Santa Rita Travel Blog› entry 1 of 2 › view all entries
February 13th, 2009 – by: geokid
Santa Rita is a Maya ruin located beneath the City of Corozol west of the mouth of the Rio Nuevo. Santa Rita was an important Classic Period trade center. The location of Santa Rita permitted easy control over coastal and inland trade routes on the Rio Nuevo and Rio Hondo during the early Classic period. These rivers were major routes to Lamanai and the entire Peten region. Archaeological evidence documents trade routes far inland. Urban growth of the modern town of Corozol has cause significant information lose from the Santa Rita site. Ruins make very good and convenient road fill and the stones are excellent building materials for modern house foundations. Because of the growth of Corozol the exact boundaries of Santa Rita are not known. Occupation began prior to 2000 BC and continued after the arrival of the Spanish. The visible structure is from the Classic period. This building is a complex series of rooms and passages. The central room appeared to be a ceremonial chamber. Two burial chambers were uncovered here, one containing elaborate jewelry and pottery. The second burial chamber contained a ceremonial flint and a stingray spine used in bloodletting rituals. The Post Classic Period at Santa Rita is revealed through artifacts rather than structures. Because very little remains of the structures of this time period. The artifacts found at Santa Rita from the Post Classic Period reveal that exotic rituals such as blood-letting, which was very important during the Classic Period, continued to Post Classic times. The presence of exotic goods in a Post Classic burial, such as turquoise and gold ear-flakes of Aztec origin, demonstrate the importance of Santa Rita several hundred years after the decline of the larger ceremonial centers of the interior. After a short decline during the Late Classic Period, Santa Rita once again rose to prominence. With the decline of Classic sites to the north, Santa Rita became one of the 19 Mayan political entities recorded by the Spanish. At that time it was called "Chactemal".
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