Roads in Belize
The road network in Belize consists of over 1,900 miles of roads, of which 357 miles is paved. Belize has five major asphalt-paved two-lane roads: Philip Goldson Highway between Belize City and the Mexican border north of Corozal George Price Highway between Belize City and the Guatemalan border near Benque Viejo del Carmen Hummingbird Highway from Belmopan to Dangriga Southern Highway from Dangriga to Punta Gorda Most maps display Old Northern Highway, which provides access to Altun Ha; this road is a single lane and paved in places, but deteriorates immediately north from the access road to the ruins. There is the Coastal Highway known as the Manatee Highway or the Shortcut, which joins the Western Highway 30 miles west of Belize City with the Stann Creek Valley near Dangriga, but it is all gravel, may wash out in heavy rains. Most Belizeans travel by bus as their main form of transportation. In the large towns and cities, such as Belize City, tickets can be bought ahead of time at a bus terminal.
However, the most common way of catching a bus is by flagging it down on the road. On the Phillip Goldson and George Price Highways, bus service is more frequent than on smaller highways and other roads. In some locations, like small towns, buses may run only once a day. Many buses are old Greyhounds or school buses, although newer express buses travel the two main highways; the express buses cost more than other buses. Travel by bus in Belize is inexpensive, with the total fare from Chetumal, Mexico, at the border in the north to Punta Gorda in the far south being only around BZD $40. Fares vary by route and bus line, but fares run around 5–7 US cents per mile. With the 2005 bankruptcy and closing of the largest national bus company, Novelo's, bus service in Belize has become more fragmented. National Transportation Services the successor to Novelo's operates from the old Novelo's terminals, but 100 other bus lines, some with only one bus operate around the country. Among the larger lines are James, Tillett's, Belize Buses and Gilharry.
Shuttle vans operate, providing direct service between towns for a higher price. Two Guatemala-based bus lines, Linea Dorada and San Juan, have service from Chetumal, Mexico, to Flores, via Belize City. Taxis are unmetered, with fare schedules varying by city. Fares for travel outside the cities are based on the distance covered; because taxis are unmetered, discussing the fare with the driver first is recommended. Typical rates within Belize City are BZ$5–10. Taxi fare from the international airport to the Belize City center is fixed at BZ$50, for up to four persons. Bicycles have grown in popularity, but motorcycles and mopeds are scarce, though with the price of gas now near BZ$10 a gallon, small scooters and motorcycles are used more than in the past. Besides the highways, the rest of the roads are one or two lanes and unpaved, at times filled with gravel or sand. If trying to reach remote or off-the-main-road destinations, it is recommended to drive in a four-wheel drive vehicle. Driving requires a valid driver's license from your home country.
There are occasional police check points near the major towns that may require you to stop and provide all the legal documents, as well as proof of the required liability insurance. There are plenty of gas stations near the larger towns, mechanics may be found in Belize City, San Ignacio, Orange Walk. Traffic is light on the highways, passing slower vehicles should cause no problems. Driving is on the right side of the road. Speed limits are 55 mph on the highways, 25–40 mph within villages and towns. Seatbelts are required. Mileposts and road signs still display distances in miles. Link to article about highways Belize Bus Schedules
Ruins are the remains of human-made architecture: structures that were once intact have fallen, as time went by, into a state of partial or total disrepair, due to lack of maintenance or deliberate acts of destruction. Natural disaster and population decline are the most common root causes, with many structures becoming progressively derelict over time due to long-term weathering and scavenging. There are famous ruins all over the world, from ancient sites in China, the Indus valley and Judea to Zimbabwe in Africa, ancient Greek and Roman sites in the Mediterranean basin, Incan and Mayan sites in the Americas. Ruins are of great importance to historians and anthropologists, whether they were once individual fortifications, places of worship, ancient universities and utility buildings, or entire villages and cities. Many ruins have become UNESCO World Heritage Sites in recent years, to identify and preserve them as areas of outstanding value to humanity. Ancient cities were highly militarized and fortified defensive settlements.
