Although the internet was not available during the last few days of our trip. I am posting a brief description and some photos for Saturday Jan 7th, 2012.
On Saturday we visited two different Mayan Sites near San Ignacio. Xunantunich and Cahal Pech.
Xunantunich is locate atop a ridge above the Mopan river within sight of the Guatemalan border. The pyramid known as “El Castillo”, the second tallest structure in Belize (after the temple at Caracol), at some 130 feet tall. Its name means “Stone Woman” in the Maya language (Mopan and Yucatec combination name), and, like many names given to Maya archaeological sites, is a modern name; the ancient name is currently unknown. The “Stone Woman” refers to the ghost of a woman claimed by several people to inhabit the site, beginning in 1892.
The views of both Belize and Guatemala were just amazing!
It is a collection of 34 structures, with the tallest temple being about 25 meters in height, situated around a central acropolis.
The structures were much more intimate with small rooms and walk ways and arches known as corbel vaults. There is a small museum with a real skeleton!
One of the most exciting things we saw at Cahal Pech was a real excavation in progress!
The primary excavation of the site began in 1988. Restoration continues under the leadership of, Dr. Jaime Awe, Director of the National Institute of Archaeology (NICH), Belize.