Sites & cities that bear the name of Colha


Today in : Belize
First trace of activity : ca. 3,400 B.C.E
Last trace of activity : ca. 15th century C.E
Recorded names : Holpatin, Orange Walk

Description : Colha, Belize is a Maya archaeological site located in northern portion of the country, about 52 km. north of Belize City, near the town of Orange Walk. The site is one of the earliest in the Maya region and remains important to the archaeological record of the Maya culture well into the Postclassic Period. According to Palma Buttles, “Archaeological evidence from Colha allows for the interpretation occupation from the Early Preceramic (3400-1900B.C.) to Middle Postclassic (A.D. 1150-1300) with population peaks occurring in the Late Preclassic (400B.C.- A.D. 100) and again in the Late Classic ( A.D. 600-850)”. These peaks in population are directly related to the presence of stone tool workshops at the site. Colha's proximity to an important source of high quality chert that is found in the Cenozoic limestone of the region and well traveled trade routes was utilized by the inhabitants to develop a niche in the Maya trade market that may have extended to the Greater Antilles. During the Late Preclassic and Late Classic periods, Colha served as a primary supplier of worked stone tools for the region. It has been estimated that the 36 workshops at Colha produced nearly 4 million chert and obsidian tools and eccentrics that were dispersed throughout Mesoamerica during the Maya era. This made it an important player in the trade of essential good throughout the area.

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