In times of war they were the central focus of armed conflict and would be sacked and ruined in defeat. Although less central to modern conflict, vast areas of 20th-century cities such as Warsaw, Coventry, Stalingrad, Königsberg, Berlin were left in ruins following World War II, a number of major cities around the world – such as Beirut, Sarajevo and Baghdad – have been or ruined in recent years as a result of more localised warfare. Entire cities have been ruined, some lost to natural disasters; the ancient city of Pompeii was lost during a volcanic eruption in the 1st century AD, its uncovered ruins now preserved as a World Heritage Site. The city of Lisbon was destroyed in 1755 by a massive earthquake and tsunami, the 1906 San Francisco earthquake left the city in complete ruin. Apart from acts of war, some important historic buildings have fallen victim to deliberate acts of destruction as a consequence of social and economic factors; the spoliation of public monuments in Rome was under way during the fourth century, when it was covered in protective legislation in the Theodosian Code and in new legislation of Majorian. and the dismantling increased once popes were free of imperial restrictions.
Marble was still being burned for agricultural lime in the Roman Campagna into the nineteenth century. In Europe, many religious buildings suffered as a result of the politics of the day. In the 16th century, the English monarch Henry VIII set about confiscating the property of monastic institutions in a campaign which became known as the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Many abbeys and monasteries fell into ruin. In the 20th century, a number of European historic buildings fell into ruin as a result of taxation policies, which required all structures with roofs to pay substantial property tax; the owners of these buildings, like Fetteresso Castle and Slains Castle in Scotland, deliberately destroyed their roofs in protest at, defiance of, the new taxes. Other decrees of government have had a more direct result, such as the case of Beverston Castle, in which the English parliament ordered significant destruction of the castle to prevent it being used by opposition Royalists. Post-colonial Ireland has encouraged the ruin of grand Georgian houses, symbols of British imperialism.
As a rule, towers built of steel are dismantled, when not used any more, because their construction can be either rebuilt on a new site or if the state of construction does not allow a direct reuse, the metal can be recycled economically. However, sometimes tower basements remain. One example of such a basement is the basement of the former radio mast of Deutschlandsender Herzberg/Elster; the basements of large wooden towers such as Transmitter Ismaning may be left behind, because removing them would be difficult. The contemplation of "rust belt" post-industrial ruins is in its infancy. In the Middle Ages Roman ruins were inconvenient impediments to modern life, quarries for pre-shaped blocks for building projects, or marble to be burnt for agricultural lime, subjects for satisfying commentaries on the triumph of Christianity and the general sense of the world's decay, in what was assumed to be its last age, before the Second Coming. With the Renaissance, ruins took on new roles among a cultural elite, as examples for a consciously revived and purified architecture all' antica, for a new aesthetic appreciation of their innate beauty as objects of venerable decay.
The chance discovery of Nero's Domus Aurea at the turn of the sixteenth century, the early excavations at Herculaneum and Pompeii had marked effects on current architectural styles, in Raphael's Rooms at the Vatican and in neoclassical interiors, respectively. The new sense of historicism that accompanied neoclassicism led some artists and designers to conceive of the modern classicising monuments of their own day as they would one day appear as ruins. In the period of Romanticism ruins were frequent object for painters, place of meetings of romantic poets, nationalist students etc.. Ruin value is the concept that a building be designed such that if it collapsed, it would leave behind aesthetically pleasing ruins that would last far longer without any maintenance at all. Joseph Michael Gandy completed for Sir John Soane in 1832 an atmospheric watercolor of the architect's vast Bank of England rotunda as a picturesquely overgrown ruin, tha
Dangriga known as Stann Creek Town, is a town in southern Belize, located on the Caribbean coast at the mouth of the North Stann Creek River. It is the capital of Belize's Stann Creek District. Dangriga is served by the Dangriga Airport. Known as the "culture capital of Belize" due to its influence on punta music and other forms of Garifuna culture, Dangriga is the largest settlement in southern Belize. Dangriga was settled before 1832 by Garinagu from Honduras. For years it was the second largest population centre in the country behind Belize City, but in recent years has been surpassed by San Ignacio and Orange Walk Town. Since the early 1980s Garífuna culture has undergone a revival, as part of which the town's name of Dangriga, a Garífuna word meaning "standing waters", became more used; the population is a mixture of Garinagu and Mestizos. According to the Statistical Institute of Belize, Dangriga's population in 2010 was 8,767 – 4,302 males and 4,465 females. Dangriga is home to the Garifuna, a cultural and ethnic group, descendants of shipwrecked slaves and native Caribs.
