Here's a travel article about Xunantunich and Cahal Pech, with lots of great pictures. The author correctly calls them DIY sites, and gives the overview of how to get there on one's own.
"El Castillo is the second tallest structure in Belize after Caracol. This is a really impressive site and well worth the effort to get there. When you get off the ferry at the end you can walk up the river a 100yds to some rapids and take a dip to cool down. You may see local ladies washing their clothes there too."
The Mayan civilisation originated around 3,000 years ago in present-day Honduras, Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize. From around AD 250 to AD 900, the Mayan empire flourished then around AD 900, the empire collapsed for ...
The ancient Native American city of Cahokia, which was built around 600 AD, was once home to 15,000 inhabitants, stretches of farmland, wealthy communities and surrounded by 120 pyramids similar to Mayan temples.
An easy to read scholarly article about a Maya site in Northwestern Belize.
"...Blue Creek is a medium sized Maya center that was occupied from approximately 600BC until approximately AD 1000. Spatially, the “greater” Blue Creek area covers approximately 150 square kilometers. At first appearance, Blue Creek’ central precinct is unexceptional: surrounding its main plaza are 15 meter tall public buildings…but not large by Maya standards. However, just under the surface of Blue Creek, there are surprises to be found..."
great article of Blue Creek, Belize, a city that thrived for about 400 years. this article explains the high class mayans that lived in this city and the factors that made this city successful for so long.
Even as anthropologists and archaeologists continue to puzzle over the eclipse of the Mayan empire, the Maya themselves are still here, with estimated 6.2million living in Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
Archaeologists enter untouched ancient Mayan tombExaminer.comA team of archaeologists from Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History have entered a previously undisturbed tomb in Palenque.
While the list of Belize's amazing Mayan archaeoligical sites should be a top 20, out of the 5 on this list, Cayo has 3: Xunantunich, Caracol, and Actun Tunichil Muknal. They forgot Cahal Pech and El Pilar. The article gives great descriptions of the sites, and describes Cayo too: 'laid-back San Ignacio is the quintessential traveler’s hub, the launch pad for exhilarating adventures in the remote Cayo District, a wild place where ancient mysticism and incredible biodiversity coalesce to provide a sensual and cerebral adventure of epic proportions.'
"What Xunantunich may lack in scale, it makes up for in its supreme location, crowning a limestone ridge that affords panoramic views of the Cayo District and the patchwork terraces of neighboring Guatemala... Radiating from the site’s ceremonial axis -- the pyramid of El Castillo -- are a series of residences built for the city’s elite denizens, in addition to a ball court, all which date from the Classic Period, circa A.D. 200 to 900. Rising from the jungle to a vertigo-inducing 135 feet, El Castillo features restored stucco reliefs that during the city’s heyday would have adorned the perimeter of the entire pyramid. Despite being one of the most heavily touristed of Belize’s Maya ruins, in part due to its accessibility, a supernatural aura holds sway. The name, Xunantunich, translated as 'Stone Woman,' dates to the late 19th century when, so myth and legend has it, a female figure dressed in white ascended the stairs of El Castillo before vanishing into the temple’s stone walls. The city reached its zenith around A.D. 750 before an earthquake, interpreted by the Maya as the wrath of God, precipitated its demise."
Offerings in the ancient Templo Mayor in Tenochtitlán (now in modern Mexico City) have been linked to the cycle of the agricultural seasons and involved human sacrifice to Quilaztli Cihuacóatl, one of the Aztec goddesses of earth and fertility.
ne of the oldest Mayan tombs ever found has been uncovered in western Guatemala, say archaeologists.Located at a temple site in Retalhuleu province, the grave is thought to be that of an ancient ruler or religious leader who lived some 2,000 years ago.
Carbon-dating indicated the tomb had been built between 700 and 400 BC, said government archaeologist Miguel Orrego.
A rich array of jade jewels, including a necklace depicting a vulture-headed human figure, were found.
Although speculations continue to grow if the world would end based on a Mayan calendar prediction as Dec 21, 2012 fast approaches, the feared apocalypse appears dimmer as scientists, the church and even Mayan descendants debunked the belief.
Well written article about the overnight in Caracol. The next one is on the Summer Solstice. Contact NICH at email@example.com for more details. As always, there are great words describing Dr. Jaime Awe.
"Although clearly a scholar, Dr. Awe has an appealing personality and an infectious sense of humor. He was not at all the serious, elderly professor of archaeology I had expected. He is quite youthful in appearance, although he must be in his mid to late 50s, given his years of study and field work. He is an engaging speaker and tour guide. It was a delight to accompany him on his journey into an long past era at the Caracol site..
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