Institute of Archaeology


Tamara Moore

The Importance of Being an E-Group: Investigating Structure D-1 at Ka’kabish, Belize

Photo of Tamara Moore smiling at the camera with a castle in the background

Email: tamara.moore.21@ucl.ac.uk       
Section:  World Archaeology


The Importance of Being an E-Group: Investigating Structure D-1 at Ka’kabish, Belize

Using the excavation of Structures D-1 and D-4 at Ka’kabish, Belize as a case study, I will examine and question…

Can function and chronological sequence of construction and uses of an E-group be accurately determined without excavation?
  • Through detailed in-depth excavation, what can we learn about a Maya city that is not then reliant on interpretations surrounding the current understanding of E-groups?
  • If an E-group layout was created after the Late Preclassic Period, is it then truly an E-group?
What alternative functions and/or types of complexes could be represented by the layout of perceived E-groups?
  • Why are these alternate explanations not more widely suggested?
  • With the timing considerations, why would later modernly perceived E-groups have been built in that arrangement? Even if they never served the archaeologist assigned meaning on an E-group, was that specific kind of arrangement still important to the Maya?
What is so significant about E-groups that make archeologists eager to claim one on their site with limited to no testing of that assumption?
  • What was the significance of the E-group arrangement to the Maya, that they would repeat the pattern across the lowlands?
    • Could the distribution and timing to E-groups be related to specific groups/family/political style that was then repeated as a means of legitimizing power and authority, especially when it was created outside of the Preclassic

My research aims not to question the existence of E-group, neither the importance that such arrangements had for the Maya, but rather to question the prevalence of a certain kind of arrangement that archaeologists have named, defined, and reported at multiple sites that have not then been verified through thorough excavation.


  • B.A. Archaeology, Simon Fraser University, 2017

  • M.A. Anthropology, Trent University, 2020