Nim Li Punit

Nim Li Punit Travel Blog

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Nim Li Punit, "Big Hat" is a Classic Period (400 AD to 700 AD) Maya site in the Toledo District of Belize, located at Latitude 16.31 North by Longitude 88.78 West) 22 miles north of Punta Gorda and 1 mile east of the Southern Highway. The elevation at Nim Li Punit is about 206 feet above sea level.  "Big Hat", refers to the large elaborate head-dress that is depicted on a stela sculpture that was found at Nim Li punit. Archaeologists think that this stelae depicts one of the ancient kings of Nim Li Punit.

Nim Li Punit is a medium sized site from the Maya Classic Period. Nim Li Punit flourished from 400 AD to 800 AD. The core of the site consists of numerous structures around three plazas, including several stepped-pyramids, the tallest of the group is 40 feet high.
The site has a number of carved stelae that are believed to depict rulers of Nim Li Punit. Several stelae were found in an unfinished state that may suggest a sudden halt to work. There is no way to know for sure. The carver may had recognized some imperfections in those particular slabs. The individuals ordering those items may had lost his source of income, right to rule or his life. The carver may had suffered some misfortune. There is a ball court with ruins associated with it that may have been a sweet bath. The soils in this area are relatively fertile by tropical standards. These soils may explain the ability of this region to support sizable populations. Local sandstone is found in nearby stream and river beds, and these materials were used as the principal building stones for the monumental structures and carving material for the stelae.
Nim Li Punit is constructed in the Classic Period geometric form, using large amounts of fill material with mortar and stone retaining walls to achieve expansive level plazas and terraces. The ball court is well preserved, ready to host a game. Archaeologist have suggested that there is an "E Group" of the stelae, within the Plaza of the Stela of the South Group. The "E Group" is suggested to be a geometrical arrangement that could have been used for astronomical observations. Tracking the rise and setting of the Sun, Moon and Venus. Archaeologist have estimated that the maximum population of Nim Li Punit was 5000 to 7000 people based on the overall size of Nim Li Punit, the number of residential platforms and the typically size of families in this type of environment and food availablity.  Date glyphs carved on stelae document the site was active in the period 721 to 790 AD.
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Nim Li Punit
photo by: geokid