The Garifuna have adopted the Carib language but kept their African musical and religious traditions, while holding a central place in the history of the Catholic church and Catholic education in Belize. Dangriga is where the Caribbean music, Punta Rock and where some of Belize's folk bands can be found. In November each year there is a week-long festivity leading up to Garifuna Settlement Day, attended by Garifuna people from around the region, it includes a torchlit parade and wreath-laying ceremony at the monument of the patriot and social activist Thomas Vincent Ramos, selection of Miss Garifuna and special church services, The T. V. Ramos Classic Bike Race; the 19 November is Garifuna Settlement Day. Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, located southwest of Dangriga. Mayflower Archeological Reserve, consisting of three ruins, two waterfalls and a view of Hopkins village as well as of the Caribbean Sea. Dangriga is a mainland access point to popular cayes in Southern Belize, including Tobacco Caye and Royal Belize.
The city is served by Southern Regional Hospital. Arlie Petters and astrophysicist Pen Cayetano and musician residing in Germany. Originator of Punta Rock. Maxime Faget, designer of the Mercury capsule, contributed to the Gemini and Apollo spacecraft as well as the Space Shuttle. T. V. Ramos, Garifuna civil rights activist from Puerto Cortez, Honduras. Ada Mari Cayetano-Kax'Oxo / Pan Africanist, Nurse-Midwife and PhD Nursing Professor. Benjamin Nicholas / Artist and Painter. Osmond P. Martin, first native Belizean Catholic bishop. Rebecca Rath and Miss Belize 2016. Rakeem Nuñez-Roches, American football player for the Kansas City Chiefs Official Dangriga website About 100 photos with Garifuna, from early 20th century
Belize is a country located on the eastern coast of Central America. Belize is bordered on the northwest by Mexico, on the east by the Caribbean Sea, on the south and west by Guatemala, it has an area of 22,970 square kilometres and a population of 387,879. Its mainland is 68 mi wide, it has the lowest population density in Central America. The country's population growth rate of 1.87% per year is the second highest in the region and one of the highest in the Western Hemisphere. The Mayan civilization spread into the area of Belize between 1500 B. C. and 300 A. D. and flourished until about 1200. European exploration campaigns began in 1502 when Christopher Columbus sailed along the Gulf of Honduras. European settlement was begun by English settlers in 1638; this period was marked by Spain and Britain both laying claim to the land until Britain defeated the Spanish in the Battle of St. George's Caye, it became a British colony in 1840, known as British Honduras, a Crown colony in 1862. Independence was achieved from the United Kingdom on 21 September 1981.
Belize has a diverse society, composed of many cultures and languages that reflect its rich history. English is the official language of Belize. Over half the population is multilingual, with Spanish being the second most common spoken language, it is known for its extensive barrier reef coral reefs and punta music. Belize's abundance of terrestrial and marine species and its diversity of ecosystems give it a key place in the globally significant Mesoamerican Biological Corridor, it is considered a Central American and Caribbean nation with strong ties to both the American and Caribbean regions. It is a member of the Caribbean Community, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, the Central American Integration System, the only country to hold full membership in all three regional organisations. Belize is a Commonwealth realm, with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state; the earliest known record of the name "Belize" appears in the journal of the Dominican priest Fray José Delgado, dating to 1677.
Delgado recorded the names of three major rivers that he crossed while travelling north along the Caribbean coast: Rio Soyte, Rio Xibum and Rio Balis. The names of these waterways, which correspond to the Sittee River, Sibun River and Belize River, were provided to Delgado by his translator, it is that Delgado's "Balis" was the Mayan word belix, meaning "muddy-watered". Some have suggested that the name derives from a Spanish pronunciation of the name of the Scottish buccaneer Peter Wallace, who established a settlement at the mouth of the Belize River in 1638. There is no proof that Wallace settled in this area and some scholars have characterized this claim as a myth. Writers and historians have suggested several other possible etymologies, including postulated French and African origins; the Maya civilization emerged at least three millennia ago in the lowland area of the Yucatán Peninsula and the highlands to the south, in the area of present-day southeastern Mexico, Belize and western Honduras.
Many aspects of this culture persist in the area despite nearly 500 years of European domination. Prior to about 2500 BC, some hunting and foraging bands settled in small farming villages. A profusion of languages and subcultures developed within the Maya core culture. Between about 2500 BC and 250 AD, the basic institutions of Maya civilization emerged; the peak of this civilization occurred during the classic period, which began about 250 AD. The Maya civilization spread across what is now Belize around 1500 BC, flourished there until about AD 900; the recorded history of the middle and southern regions is dominated by Caracol, an urban political centre that may have supported over 140,000 people. North of the Maya Mountains, the most important political centre was Lamanai. In the late Classic Era of Maya civilisation, as many as one million people may have lived in the area, now Belize; when Spanish explorers arrived in the 16th century, the area, now Belize included three distinct Maya territories: Chetumal province, which encompassed the area around Corozal Bay.
