Cahal Pech A Day Trip Out Of Martha's Guest House, San Ignacio, Belize
San Ignacio Travel Blog› entry 2 of 5 › view all entries
March 5th, 2009 – by: geokid
Cahal Pech "Place of ticks", a Maya ceremonial center on the southern outskirts of San Ignacio Town in the upper Belize Valley of the Cayo District, Belize. A 15 minute walk from San Ignacio. The site is on a crest of a steep-sided hill on the west bank of the Macal River. The acropolis, about 900 feet above sea level, which affords great views of the Maya Mountains to the south and to the northeast the lush valleys of the Belize River. Cahal Pech was first occupied prior to 1500 BC. Exotics like, jade and obsidian from sources to the east and north of Guatemala City, marine shell from the Caribbean began to arrive at Cahal Pech prior to 1000 BC. Monumental building began prior to 300 BC.
The tallest structure is 77 feet tall. The site appears to have been abandoned by 800 AD. Acropolis is 900 feet above sea level on the west bank of the Macal River. Cahal Pech has several pyramid temples, seven palaces, two ball courts and sweet bath. There are six plain stelae and one non-carved altar. These objects indicate the presence of a stela cult. A number of the large structure have the Maya vault roof system. However a few appear not to have been completed with the Maya vault system. The site core has 34 large non-residential structures. There are several caves upriver from Cahla Pech that contain evidence suggesting the inhabitants of this site conducted ceremonies in and around these caves. There are preserved examples of corn, cacao, anato seeds and skeletal remains of infants and adults. Some skeletal evidence indicates the possibilities of human sacrifices associated with rain and agriculture ceremonies. Cahal Pech may have controlled 10 square miles. Mr. Henry Melhado of Belize owns the property that Cahal Pech sits on. Site hours are 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM daily; Visitor center is open Monday through Saturday. Site and museum fee $2.50 each.
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