Creating “belize”: The mapping and naming history of a liminal locale

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The origins of the settlement in southwest Yucatan that subsequently became the British colony and then nation of Belize, along with the etymology of the toponym Belize, are poorly understood and clouded by colonialist mythology. Using cartographic, archival, and other textual sources, including some in Yucatec Mayan, this article offers a revisionist argument regarding initial British settlement in the region and proposes a new solution to the mystery of the name Belize.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-35
Number of pages31
JournalTerrae Incognitae
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2 2019


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History

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