancient times as they

are

extremely

the

Tulane University: 16 multilami-

to

tropics,

much commoner

than recorded

would

and

archaeological frequency

indicate,

it

is

probable that archaeologists have often failed to


recognize their remains.

from

They have been reported

Maya

five sites in the

1,

lowlands:

pierced in offering at Caracol,

Pure Florescent (Ruppert, 1935,

Specimens identified by Dr.

vulnerable

and saturation of the

alternate desiccation

CHICHEN ITZA:

BRYOZOA
DZIBILCHALTUN:

Bayer, of the Univer-

search

found only in tombs

found

M.

Frederick

was found

ceremonial association

At Mayapan, Hatzcap

fill.

it

collection but have

sites its

Copan, and Piedras Negras

as well as in

other cases

We would be inclined to

or refuse.

other

Cenote Xlacah and in one

in the

cache, never in tombs. In


loose in

among

sity of

would have

locally available.

occurred

Comment: Dr.

pierced, in

of

fill

High

Priest's

p. 36, fig.

37).

2,

Grave; probably

Modified Florescent (E. H.Thompson, 1938,

p. 53).

nated colonies of Schizoporella floridana Osburn

were found,

six in

two Late Early period

caches,

nine in one Pure Florescent cache, and one in Florescent or later midden.

On

one of these was found a

small colony of Hippaliosina rostrigera Smitt. Dr.


Scolaro writes that these are
species

common

shallow-water

found in Gulf and Atlantic waters. These

gray, bleached specimens

would seem an unattractive

addition to ceremonial offerings, but he adds that

when

living they

TIKAL: Very
found.

were strikingly colored.


large

They have not

numbers

of

Bryozoa were

yet been classified or analyzed

in terms of context.

COPAN:

TIKAL: Moholy-Nagy (M-MS)

Gruning from Pusilha which conremoved from valve


pi.
XXI,
fig.
(1930, p. 483,
1). 4 were used in a
necklace from a tomb in Mound 4, illustrated by
Maudslay (1889-1902, vol. 1, pi. 21).
that described by

tained cut "blisters" of pearls

SAN

JOSE:

III-IV.

DZIBILCHALTUN:

3, pierced, in a

in cache, S.J.

14 examples found in Cenote

tomb, Transitional

V or close of IV.

S.J.

(T, p. 182).

Pearls were found in considerable quan-

apparently in large part as beads or pendants

in burial jewelry

GORGONIANS

one cache,

a considerable

number of soft sponge fragments, not yet classified.


At least some were epiphytic on other marine life.

in

all Full Classic (Longyear, 1952,


IIJ
figs. 94,^; IO 9,0- O ne was
a jewel
PP- 43,
box made of a pair of Spondylus valves, similar to

tities,

lists

and unpierced,

and two tombs,

TIKAL:

PORIFERA

11, pierced

UAXACTUN:

2,

(M-MS).
perforated as pendants in Tzakol

burial; 2 perforated as beads in

perforated, in

Tzakol

burial.

Tepeu

cache;

1,

un-

A fragment of "blister"

from which disks had been cut, probably for mosaic,


was found discarded in Tzakol fill (K, p. 66).

109

Appendix

Comment:

Pearls

come from

and vary tremendously

in

of molluscs

Most archaeoas

classified

baroques

form rather than purely spherical),

(irregular in

which would bring


market,

number

quality.

specimens would be

logical

little

They

were upon finding the pearls spoiled by the action

which was used

of fire
it

would appear

undamaged ones

attractive

Could

it

num-

are actually produced by a

mind

in the

However

had the same value


of the natives.

eyes of the natives of Nicaragua, pearls

from the

Pinna shells held as great a value as those from

of extraneous material into the mantel (the shell-

by the Spaniards?*

producing organ) of the animal. The molluscs which

the natives unfairly.

produce the most perfect pearls in the area under

the Spaniards

discussion are the so-called pearl oysters; in the Gulf

ingly sold

and Pinctada

shells.

