Altun Ha (Rockstone Pond) is situated 31 miles north of Belize City. It is perhaps one of the most known Mayan sites of Belize.  Despite the fact that it was officially recognized since 1947 excavation of this site was not carried out initially until 1964- 1971. It was named after the present day nearby village of Rockstone Pond which initially prior to excavation of this site had begun to quarry stone from the covered stone mounds of Altun Ha.  

  • Altun Ha (Rockstone Pond) is one of the most known and visited Mayan Centers in Belize. 


This ancient Mayan City in its origins can be dated back to 200 B.C and was well occupied for over a 1000 years.  The central part which has been excavated extensively is made up of two main plazas (A and B).


  • It was inhabited for over a 1000 years.


In its heyday, Altun Ha was an  important center of trade and wealth. 
One should take into account that the entire Mesoamerican region (beginning from more or less central Mexico and most of Central America) from ancient times was interconnected by a complex network of trade routes. 


  • It was an important center of trade and wealth  in the  Mesoamerican world (from central Mexico onwards including almost the entire Central America).


Altun Ha, 16 miles   from the coast was a very important point within this network connecting coastal trade routes originating as far away as the distant City  of Teotihuacan (in Central Mexico), with inland lowland routes within Belize and  Guatemala and back. 


  • It connected the expanse coastal trade network with inland Mayan routes. 


This Mayan Ceremonial Center, and also once a very important trade port is perhaps one of the most well known destinations by both nationals and worldwide visitors.  Plaza B houses the highest and biggest temple, 54 feet tall. The Temple of the Masonary Altar (structure B4) atop which there is an altar on excavation unearthed one of the most important national treasures, the famous “Jade Head” carved masterly to depict the Sun God Kinich Ahau. It is quite probable that the skeletal remains of an elderly male were those of one of the most influential socio-political leaders of this metrópoli who was accompanied in his burial with this representation of the Sun God which was also one of the most important deities in the Maya world. 


  • Home of the world famous, “Jade Head” depicting one of the most important Mayan deities, Kinich Ahau;  The Sun God.


The Jade Head, is perhaps the largest single carved jade object found in the Mayan world, weighing 9.75 pounds and 6 inches high. 


  • The “Jade Head” is perhaps the largest single carved Jade object of the Mayan world. 


The  nearby “Rockstone  Pond” which supplied the metrópoli with water was in reality a man made reservoir  lined with clay to  facilitate water retention.

 

  • The “Rockstone Pond” which supplied the metrópoli with water was man made. 

Altun Ha, Home of the Mayan Sun God Kinich Ahau.

Text researched and written by: Ramón Cervantes Martínez 

Ramón is a  Social Anthropologist (Ethnologist) who carried out research in Western Belize, in the Mayan Yucatecan village of San Antonio, Belize. He has also trained professionally in other areas of human development such as psychotherapy and clinical sexology.  He is a world traveler and místic who treasures living life fully. Presently he is involved as one of the team members in the operations of Zippy Zappy Mayan Travels.