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  Marco Gonzalez Marine Resource Survey
  Role: Archaeologist/Zooarchaeologist  

What was served for dinner at the beach-side trading port at the tip of Ambergris Caye on the Belizean barrier reef?

Marco Gonzalez, now located in a mosquito infested mangrove swamp was once a port of trade along the Atlantic coast mercantile route used by the Late Classic Mesoamericans. The islands of the Belize and Honduran cayes didn't have good agricultural land or many large land mammals, so how did the residents and travellers to this island resort feed themselves?

I spent one summer investigating just this question by comparing the animal remains recovered during excavation with the marine resources available off-shore. Which of the many fish and other marine animals did the residents of Marco Gonzalez harvest? And how much food would have been available after generations of fishing and gathering in the area? The modern fishers of Ambergris provided me with excellent data on the effects of over-fishing in the region, and the Hol Chan Marine Reserve acted as a wonderful comparison with a marine community that had not been fished in several years.

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