Chapter

The Environment of Early Contact

Elizabeth Graham

in Maya Christians and Their Churches in Sixteenth-Century Belize

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780813036663
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813041834 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813036663.003.0006
The Environment of Early Contact

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Why did Spanish Europeans decide not to settle the mainland, coast, and cayes that are now Belize? How did Spaniards or other seafaring Europeans view Belize's coast, and did this information find its way to early maps? How was the land that became Belize known to the early conquerors? In this chapter, possible Franciscan travel through Belize is discussed, as is the important role of trade and coastal travel in the Maya world just prior to the Conquest, with much of the information based on archaeological data. An attempt is made to contextualize Belize in terms of the conquests of Yucatan and Central America.

Keywords: Caribbean; Cayes; coast; Franciscan travel; Yucatan; Central America; Belize; Bay of Honduras

Chapter.  12850 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History and Theory of Archaeology

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