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Maya ceremonial center Xunantunich

Maya ruins Xunantunich. San Ignacio (Cayo) area. Belize. Xunantunich (Stone Woman in Mayan) was a major ceremonial center during the Maya Classic Era, about 200 to 900. Some structures were damaged by an earthquake while they were occupied. The earthquake may have been a reason for the site's abandonment. The site contains six major plazas and more than twenty-five temples and palaces. The Xunantunich site is spread out at about one square mile (2.6 sq km).

Maya ruins Xunantunich. San Ignacio (Cayo) area. Belize. The most important is the 130 feet high pyramid El Castillo (The Castle). Its located at the south part of the site. As its more than 250 feet above the Mopan River valley below, it provides an impressive panoramic view of the Cayo District and nearby Guatemala. El Castillo was believed to be the tallest man-made structure in Belize, until the discovery of Canaa at Caracol. El Castillo is famous for its frieze, a banded stucco decoration which at one time extended around the entire pyramid. Nowadays, the pyramid can be observed from almost all parts of the Mopan River valley.

Maya Site of Xunantunich is located on Mopan River, approximately eight miles west of San Ignacio Town at San Jose Succotz Village in the Cayo District.


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