Where Is Lamanai?


Over 720 buildings have been identified as the result of the Royal Ontario Museum's excavations, directed by David Pendergast from 1974 to 1986.
Lamanai is a Maya site located in northern Belize, Central America. Belize, once known as British Honduras, is a nation of about 200,000 people; it's bordered on the north by Mexico, on the west and south by Guatemala, and on the east by the Caribbean Sea. Lamanai is spread out along the west bank of the New River Lagoon at a point where the New River flows from the lagoon on its 80-mile journey -- about 40 miles as the crow flies -- north to Chetumal Bay and the Caribbean. The New River, known to the Maya as Dzuluinicob ("foreign men") was one of the arteries used by the conquering Spaniards and missionizing friars as they attempted to penetrate the forests of the Maya lowlands. The name "Lamanai," in fact, appears in 16th and 17th century documents as a Spanish rendering of a Maya name, which we think was originally Laman'ayin ("submerged crocodile").

Pottery maskette with crocodile headdress, 10.9 cm in height. From a probable offering in the earliest Postclassic construction phase of a 12th century A.D. building, Str. N10-2. Drawing by David Findlay.



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Archaeology in Belize


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