not be quite probable, therefore, that in the

M.

and Caribbean, these are Pteria colymbus

open the

these specimens

ber of molluscs, afflicted by the intrusion of grains

of Mexico

to

as the

nacreous ornaments and were valued as such in


ancient times.

disappointed the early explorers

modern

or no price on the

which nevertheless made

but

how

chroniclers of

and that the

margaritifera,

distinction

was made

Oviedo would have accused

If so,

The same

could not be said of

who bought from them and know-

them by weight

to

the next Spanish

purchaser."

radiata; in the Pacific, these are re-

CIRRIPEDIA

placed by their cousins, Pteria sterna and Pinctada


mazatlanica. In the Gulf of California, the latter

have been depleted by pearl fishing (Keen,

species
I 95^,

58).

p.

Many

of inferior quality.
gigas, the largest

other genera produce pearls

Among

conch in

these are

Strombus

this part of the Atlantic

lit-

produces attractive but irregular pink pearls),

toral,

Turbinella, and other gastropods.

And among

edible oysters

the

com-

bivalves are the giant Tridacna, several of the

mon

(S.

and clams and members of the

family Pinnidae (the "Sea Pens," see p. 24 above).

Boekelman (1935, pp. 26162),

in evaluating

Oviedo's description of a pearl fishery in Nicaragua,


reaches

"A

some provocative conclusions:

rather

amusing point

is

well-known
shell

probably of the genus Balanus, were

specialist,

found

in a single

Late Early period cache. Certainly

some (which could be


ably

all

of these

and prob-

fitted into scars)

were removed from two large

Strombus costatus included

in the cache, but they

were scattered throughout the cache material. The


large conchs

were stripped of these and epiphytes

before interment.

TIKAL: Moholy-Nagy's preliminary summary (M-MS) lists more than 200 Balanus. It will be interesting to see

if

were

these

also epiphytic to larger

ECHINODERMS

sale or barter of the

from these Pinna molluscs.

It

is

produced by

fact that the pearls

32 barnacles, not identified

Mollusca in ceremonial offerings.

this

by no means can compare in their water to

those of the true pearl mollusc Meleagrina margari-

Oviedo explains that the natives (who ap-

tifera.

by a

brought out by Oviedo,

on page 617, regarding the


pearls secured

DZIBILCHALTUN:

parently fished for these shells primarily for food

BARTON RAMIE:

"About

fifty tiny

were made from either Dentalium

derm
at

spines (fig. 309,^).

both ends"

TIKAL:

(W,

p.

tubular beads

shell or echino-

They have been

cut

509).

echinoderm fragment,

context not yet specified

2 "sand dollars,"

(M MS).

purposes) did not discard the pearls found, and even

though

their quality

was not of the

best

but

according to Oviedo, at this time (1535)


sold and bartered here by weight
they

as pearls,

were

mixed
ones,

these inferior Pinna pearls with the better

and obliged the purchaser

whereupon the purchaser did

to

accept them,

same when

selling

"While Oviedo exclaims on the apparent

tricki-

the

in turn to the regular merchants.

ness of the natives as well as the Spanish purchasers,


I

wonder

if

he

is

entirely right in

drawing such con-

clusions, at least insofar as the Indians are concerned.

To mind comes

Boekelman's footnote,

will bear in

mind

a point well-taken: "If the reader

the vital psychological difference between

the Caucasian's viewpoint on pearls, and the

minded

gious standpoint. This applies to shells in general.

made by

so

many

The

greatest

market for pearls is not the United States, as might be supposed from the great concentration of wealth in this country,
but in China, India, and Asiatic countries, and to a lesser
degree in Europe. In the East pearls
gious symbolism, in Europe

the statement

more primitive-

becomes clearer. To the more


civilized races pearls have a purely monetary and aesthetic
value, whereas the others value them primarily from a relicivilizations, this point

probably they have none."

less so,

still

and

maintain their
in the

reli-

United States

Appendix

IIO

MISCELLANEOUS MARINE MATERIALS


,

nonorganic

various

..,,.,

obvious

of

context,

ritual

materials

Apparently as part of the same

against visitors.

marine

c
a
origin were included in the panoply of orienngs.
\

Moholy-Nagy's manuscript mentions frequent


sions of coquina

(composed largely of

of

use as a honing instrument was found in Formative

At San

debris at Dzibilchaltun.

