Pottery and Ceramics in the Lamanai Museum

Lamanai museum: pots

The cluttered shelves of the Lamanai museum display pottery and ceramics of various styles and periods informally arranged by theme and size.

Some of the ceramics found in Postclassic burials are affiliated with northern wares, while other pottery is similar to that produced in the Petén.

Later, Mayapan-style censers appeared, and Tulum-style pottery marked the final prehistoric periods at Lamanai.

Source: Adams, Richard, EW Prehistoric Mesoamaerica. p311

Many representations of Crocodiles are found in the museum

Lamanai museum

The original Mayan name for the site, Lama'anayin, means submerged crocodile, and numerous representations of crocodiles have been found at the site.

The crowded shelves of the Lamanai museum can be a little overwhelming

Lamanai Museum: pottery

Photo courtesy of Marion Canavan

Could this be the Lamanai Spirit Crocodile Progenitor mentioned on Stela 9?

Lamanai museum: pottery figure

A pair of dissimilar censers on the top shelf

Lamanai museum

Photo courtesy of Jeff Purcell

Closeup of spiky stuccoed censor

Lamanai Museum: Stucco  censor

Photo courtesy of Jeff Purcell

This is one of a pair of dissimilar stuccoed censers which probably date from about A.D. 1450. It may depict a deity, and was found in Burial N10-7/1.

A winsome pottery figure sits between a bowl fragment and the spiky censor

Lamanai Museum: Pottery figure

Photo courtesy of Marion Canavan

Mayapan-style figurine censer

Lamanai Museum: Pottery censor

Mayapan-style figurine censer from the massive offering scattered over N9-56; probably 14th-15th centuries A.C.

Perdergast, Journal of Field Archaeology, 8:1 51.

Interesting bird figure censor top

Lamanai Museum: Pottery

Sampling of Post-Classic Lamanai Orangeware and Redware

Lamanai Museum: Post-Classic Orangeware

Lamanai museum:  Lower Shelf

Figure 26. Vessels from various contexts, illustrating Post-Classic decorative techniques. Vessels f, k, n, and o are from the crushed lot at the base of Burial N10-1/2; g, j, and m are from Burial N10-2/20, contemporaneous with the structure in Fig. 17, and vessels e and h are from other burials in the same context.

Pendergast, Journal of Field Archaeology, 8:1 (1981) 50.

Post-Classic Ceramics associated with Lamanai burials

Lamanai Museum: Post-Classic Orangeware

"The ceramics assoicated with the [Post-Classic] burials share certain traits with those of Mayapan, principally the use of carved decoration, often incorporating serpent motifs, and the presence of segmented basal flanges, usually with border lines and center notches or vertical-line embellishment [see diagram on previous page]. Based on these shared features, it initially appeared that the Lamanai ceramics might be approximately contemporaneous with those from far northern Yucatan, and therefore likely to date from 1250 A.C. or later.

Radiocarbon dates, however, from the structure in N10-2, which contained the largest number of burials, indicate that the Lamanai Post-Classic ceramic complex was fully developed by about 1140 A.C., and presumably had its origins in the 11th century if not earlier.

Judging by the apparent date of the ceramic features of Mayapan, the argument is strong for Lamanai as the source from which the concepts were transmitted northward. This reconstruction of events reinforces the picture of Lamanai as an important Post-Classic center based on the wealth and variety of artifacts alone."

Pendergast, Journal of Field Archaeology 8:1 (1981) 48-49