In this paper, we examine wood charcoal assemblages that were recovered from ash layers in Terminal Classic (A.D. 800–950) burials at the Maya site of Rio Bee to understand the use of fuel wood in funerary rites. Compared to charcoal deposits from domestic and non-funerary contexts, the spectrum of wood taxa used in the burial deposits is unique, which suggests specific fire-related practices. Members of the Sapotaceae family and Cordiasp. dominated all contexts and were clearly primary fuels. In contrast, the use of pine (Pinus sp.), which does not grow locally today, was limited to ritual practices. In addition, it seems that a deliberate effort was made to maximize the taxonomic richness of the fuel wood used in burials. Funerary charcoal deposits appear to have been carefully and intentionally “composed” for burning during funerary rites. We propose that this practice materialized the relationship between fire, ash, and the cycles of life and death, which are often symbolized by plant life cycles in the worldview of ancient Maya societies. This study also emphasizes the contribution of anthracological (wood charcoal) analysis to the reconstruction of human behavior and the importance of systematic paleoethnobotanical sampling in funerary contexts.