Jose, a

S.J.

or

II

possibly III

cache contained 8 pieces of pumice,

mixed with

181). Pumice,

Bryozoa (T,

corals or

normally lighter than water,


action of water

and

lava.

of marine origin, the

is

p.

formed by the

Although not

pumice

blocks,

inter-

on the

pumice

floats

sea beaches,

with the

this

with a few exceptions, of ambiguous cultural import,

although certain aspects of usage are

But most of the items

luscs

where occasionally

In

Cancun Midden
this category,

at

will be pub-

however, two

with votive offerings,

and should be mentioned. Spines of the stingray and


of the spiny boxfish have been found at a

number

well as copies of the former in bone, often

and beautifully engraved. These are

clearly related to the penitential bloodletting rites

of the ancients, in

which they must have played a

very significant part. Functionally they could

more simply have been replaced with


variety of thorns

arming

so

much

appendix lacked

listed in this

Many

any aesthetic or economic value.

were edible or of value

as

clear,

of the mol-

raw material

the manufacture of jewelry and artifacts.

for

But lumps

of

are

has been purposely avoided in

items are closely associated

elaborately

molluscs described in the previous pages are,

Gorgonia had no such

of the Sea"

which must

the

uses.

"Cult

reflect a

have been of great

we may

never prop-

From the Formative to the DecaMaya added such objects to their

caches and their tombs. Non-molluscan

forms are found in

much

greater abundance at far

inland Tikal than at Dzibilchaltun, which


to the sea.

close

is

However, Moholy-Nagy points out

that

the bulk of such offerings at Tikal date to the Early


Classic,
in the

and that they became

less

and

less

Late Classic. Dzibilchaltun, between

common
its

climax

phases in the middle Formative and the Late Early


period and Pure Florescent, was apparently a
little

importance.

We

site

of

found only one stone-walled

(unvaulted) structure datable to the

first

phase of

the Early period, and our stratigraphic sample

much

correspondingly tiny. So this

great

for the apparent discrepancy,

of the local flora

They

clearly

ceremonial import and which

offertory

separately.

sites, as

The

dent period, the

Dzibilchaltun and the

of

WTMM/IRV

apparent ritual connection

fish

sea.

which

appendix. Description of vertebrate remains

lished

and the

erly understand.

its

of coral or coquinas, colonies of Bryozoa, or fronds

sea.

Mention of

practices
the r

ashore in considerable quantities dur-

ing storms and hence

and importation,
r

necessarily

widely used as an abrasive by the present-day Maya,


are collected

were chosen,

some fundamental identification between


bespeaks
r

striations possibly indicating

pumice with

that they

and

shells)

fact

of collection
the difficulty
despite
;
r

inclu-

various unidentified "fibrous" materials at Tikal.

chunk

The

may

is

well be the reason

References
Gibbons, E.

Abbott, R. T.

American

1964 Stalking the blue-eyed scallop. New York.


Gruning, E. L.
1930 Report on the British Museum Expedition to
British Honduras, 1930. Jour. Royal Anthr.

Princeton, N.J.

seashells.

1954
Anders, F.
1963 Das Pantheon der Maya.
Andrews, E. W., IV

Graz.

Maya.

Nat.

1959

Dzibilchaltun:

1962

Geog. Mag., 115: 90109.


Excavaciones en Dzibilchaltun, Yucatan, 1956-

the

of

city

lost

Estud. Cultura Maya,

1962.

