Cuello is a Maya archaeological site in northern Belize. The site is that of a farming village with a long occupational history stretching back to approximately 1200 BC, during the Middle Preclassic period. Its inhabitants lived in pole-and-thatch houses that were built on top of low plaster-coated platforms.
The site contains residential groups clustered around central patios. It also features the remains of a steam bath dating to approximately 900 BC, making it the oldest steam bath found to date in the Maya lowlands. Human burials have been associated with the residential structures; the oldest have no surviving burial relics, but from 900 BC onwards, they were accompanied by offerings of ceramic vessels.
Ceramics from the earliest phase of the settlement at Cuello belonged to an established lowland Maya pottery tradition, suggesting that the region was already settled by the Maya when the site was founded. Although Cuello appears to have been a typical, relatively unimportant rural village in the Preclassic era, it participated in regional trade networks with obsidian being imported from the Maya highlands from 800 BC onwards, and a small amount of jade arriving in the community a few centuries later.
Cuello is located two miles Yo Creek Road in the Orange Walk District. It sits on the private land of the Cuello Family but permissions are granted to visit the site.
Archaeological investigation has revealed that the diet of the Preclassic occupants of Cuello consisted of less than 30% maize, compared with up to 75% for the modern Maya. White-tailed deer made up over half the meat in their diet, followed by freshwater turtles and domestic dogs, the last of which represents 7% of the animal remains found at the site.