Lubaantun Ruins


Lubaantun Ruins Itineraries:

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Lubaantun Ruins



Lubaantun Ruins

situated on a tall ridge above a valley cut by the Columbia River, about 1 1/2 miles from the village of San Pedro Columbia, Lubaantun is the largest Maya site in Southern Belize and is well known for the unusual architecture. Each structure at this historical site is constructed with stacked limestone blocks using no visible mortar to bind them together. The strength of each structure lies in every hand-cut stone, which was carefully measured and shaped to fit snugly next to each neighboring block.


This classic ceremonial center dated to 700-900 AD began to crumble over time when the ground on which Lubantuun was built subsisted and the mortarless blocks began to tumble. Thereafter, the site was given the name-Lubantuun- meaning "place of the fallen rocks" in the modern Maya language.


Eleven large structures tower above five main plazas and three ball courts. Unlike most other Maya ceremonial sites these existing structures are solid, have no doorways and have uncommonly rounded corners. Since no corbeled arches exist at the top of these structures, it is believed that perishable materials such as wood and thatch, were used to build superstructures on top of the pyramids. Lubantuun is believed to have been an administrative, religious, political, and commercial center, mainly used for occasional festivals, ball games, and other sacred ceremonies. Although no stele was found here, the site is well-known for its abundance of ceramic whistle figurines. A few burial tombs are also present.

Lubaantun Ruins


The famous yet controversial crystal skull was supposedly discovered in 1926 by Anna Mitchell-Hedges, daughter of archaeologist, F. Mitchell-Hedges, during an expedition on her seventeenth birthday. This perfectly shaped human skull carved from an 8 inch cube of rock crystal is still possessed by Anna today while the origin of the crystal skull remains a mystery.


From the parking lot, a trail runs approximately 70 yards downhill on a clear path to a small bridge over a creek then continues another 40 yards uphill to the visitor center. The care takers are local experts who have assisted in the excavation and restoration of the site and are happy to answer any questions.


Labantuun can be explored freely and it’s not uncommon to find yourself amongst this great monument alone. These massive stone structures are not only fascinating historically and architecturally, but have aged with great aesthetic grace. Bright green moss blankets the stones, with flowering vines protruding from tiny crevices. A cool breeze is almost always present and the rustling canopy, birds and insects of the rainforest provide a natural sound track to your adventure.



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