Hatt, R.
G.

149-83.

2:

National Geographic SocietyTulane Univer-

Tulane

Program.

Dzibilchaltun

sity

Middle Amer. Research

Inst.,

Pub. 31, pp. 23-

Nautilus, 70 (3): 73-84.

Johnson, R.

J.

Maya

shells.

Research,

Iglesia,

Chichen

Itza,

San Fran-

Yucatan.

in

Guatemala.

(1958)

2:

Proc.

22940.

1946

Piedras Negras archaeology: artifacts, caches,


and burials. Univ. Pennsylvania Mus. Monogr.
and V. Broman

Excavations in the Stela 23 group.

1958

Report no.

Couthouy,

J.

Texas.

distribution

Marginella.

of

new

species

genus

the

of

Boston Jour. Natural Hist.,

W.

1902

H.,

1 96 1

and C. T. Simpson

The Mollusca
eries Comm.,

20 for

first

part

J. M.
Copan

1952

Lothrop,
to the sacred cenote.

Nat. Geog. Mag.,

1952

1883

J.

und heutigen Mittelamerika.

vols.

W.

Art

in shell of the ancient

sonian
no.

Fischer,

1894

P.,

2,

Inst.,

Carnegie

1957

Americans.

Smith-

P. Foshag,

and

J.

Chichen

Mus., Harvard

2.

Mahler

Pre-Columbian art: Robert Woods


lection.
Phaidon Press. London.

Bliss

Col-

Researches in the central portion of the


Valley.

Harvard Univ.,

and H. Crosse

sacrifice,

Mem. Peabody

Yucatan.

Usumatsintla

pp. 179-305.

Mission scientifique au Mexique


rique Centrale. Part 7, vol. 2.

W.

Maya

Wash., Pub. 597.

Metals from the cenote of

Maler, T.
190103

Bur. Amer. Ethnol., ann. rept.

Inst.

K.

Univ., vol. 10, no.


,

Berlin.

Fewkes,

S.

Itza,

Kunst und Religion der Mayavolker im

alten

Nat. Geog.

ceramics: a study of southeastern

pottery.

120:540-49.
DlESELDORFF, E. P.

1926-33

past.

Longyear,

Bull. U.S. Fish-

1900,

(1902), pp. 351-524.

Davalos H., E.
Return
1 96 1

W.

Treasure hunt in the deep

Mag., 120:550-61.

of Porto Rico.
vol.

Limnology and Oceanog-

data.

raphy, 7: 447-52.

LlTTLEHALES, B.

vol. 1,

pt. 4.

Dall,

Floating corals: a possible source of erroneous

1962

2.

P.

Description

1837

Excavations at Kaminaljuyu, Guatemala. Car-

and D. F. Squires

Tikal

Ibid.,

Car-

of Uaxactun, Guatemala.

artifacts

negie Inst. Wash., Pub. 576.


J. D. Jennings and E. M. Shook

negie Inst. Wash., Pub. 561.


Kornicker, L. S., F. Bonet, R. Cann, and C. M. Hoskin
1959 Alacran Reef, Campeche Bank, Mexico. Pub.
1-22. Port Aransas,
Inst. Marine Sci., 6:

'

Coe,W.R.
1959

The

1947

S. F.

Underwater archaeology
33d Int. Cong. Amer.,
San Jose.

Stanford.

Kidder, A. V.

cisco.

1959

U.S. Nat. Mus., Bull. 239.

Sea shells of tropical West America.

1958

J.

Borhegyi,

Mollusca of Augustus Addison

Keen, A.M.

2 57-77-

La

recent

Gould.

2:

179-306.

2:

I.

The

1964

Smith-

Americans.

Bur. Amer. Ethnol., ann. rept.

Inst.,

(1880-81),

Middle American

1963

shell of the ancient

sonian

Ethno- and archeo-conchological notes on four

BOLLES,

Art in

1883

BOEKELMAN, H.
1935

the status of Fasciolaria distans Lamarck.

