Mayan Ruins

Toledo District

lubaantun-whistle2Lubaanatun Mayan Archaeological Site.   Lubaantun is located about 2 miles from San Pedro Columbia Village and about 26 miles northwest of Punta Gorda Town in the Toledo District of Belize.  Lubaantun, which means "place of the fallen stones" is a modern name for the site.  No one knows its ancient Mayan name.

Lubaantun was occupied in the mid to late Classic Period from about 730 to 890 AD when it was abandoned.  Not much is known about Lubaantun although speculation is that it had a military purpose because it is built about 200 feet above sea level, and the center of the site is on a large artificially raised platform between two small rivers.

Lubaantun is also believed to have been an administrative center of trade regulation, with nearby Nim Li Punit functioning as a center of religion, ceremony and ritual.

The architecture of Lubaantun is unusual for Classic Period sites in Belize - stones used for building are black slate rather than limestone, no mortar is used and corner stones are rounded on the edges.  The structures are also built in tiers with each tier set back slightly from the tier below it.

When portions of Lubaantun were excavated, large numbers of miniature ceramic objects were found - some were whistles, other believed to be charm stones, and also metates (grinding stones) and manos (grinding tools).  Santiago Coc, the caretaker of Lubaantun, makes and sells ceramic whistles that are duplicates of the ceramic whistles of Lubaantun.

Population at Lubaantun is estimated to have been approximately 600 people, and structures included 3 ball courts and 11 structures built around 5 plazas.

One mystery involving Lubaantun is the complete absence of any carved stelae (carved stone monuments) in a city of its size and complexity of construction.

Birding is also very good at Lubaantun.

Latitude:   16°16'0.12"N/Longitude:   88°57'0.00"W