A former Mayan civilization lived here at Lamanai, one of many pre-Columbian archaeological sites in northern Belize. Located on the New River, it’s name translates to “submerged crocodile,” for the crocodiles that occupied the area.
It is known as the longest continually-occupied site in Mesoamerica, where societies flourished before the Spanish colonization in the 15th and 16th centuries. Mesoamerican inhabitants occupied this site for 3,500 years.
A significant amount of copper was found here during Mayan times, and the river was an important tool for its trade. Many other human inhabitants occupied this area in the Belize jungle, to read more about the history of Lamanai, click here.
Our eight person birding group occupied this site for a day. Filled with Mayan history and artistry, there were several temples to enjoy and explore. But oh what incredible jungle birds thrived here too! It was a delightful dilemma of where to look next.
Most of the archaeology excavations occurred in the 1970s and continued over the years. The three major temples are truly awesome. But I also liked the mounds of quiet grass, sites that remain unexcavated.
There was a sacredness to this beautiful place on earth, and I liked that some of the secrets still remain buried in the earth.
Photo credit: Athena Alexander