Holmes, W. H.

Balankanche, throne of the tiger priest. Tulane Univ., Middle Amer. Research Inst., Pub.
32

Fischer, D. A. Lamgebartel, and

C.

S.

On

1957

67.

1969

I.

Faunal and archaeological researches in YucaCranbroo\ Inst. Science, Bull. 33.


tan caves.

Hollister,

Univ.,

H.

T.,

W. Brainerd

1953

Progress report on the 1960-64 field seasons,

1965

60: 477-83.

Inst.,

Mem. Peabody

vol. 2, nos.

1,

Mus.,

2.

Marden, L.
et

dans l'Ame-

1959

Dzibilchaltun: up from the well of time.

Geog. Mag., 115: 110-29.

Ill

Nat.

References

112
Maudslay, A.
i 889-1 902

SCHELLHAS, P.

P.

Ame-

Archaeology. In Biologia Centrali-

ricana.

1904

London.

5 vols.

vol. 4, no. 1.

Smith, A. L.
1950 Uaxactun, Guatemala: excavations of 193137.
Carnegie Inst. Wash., Pub. 588.
1962

Moholy-Nagy, Hattula
Shells

Yucatan.

Carnegie

2 vols.

Inst.

Wash., Pub.

84

Molluscs

the

of

Pelecypoda.

Panamic-Pacific

Research

Paleontological

Oviedo y Valdes, G. F. de
185155 Historia general y natural de
y tierra-firme del

islas

Pacific:

N.Y.

Ithaca,

Inst.

eastern

tropical

mar

Indias,

las

oceano.

vols.

Madrid.
Perez,

J.

P.

186677

Diccionario de

la

lengua Maya.

Merida.

Spinden, H.
191

The

1962

Inst.

Wash.,

Pub.

Inst.

Marine

Thompson,
1

western Campeche Bank, Mexico.

Ibid.,

J.

Boekelman

1939
1950

Inst.

Wash., Pub. 477.

i960

1.

E. S.

district,

Excavations

Maya

British

at

Inst.

San

Honduras.

Field Mus.

Ser., vol. 17, no. 3.


Jose,

British

Honduras.

Wash., Pub. 506.

hieroglyphic writing: introduction. Car-

Chichen Itza and

of the

Inst.

Inst.,

1964

Itza,

Pub.

The genus

Yucatan, Mexico.

W. T.

Pub. 606, Contrib. 60.

Carnegie

Inst.

New

World.

Tulane Studies

Geol., 2:

39-68.
G. L., and R. T. Abbott
Caribbean
seashells.
Narberth, Pa.
96
1
1
Willey, G. R., W. R. Bullard, Jr., J. B. Glass, and
J. C. GlFFORD

1965

and settlement patterns

Quintana Roo, Mexico.

Turbinella (Mollusca, Gastropoda)

Warmke,

2.

Wash., Pub 454.

Prehistoric ceramics

cenote of sacrifice: a com-

vols. 11, 12.

Tulane Univ.,

Maya.

its

Vokes, E. H.
in the

The ethnobotany

Middle Amer. Research


Ruppert, K.
1935 The Caracol at Chichen
Sanders,

Mem.

parative study of contemporaneous

Roys, R. L.

Carnegie

Yucatan.

Maya and
Univ.,
Harvard
Peabody
Mus.,
Toltec. Mem.

Shells

Labna,

of

negie Inst. Wash., Pub. 589.

1957

from Maya excavations in British HonAmer. Antiquity, 3: 16669.


duras.
RlCKETSON, O. G., AND E. B. RlCKETSON
1937 Uaxactun, Guatemala: Group E 192631.

193

and

Mus.,

Tozzer, A. M.

Richards, H. G., and H.

