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Evidence of organized stingless beekeeping at Mayapan, Yucutan, Mexico.

Illustration of ceramic bees found on incense burners at the site of Tipikal. Illustrated by Wilberth Cruz Alvarado (2010).

Monday, August 27, 2018

Congratulations to Elizabeth Paris and colleagues on their latest publication: "The organization of stingless beekeeping (Meliponiculture) at Mayapán, Yucutan, Mexico".

The article presents new evidence for stingless beekeeping at Mayapán, an ancient Maya city that was the largest and most important political capital of its day (AD 1100-1450). Beekeeping products such as honey and wax were used for specific purposes related to the different contexts where evidence has been found, which ranged from large temples and palaces to administrative buildings and ordinary houses. These new discoveries challenge long-held ideas of Mayan cities, and suggest that they were agro-urban landscapes, where some food production activities such as beekeeping and gardening took place within residential yard spaces. The article also highlights how traditional beekeeping practices in modern Maya communities are endangered, and how the communities are working towards the preservation of this practice with the support of local universities and non-profit groups.

Paris, E.H., Lope, C.P., Masson, M.A., Kú, P.C.D. and Ojeda, B.C.E., 2018. The organization of stingless beekeeping (Meliponiculture) at Mayapán, Yucatan, Mexico. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, 52, pp.1-22.