Spanish conquistadors explored the land and declared it a Spanish colony but chose not to settle and develop because of its lack of resources and the hostile Indian tribes of the Yucatán. English and Scottish settlers and pirates known as the Baymen entered the area from the 17th century, with Baymen first settling on the coast of what is now Belize in 1638, seeking a sheltered region from which they could attack Spanish ships; the settlers established a trade colony and port in what became the Belize District, during the 18th century, established a system using black slaves to cut logwood trees. This yielded a valuable fixing agent for clothing dyes, was one of the first ways to achieve a fast black before the advent of artificial dyes; the Spanish granted the British settlers the right to occupy the area and cut logwood in exchange for their help suppressing piracy. The British first appointed a superintendent over the Belize area in 1786. Before the British government had not recognized the settlement as a colony for fear of provoking a Spanish attack.
The delay in governm
Lubaantun is a pre-Columbian ruined city of the Maya civilization in southern Belize, Central America. Lubaantun is in Belize's Toledo District, about 42 kilometres northwest of Punta Gorda, 3.2 kilometres from the village of San Pedro Columbia, at an elevation of 61 metres feet above mean sea level. One of the most distinguishing features of Lubaantun is the large collection of miniature ceramic objects found on site; the city dates from the Maya Classic era, flourishing from the AD 730s to the 890s, seems to have been abandoned soon after. The architecture is somewhat unusual from typical Classical central lowlands Maya sites. Lubaantun's structures are built of large stone blocks laid with no mortar black slate rather than the limestone typical of the region. Several structures have distinctive "in-and-out masonry". Corners of the step-pyramids are rounded, lack stone structures atop the pyramids; the centre of the site is on a large artificially raised platform between two small rivers. The ancient name of the site is unknown.
At the start of the 20th century inhabitants of various Kekchi and Mopan Maya villages in the area mentioned the large ruins to inhabitants of Punta Gorda. Dr. Thomas Gann came to investigate the site in 1903, published two reports about the ruins in 1905; the next expedition was led by R. E. Merwin of Harvard University's Peabody Museum in 1915 who cleared the site of vegetation, made a more detailed map, took measurements and photographs, made minor excavations. Of note Merwin discovered one of the site's three courts for playing the Mesoamerican ballgame, which had stone markers with hieroglyphic texts and depictions of the ballgame. In 1924 Gann revisited the ruins, led adventurer F. A. Mitchell-Hedges to the site. In his sensationalistic fashion, Mitchell-Hedges published an article in the Illustrated London News claiming to have "discovered" the site. Gann made a new map of the site; the following year Mitchell-Hedges returned to Lubaantun as a reporter for the Illustrated London News, accompanied by his companion Lady Richmond Brown.
Anna Mitchell-Hedges, the adoptive daughter of F. A. Mitchell-Hedges, would claim that she not only accompanied her father on the expedition, but that it was she who found the famous crystal skull there, but there is no evidence that Anna was in Belize, if the skull had been excavated at Lubaantun it would be hard to explain why none of the official reports mention it, why other expedition members deny that it was found there, why the publicity-loving Mitchell-Hedges did not publish a single mention of the skull before the 1950s. According to Nickell, there is a plethora of mystery surrounding the crystal skull found at Lubaantun. New Age believers assert that there are thirteen crystal skulls that when brought together will unite humanity and heal the world. There is little evidence to suggest that the skulls have any mystical or psychic properties other than anecdotal evidence presented by Anna Mitchell-Hedges, she claims that the skull is the secret to her longevity, that it has the ability to kill whoever dares mock its power.