Carnegie

subject matter

Mem. Peabody

Archaeological investigations in the southern

10:

108-72.

its

Univ., vol. 6.

chultunes

Carnegie

Molluscs from the deeper waters of the north-

art:

Natural Hist., Anthr.

Port Aransas, Texas.

1937

J.

Cayo
368403.

Maya

development.

Peabody Mus., Harvard Univ., vol. 1, no. 1.


1897b Cave of Loltun, Yucatan. Mem. Peabody
Mus., Harvard Univ., vol. 1, no. 2.
1938 The high priest's grave, Chichen Itza, YucaPrepared for publication with
tan, Mexico.
notes and introduction, by J. E. S. Thompson.
Field Mus. Natural Hist., Anthr. Ser., vol. 27,

193

Sci., 8:

London.

J.

study of

The

1897a

Mollusks of Alacran Reef, Campeche Bank,


Mexico.

1965

no.

Mayapan. Carnegie
Pub. 619, pp. 321-442.
Rice, W. H., and L. S. Kornicker
artifacts of

Maya-

Wash., Pub. 619, 165

conchological illustrations.

Harvard
Thompson, E. H.

Proskouriakoff, T.
1962

associated structures at
Inst.

B., Jr.

The

historical

Olsson, A. A.

and

Carnegie

320.

Sowerby, G.

406.

1961

Residential

pan.

and other marine material from Tikal.


Estud. Cultura Maya, 3: 6583.
Morris, E. H., J. Charlot, and A. A. Morris
The temple of the warriors at Chichen Itza,
193 1

Maya manu-

Papers Peabody Mus., Harvard Univ.,

scripts.

Mercer, H. C.
1896 The hill caves of Yucatan. Philadelphia.
Merwin, R. E., and G. C. Vaillant
1932 The ruins of Holmul, Guatemala. Mem. Peabody Mus., Harvard Univ., vol. 3, no. 2.
1963

Representations of deities of the

in

Wash.,

Prehistoric
Valley.
vol. 54.

Maya

settlements

in

the

Belize

Papers Peabody Mus., Harvard Univ.,

Index of Molluscan Species


Cerithium
eburneum,

Aequipecten
gibbus, 25,

15

pi.

muscosus, 25,

15

pi.

8, pi. 3

floridanum,

8, pi. 3

literattum, 8, pi. 3

Anadara

lutosum, see variabile

grandis, 22
notabilis, 22,

maculosum,

13

pi.

variabile.

transversa, 22, pi. 13

Chama

Anomalocardia
cuneimeris, 29,

congregata, 27, pi. 17

19

pi.

echinata, 28

Anomia
simplex, 26,

17
macerophylla, 28,
florida, 28, pi.

15

pi.

Antigona
29, pi. 19

listeri,

rigida, 29.pl.

pi.

sinuosa, 28, pi.

19

17

Charonia

Aplexa
elata,

tritonis nobilis, see C. variegata

34

variegata, 12, pi. 7

Apolymetis

Chiuae

20

intastriata, 31, pi.

19

cancellata, 29, pi.

Area

Choanopoma

imbricata, 21, pi. 13

radiosum, 34

noae, see A. zebra


occidentalis, see A. zebra

Cittarium

22
umbonata, see

Codakia

pica, 5, pi. 1

pacifica,

A.,

imbricata

16

orbicularis, 27, pi.

zebra, 22, pi. 13

Columbella

Arcopagia
fausta, 31, pi.

mercatoria, 14, pi. 6

20

Conus

Astraea

floridanus, 20, pi. 12

caelata, 5, pi. I

longispina, see A. phoebia

mus, 20,

phoebia,

regius, 20, pi. 12

tecta

17

sarda, 28, pi. 17

5, pi. I

americana,

12

pi.

sozoni, 20, pi. 12

6, pi. 1

spurius atlanticus, 20, pi. 12

Atrina

Crassostrea

A. seminuda
seminuda, 24, pi. 15
rigida, see

virginica, 26, pi.

