Xunantunich

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altXunantunich meaning “maiden of the rock” or “stone woman” in Maya, is situated on the Western Highway across the river from the village of San Jose Succotz. It can be reached by ferry daily between 8 am and 5 pm. This site is less than one mile from some lovely rapids of the Mopan River and provides an impressive view of the entire river valley.

Xunantunich is a Classic Period ceremonial center. The site core occupies only 300 square meters but the periphery covers several square kilometers. Recent investigations by Dr. Richard Leventhal of the University of California, Los Angeles and Dr. Wendy Ashmore from the University of Pennsylvania indicate that the site may be even more extensive than previously thought. In Group A, Structure A-6 (El Castillo) rises 130 feet above plaza level making it one of the tallest buildings in Belize. On this structure there are two temples.  The lower temple is famous for its large stucco frieze. A mask with larger ears probably represents the sun god. Next to this mask, there is a moon sign with a border of signs representing Venus.


 

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