Moreover, some scholars believe that the skulls may be Aztec but assert that they are not Pre-Columbian or the 3,000 years old as postulated by F. A. Mitchell-Hedges. Additionally, many archaeologists postulate that most, if not all, of the skulls are European forgeries. More it is clear from investigations by Joe Nickell and Norman Hammond that the skull was not found at Lubaantun at all, but was purchased by Mitchell-Hedges at a Sotheby's auction in 1943; the skull had belonged to the collector Sydney Burney, photographs of it had been published in the journal Man as early as 1936. Geoffrey Laws, along with T. A. Joyce and Mitchell-Hedges surveyed the site of Lubaantun, he noted that the site lies upon the line dividing these two geographical units, situated near the village of San Pedro Colombia, at the head of canoe navigation on the Colombia River. The ruins are located in the area formed by the convergence of two small tributaries of this river, his reports, along with other scholars, are consistent in their prostrations that the Lubaantun Maya rigorously utilized water transport.
Moreover, Laws commented on the climate as being humid. His report notes an absence of any “indigenous populations” in his 1928 survey; the British Museum sponsored investigations and excavations at Lubaantun under T. A. Joyce in 1926 and 1927, establishing the mid to late Classic period chronology of the site. According to Joyce, the complex at Lubaantun 900 feet long and 600 feet wide toward the north. During his excavation the archaeologist found pottery fragments which were both shaped and painted along with stone items and shell ornaments, he believed that most of the material culture at the site indicated that it was an Early Classic site but this assertion has since been dismissed by the archaeological community. Notably, he thought that the site must have been under strict centralized control since the architectural styles found would have required large amounts of physical labor, he identifies four “classes” of masonry: megalithic cut blocks, sma
Placencia is a small village located in the Stann Creek District of Belize. In the 17th century, Placencia was settled by the English Puritans from Nova Scotia and latterly from the island of Providencia; this settlement died out during the Central American wars of independence in the 1820s. The Placencia Peninsula was resettled in the late 1800s by several families. Placencia soon became a village, earning its livelihood from the sea; the Spaniards that traveled the southern coast of Belize gave Placencia its name. At that time Placencia was called Placentia, with the point being called Punta Placentia, or Pleasant Point. In the late 20th century it became a significant tourism destination, is now referred to as Placencia Village, or Placencia. On October 8, 2001, Hurricane Iris hit southern Belize with 145 mph winds causing major damage to nearly 95% of buildings in Placencia. Many developers took advantage of plummeted real estate value and an increased development of the peninsula and Placencia proper is on the rise, as well as property value.
The eastern side of the Peninsula is a long expanse of white sand beach and heavy mangrove in some areas. Significant settlements on the 18 mile peninsula from North to South include Riversdale Village, Maya Beach Village, the Garifuna village of Seine Bight and Placencia Village. Placencia, the southern-most village on the peninsula, is served by Placencia Airport; the village is home to 1,512 permanent residents according to the 2010 census, while the Placencia Peninsula is home to 3,458 permanent residents, which includes citizens and ex-pats alike. 2016 recommended itinerary: http://www.caribbeanbeachcabanas.com/recommended-activities/ Placencia, it used to be a fishing village but now offers some tourist amusement such as bars and entertainment like kayaking, diving, saltwater fly fishing, whale shark watching during the full moons between April and July of each year, light tackle saltwater fishing, as well as numerous restaurants and local art gallery. Placencia Village, hosts the Placencia Lobster Fest, the Placencia Peninsula Arts Festival, Easter Week.
Placencia Lagoon, with manatees, rays, mangrove forests, birding by canoe or kayak, fishing and sea grass beds. Mayan ruins of Nim Li Punit and Lubantuum are in the Toledo District, a day trip from the Placencia Peninsula. Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, a day trip from Placencia. Maya Centre Village with 12 self-guided trails, 100,000 acres forest jaguar preserve, nearly 300 bird species. Mayflower Archaeological Reserve, 3 post-classic Maya ruins: Mayflower, T'au Witz and Maintzunun) and waterfalls. Bladen River Reserve Maya Beach Village is a tiny community on the Placencia Peninsula, midway between Placencia Village to the south and Riversdale Village to the north; the closest village is a historic Garifuna settlement. 1.5 miles long, the Maya Beach area is made up of homes, small resorts and a few retail establishments including two small grocery stores, a half-dozen bars & restaurants, an art gallery. Ranguana Caye is a 2-acre private island 18 miles off the coast of Placencia and a major day-trip and overnight for those staying in the village and peninsula.