16

Crepidula
aculeata, 8, pi. 3
fornicata, 8, pi. 3

Brachidontes
exustus, 23, pi.

14

Crucibulum

Bulimulus
sp->

auriculum,

34

8, pi. 3

spinosum, 8

Bulla

Cymatium

occidentalis, 21, pi. 21

femorale, 12,

Busycon
coarctatum, 14,
contrarium, 15,

pi.

pi.

9
9

pi.

Cyphoma
gibbosum, 10,
Cypraea

cervinetta, see

Calliostoma

jujubinum,

pileare, 12, pi. 7

perversum, 15, pi. 9


pyrum, see B. spiratum
spiratum, 15,

pi.

martinianum, see C. pileare


parthenopeum, 12, pi. 7

pi. 5

comment under

cervus, 10, pi. 5


cinerea, 10, pi. 5

5, pi. 1

Cancellaria

zebra, 10, pi. 5

reticulata, 19, pi.

Cypraecassis

Cantharus
testiculus, 12, pi.

auritulus, 14, pi.

Cardita
floridana, see

Dentalium

Carditamera floridana

Carditamera

t.

Cardiurn

magnum,

cestum, 21

Dinocardium

floridana, 27, pi. 15

r.

vanhyningi, 29,

Diodora

Trachycardium magnum
muricatum, see Trachycardium muricatum
see

cayenensis, 5, pi. 1

Cassis

listeri, 5, pi.

madagascariensis, 12

21

Diplodonta

tuberosa, 12, pi. 11

semiaspera, 27

II 3

pi.

18

C. zebra

ii4

Index of Species

Dosinia

Marginella

concentrica, 30
discus,

labiata, see

elegans, 30, pi. 19

Melampus
coffeus, 21, pi. 6

Echininus
nodulosus,

Melongena

7, pi. 2

bispinosa, see

Euglandina

pi.

10

campechiensis, 29,

pi.

melongena, 14,
Mercenaria

34

19

Mitra

Fasciolaria

branhamae, see comment under F. hunteria


distans, see comment under F. hunteria
gigantea, see Pleuroploca gigantea

21

florida, 19, pi.

Modiolus
d. granosissimus, 23, pi.

14

Modulus

hunteria, 15, pi. 10


lilium, see

comment under M. corona

corona, 14.pl. 10

carminensis, 34
decussata, 34
sp-,

Prunum apicinum virgineum


Prunum labiatum

apicina, see

30

comment under F.
comment under

papillosa, see

hunteria

Pleuroploca gigantea

modulus,

oniscus, 11, pi.

tulipa, 16, pis. 10, 11

21

8, pi.

Morum
tuberculosum, 11

Ficus

communis, 13,

pi.

papyratia, see F.

Mulinia

communis

lateralis, 31, pi.

20

Murex

Fissurella

barbadensis,

dilectus, 13, pi.

5, pi. 1

florifer,

Fulgur
perversum, see

comment under Busycon contrarium

13, pi. 8

rubidum, see M. rubidus

recurvirostris

hians, 31

dilectus

fulvescens, 13, pi. 8

pomum,
Gastrochaena

comment under M.

see

rubidus, 13, pi. 21

Glycymeris

Musculus

decussata, 23

lateralis,

undata, 23,

23

comment under G. undata

pennacea, see

pi.

Nassa

13

vibex, see Nassarius vibex

Nassarius

Helicina

vibex, 15, pi. 6

sp-,

34
Hemisinus
sp.,

Natica
canrena, 11,

32

pi.

Neocyclotus

Isognomon

dysoni, 34

alatus, 23, pi.

14
radiatus, 23, pi. 14

Nephronaias
aff. calamitarum,
cf.

