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    Maya Mounds of British Honduras THE late T. W. Gann, with Mary Gann, in the course of two seasons spent in the Corozal District of British Honduras, between the valleys of the Rio Hondo and the Rio Nuevo examined by excavation a number of mounds belonging to the ancient Maya civilization. These centred around a group of large banks and mounds known to the Indians as Nohmul, or Great Mound, so called because one of the pyramidal structures is the loftiest in the district, reaching a height of 95 ft. In a report on the excavations (Smithsonian Institution: Anthropological Papers Bull., 123; 1939), Dr. Gann points out the probable influence of a liberal water supply in determining the choice of this site for settlement. In all, 28 mounds were examined, these falling into six distinct groups. (1) Burial mounds unassociated with either cists or stucco floors, numbering ten in all, probably the graves of poor people, grave furniture being scanty and poor. (2) Sepulehral mounds with the corpse buried above or below the former floor of a house. Of these there were four; and they probably belonged to householders of sufficient importance to have their houses wrecked and converted into burial mounds. (3) Sepulehral mounds containing specially constructed burial cists. These, including the great mound of Nohmul itself, number eight. They vary in height from 9 to 95 ft., and contain all the finest artefacts of shell, stone, pottery, etc. In some the cists were beneath the floors of houses, in others the mounds were constructed specially to cover them. (4) Mounds constructed over the ruins of stone buildings and not used for sepulchral purposes–five in number, all flat-topped, and of very solid masonry. (5) Mounds built over the former floors of wood or adobe buildings, not containing burials. Of these there were two, each appearing to have been low stucco-covered substructures of houses of perishable materials. (6) Mounds containing only fragments of crude clay censers. Two were examined.

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    Research Items. Nature 144, 252–254 (1939).

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