Mayan Ruins

Belize District

altun-haAltun Ha Mayan Archaeological Site.  Altun Ha was occupied from about 900 BC to 1000 AD, with the highest level of population in the Classic Period, from about 400 to 900 AD. 

Altun Ha showed a sharp decline in population after 900 AD, unlike Lamanai, which continued to be occupied for almost 700 years.

Altun Ha appears to have been an important trade center, trading as far south as Panama and as far north as what is now Mexico City.  In fact, archaeological evidence indicates that Altun Ha had a particularly strong connection to the pre-Columbian Mexican city of Teotihuacan, located about 30 miles northeast of the Mexico City area.  Teotihuacan was the largest pre-Columbia city in the Americas, with a population of approximately 125,000 people in the city core, making it one of the largest cities in the world between 1 and 500 AD.

Large amounts of jade artifacts from the Late Classic/Terminal Classic Period have been found at Altun Ha, as well as many chert and obsidian artifacts from the Early Classic Period.  

Much of the archeological research conducted at Altun Has has focused on the "Tomb of the Sun God," or the "Temple of the Masonry Alter," which is featured on the bottle of the Belize-made Beliken beer.  The Sun God's Tomb dates from about 600-650 AD and when excavated contained the tomb of an adult man, plus offereings including ceramic bowls, shell beads, Jadeite anklets, bracelets and beads, pearls, pyrite and hematite, and the carved jade head of what some believe is the Sun God, Kinich Ahau, and others believe is the Jester God, a symbol of Maya rulership.

Altun Ha is located in the Belize District, 30 miles north of Belize City, near Rockstone Pond Village and 6 miles from the Caribbean Sea.

Latitude:  17°45'50.40"N/Longitude:  88°20'49.56"W