Jaspidella

jaspidea, see

comment under

21

goascoranensis, 32
Olivellas

ortmanni, 32
Nerita

Lambidium
tuberculosa

pi.

yzabalensis, 32

morum,

see

Morum

tuberculosum

16
infundibulum, 16

ceratus,

pi. 2

praecognita, see N. tessellata


tessellata, 6, pi. 2

Neritina

Lima

meleagris, 6

lima, 26, pi. 15

virginea, 6, pi. 2

scabra, 26, pi. 15

Nodilittorina

Littorina

tuberculata, 7, pi. 2

ziczac, 7, pi. 2

Noetia

Livonia
pica, see Cittarium pica

Lucina

ponderosa, 22,

pi.

13

Oleacina

jamaicensis, see Phacoides pectinatus

pensylvanica, 27, pi. 16

Lunarca
ovalis, 22, pi.

fulgurans, 6,

peloronta, 6, pi. 2

Latirus

sp-,

34

Oliva
caribaeensis, 17, pi. 12

porphyria, 17

13

Lyropecten

reticularis, 17, pi.

nodosus, 24, pi. 13


subnodosus, 25

sayana, 18,
spicata,

pi.

12

12

18

Olivella

Macrocallista

maculata, 30,

dealbata, 19, pi. 12


pi.

19

mutica, see

comment under

Olivellas

Index of Species

"5

nivea, 19, pi. 12


rosolina, see

Quadrula

comment under

Olivellas

quadrata, see Psoronaias quadratus

Orthalicus
Rocellaria

princeps princeps, 34

hians, see Gastrochaena hians

Ostrea

16

equestris, 26, pi.

Spondylus

16

frons, 26, pi.

americanus, 25, pi. 15


crassisquama, see S. princeps

Pachychilus
glaphyrus, 32

echinatus, see S. americanus

indiorum, 32
largillierti,

limbatus, see S. princeps

32

princeps, 25

Pec ten

Strombus

gibbus exasperatus, see Aequipecten biggus


laurenti, 24, pi. 2

irregularis, 7, pi. 3

raninus, 10, pi. 4

Phacoides
radians,

16

Tectarius

muricatus, 7,

27

Phalium
pi.

listeri,

Pinctada

30, pi.

radiata,

radiata, 24, pi.

20
20
30, pi. 20

lineal, 30, pi.

inflatum, 11, pi. 6

Terebra

14

cinerea, 21

Planaxis

dispar, 21

nucleus, 7, pi. 3

Thais

Pleuroploca
gigantea, 16, pi. 11

deltoidea, 13, pi. 8

Plicatula

rustica, 14, pi.

Tonna

gibbosa, 24, pi. 15


Polinices

galea, 12, pi. 7

maculosa, 12,

duplicatus, 11, pi. 3


hepaticus, 11, pi. 3

pi.

Trachycardium
egmontianum, 28

lacteus, 11, pi. 3

Pomacea

isocardia, 28, pi.

flagellata arata, 32, pi.

magnum,

21

18

28, pi. 18

muricatum, 28

ghiesbrechti, 32

Prunum

pi.

18

Transennella

apicinum apicinum, 19
apicinum virgineum, 19,

cubaniana, 30
pi.

12

guttatum, 20, pi. 12


labiatum, 20, pi. 12
cf. storeria

pi. 2

Tellina

granulatum, 11,

f.

gigas, 9, pi. 4
pugilis, 9, pi. 4

Petaloconchus

pectinatus, 27, pi.

costatus, 9, pi.

angulata, 16, pi. 11

Couthouy, 20

Vasum
capitellum, 17

Pseudochama
echinata, see

Turbinella

Chama

radians, 28, pi.

17

muricatum, 17,

pi.

Vermicularia
knorri, see V. spirata

Pseudocyrena
floridana, 27, pi.

16

spirata, 7, pi. 3

Venus

Psoronaias

campechiensis, see Mercenaria campechiensis

quadratus, 33
semigranosus, 33

Xancus

Pteria

colymbus, 24,
Purpura

echinata

See Turbinella
pi.

pitula, 13, pi. 8

14

University of

Connecticut

Libraries

c>to<

Opt c<^