|Climbing Belize's second largest pyramid
Xunantunich May Ruins
Belize City Day Excursion
On the terrace containing the Maya friezes, I stand near a mask with big ears and ear ornaments is supposed to represent the sun god. Signs for the moon, the planet Venus and different Mayan days are also displayed. Yet to be explained is the unknown, unidentified man who was beheaded for some reason.
Considering all the human sacrifices said to occur here, I like to think
it depicts how paybacks can be a bitch, that this frieze depicts the ruler the Maya residents decided should be handed his own head.
As I stand on the terrace containing
the various friezes, I see it is still a long way to the top of El Castillo. The ascent
requires climbing up small steps and navigating narrow walkways, even
passing the room where the rulers once slept every night. From my new
vantage point atop the pyramid, I can finally appreciate the remarkable compactness of
El Castillo was strategically located on a hilltop, which allowed it to tower even higher
over the Mopan and Belize River valleys below. It's amazing how far
I can see, if not quite far enough to pick out Tikal, the huge Maya
complex in Guatemala only 30 miles away.
the first major archeological site opened to the public, in 1954, and
since has come to symbolize the Maya heritage of Belize .