Village activitiesPlacencia Village Guide Comprehensive FAQ list for those looking to visit: http://www.caribbeanbeachcabanas.com/faqs/ Best Placencia Blog: http://pureplacencia.blogspot.com/ Placencia travel guide from Wikivoyage Placencia Travel Information - Belize Travel Magazine Getting to Placencia-Belize - Tourism Industry Association Monkey River Dangriga Placentia
Nim Li Punit
Nim Li Punit is a Maya Classic Period site in the Toledo District of the nation of Belize, located 40 kilometres north of the town of Punta Gorda, at 16° 19' N, 88° 47' 60W. Nim Li Punit is sometimes known as Top Hat. Nim Li Punit is a medium-sized site from the Maya Classic Period, flourishing from the 5th century AD through the 8th century AD, it consists of structures around three plazas, including several step-pyramids, the tallest being 12.2 meters high. The site has a number of carved stelae illustrating the ancient city's rulers. Several stelae are in an unfinished state; the site is open to visitors subject to an admission charge. Nim Li Punit is situated in the foothills of the Maya Mountains with proximity to clear mountain streams; the Maya Mountains form a nearly impenetrable backdrop forest to the north and east, while the expansive somewhat swampy coastal lowlands adjoining the Caribbean Sea lie to the east. Low-lying swampland between the Sarstoon and Temash Rivers is situated to the south.
The site is within two kilometres of Belize's Southern Highway, accessed by an unpaved road. Area soils are fertile for tropical standards, explain the region's ability to support sizeable prehistoric settlements such as Nim Li Punit. Local sandstones are found in nearby stream and river beds, these materials were used as the principal building stones for the site's structures and stelae; the Maya Mountains and foothills are among the oldest surface rock formations of Central America. The ancient city of Nim Li Punit was laid out in a fashion consistent with other Mayan lowland Classic Era sites, such as Lubaantun and Uxbenka. Nim Li Punit is constructed in the Classic Period prototypical geometric form, using large amounts of fill material to achieve expansive level plazas and terraces; the sky world is exhibited characteristically in the north by shrines and burial structures. The location of the ballcourt is intermediary, illustrating the position of this activity to represent perpetual conflict between the forces of life and death.
The ballcourt is so well preserved, it appears ready to host a game. It is thought that within the Plaza of the Stela in the South Group that there is an E Group geometry that would have been used for astronomical observations. For example, several monuments present before a long terrace known as Structure One, which mark the location of solstices and equinoxes. Unlike Lubaantun, where dry-stone construction was employed, the stone structures are cemented with Mayan mortar; the peak population of Nim Li Punit is estimated to have been in the range of 5000 to 7000 people during the peak occupation Late Classic period. Early occupiers of this site migrated from Guatemala, similar to the history of nearby Lubaantun; the peoples of Nim Li Punit are thought to have spoken a dialect of the Cholan language, that spoken in the Mayan heartland. Evidence from carved stelae document the site was active in the period 721 to 790 AD, based upon actual Mayan calendar dates inscribed on at least six different stones.
As at many other Mayan sites occupation of Nim Li Punit ceased rather in the 9th century AD associated with areawide overpopulation exceeding the region's carrying capacity of the prevalent milpa farming system. The Nim Li Punit population is thought to have been aligned with Mayan settlements such as Tikal in the Petén Basin region of Guatemala; the visitors' center indicates that this site had political and social connections with Copan in Honduras. Nim Li Punit is situated in a locale rich in forest, soil and other natural resources; these assets, coupled with proximity to ample flowing mountain streams, provided the aboriginal Maya at Nim Li Punit a resource base that allowed their civilisation to thrive. While most of the surrounding broadleaf tropical rainforest is secondary growth, due to the disturbance of the Maya themselves, there is considerable biodiversity of trees, mammals, birds and other life forms. In addition to the soils being able to support basic prehistoric staple crops of beans and corn, there are diverse herbs in the vicinity known to have been used by the "ancient ones" for medicinal purposes.
Mammals found in the area include two primates: Yucatán black howler monkey, Alouatta pigra and Central American spider monkey, Ateles geoffroya. Numerous rodents are found here including Agouti paca. A variety of carnivores are present, such as jaguar Panthera onca. Further, hosts of bats and birds frequent the present forest. Nim Li Punit was discovered in 1976 with initial explorations conducted by Norman Hammond of the British Museum-Cambridge University. Hammond excavated a portion of the central plaza. Barbara McLeod of the University of Texas, Austin produced the first detailed analyses of stelae inscriptions. Richard Levanthal in 1983 bored test pits and surveyed the site as part of an overall southern Belize Maya