Altun Ha Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
February 12th, 2009 – by: geokid
Altun Ha, â€śRockstone Pondâ€ť, is the most easily accessed Mayan center in Belize and a nice place to spend a couple of hours on a cruise shore excursion. It is also one of the most famous Mayan centers and the most extensively-excavated Maya site in Belize. Altun Ha has 13 structures clustered within two central plazas.
Plaza A is enclosed by large temples on all four sides. Here, a magnificent tomb was discovered beneath The Temple of the Green Tomb. Dating from 550 A.D., this find yielded a total of thee hundred pieces, including jade, jewelry, stingray spines, skin flints and the remains of a Maya Book.
The adjacent Plaza B is dominated by the sites largest temple, The Temple of Masonry Altar, which rises 60 feet above the plaza and was the last in a sequence of buildings raised on this spot. This temple was probably the main focus of religious ceremonies, with a single stairway running up the front to an altar at the top. Inside, several priestly tombs were discovered. One of these digs yielded a priceless carved jade head of Kinich Ahau, the Maya sun god. At 15 cm high, it is the largest carved jade piece to be found anywhere in the Maya world.
Belize is my favorite country in the Western Hemisphere. There are better places to soak in the flavor of this Central American paradise; however, a visit to Altun Ha is worthwhile destination for those who appreciate the Mayan culture.
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