Saturday, July 26, 2014

Cahal Pech Archaeological Reserve, San Ignacio Belize

Cahal Pech is dated from 100 BC to 650 AD and was discovered in 1950 and is located in the town of San Ignacio in the Cayo District of Belize. The site was a hilltop home for an elite Maya family, and though most major construction dates to the Classic period, evidence of continuous habitation has been dated to as far back as far as 1200 BC during the Early Middle Formative period (Early Middle Preclassic), making Cahal Pech one of the oldest recognizably Maya sites in Western Belize.

Cahal Pech site core consists of 34 large structures. During the Classic Period, the site and its sustaining lands may have encompassed a realm of approximately 16 square km. A large collection of Formative Period figurines (1000 BC-250 AD) have been found on site. 

The name Cahal Pech, meaning "Place of the Ticks", was given this site during the first archaeological studies in the 1950s, led by Linton Satterthwaite from the University of Pennsylvania Museum. It is now an archaeological reserve, and houses a small museum with artifacts from various ongoing excavations.

The primary excavation of the site began in 1988. Restoration was completed in 2000 under the leadership of Dr. Jaime Awe, Director of the National Institute of Archaeology (NICH), Belize. But actually it is still going on with the help of archaeology students. 

Archaeology students that where there working on the Cahal Pech Archaeological Reserve have come from all over the world; this goes on each year for up to two month in June and July.

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