Altun Ha Maya Ruins – Home to Belize’s Famous Jade Head

 

Altun Ha ( English translation:Rockstone Pond)

Altun Ha, the archaeological site closest to Belize City, was a major ceremonial center and is home to Belize’s famous Jade Head.

Altun Ha functioned as a central trading link between the Caribbean coast and Maya centers in the interior during the Maya Classic Period. Two main plazas with roughly 13 Maya temples and residential structures have been excavated here.

Belize’s famous Jade Head

A unique feature of this site is the absence of carved stelae, while its most notable artifact is a large jade carving of the Maya sun god “Kinich Ahau” Weighing almost 10 pounds, this 6-inch carving is the largest carved jade object to be found in any Maya community in the region.  A replica of the “Jade Head,” a national treasure, is on display at Central Bank of Belize and its likeness is watermarked on all Belizean currency.

When you go …

Altun Ha is located near Rockstone Pond Village in the Belize District.  Although there is no public transportation to the site, this is a popular day tour with hotels and tour operators in the area as well as with the cruise lines at port in Belize City.

 

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