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Altun Ha - Temple of the Masonry Altars

Posted by
Steven (Chicagoland, United States) on 8 December 2011 in Landscape & Rural and Portfolio.

Altun Ha is the name given ruins of an ancient Mayan city in Belize, located in the Belize District about 30 miles north of Belize City and about 6 miles west of the shore of the Caribbean Sea. The site covers an area of about 5 square miles. The ruins of the ancient structures had their stones reused for residential construction of the agricultural village of Rockstone Pond in modern times, but the ancient site did not come to the attention of archeologists until 1963.

The largest of Altun Ha's temple-pyramids, the Temple of the Masonry Altars, (pictured above) is 54 feet high. A drawing of this structure is the logo of Belize's leading brand of beer, "Belikin".

In 1961, W.R. Bullard conducted excavations led by the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), at Baking Pot and San Estevan, and although no excavations took place, the site was initially called “Rockstone Pond.” In 1963, quarrying activity by local villagers led to a recovery of a large and elaborate carved jade pendant. The current commissioner of archaeology, Hamilton Anderson, notified David M. Pendergast and a reconnaissance trip was made in 1963. Starting in 1964, an archeological team led by Dr. David Pendergast of the Royal Ontario Museum began extensive excavations and restorations of the site, which continued through 1970. There was a total of 40 months of excavation with a field season in 1971 of ceramic and laboratory analysis.

Photos were taken from on top of the temple, which I will share with you later.

Photo captured November 16, 2011.

NIKON D7000 1/250 second F/5.6 ISO 100 28 mm

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Spotlight Images

Michael Fresh from Chester, United Kingdom

I'm looking forward to seeing more of these shots; what a stunningly beautiful and interesting place.

8 Dec 2011 6:27am

Curly from South Shields, United Kingdom

Always fascinated at how greens respond to tone mapping, pretty vibrant today!

8 Dec 2011 8:30am

Tamara from Aarschot, Belgium

Wow... This is really beautiful Steven, it must be an incredible experience to be there ! Have a lovely day :)

8 Dec 2011 8:55am

Florence from Paris, France

I do agree with Curly, and what a wonderful historical place. Reminds me my journey in Guatemala when I've visited some silimar temples.

8 Dec 2011 9:01am

Stephen from Canberra, Australia

Magnificent surviving structure - the green adds new life to the old ruins!

8 Dec 2011 9:53am

Sam from Chennai, India

Wonderful architecture. Love the green lawn. Great shot. :)

8 Dec 2011 10:23am

Mhelene from Paris, France

Very beautiful ! Great composition ,treatment and colors !

8 Dec 2011 2:57pm

Rick from Toronto, Canada

A wonderful shot. I love the ages old look of the structure in such a lush setting.

8 Dec 2011 3:18pm

Phil David Morris from Saskatoon, Canada

Gorgeous shot of the ruins, kept up beautifully now they still inspire awe.
Magnificent !~

8 Dec 2011 3:28pm

Roman from Thiersee, Austria

an excellent HDR of this wonderful place

8 Dec 2011 7:19pm

Sarito from Basingstoke, United Kingdom

Beautiful green. lovely shot

8 Dec 2011 8:49pm

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

This is simply wonderful! You had a great trip.

8 Dec 2011 9:20pm

Alun from cheshire, United Kingdom

lots of vivid green, what a great place to go, nice one

8 Dec 2011 9:57pm

Elaine Hancock from Rockville, United States

Beautiful color and a great history. What an interesting place to visit.

8 Dec 2011 10:20pm

john4jack from Corvallis, Oregon, United States

fine capture

8 Dec 2011 11:33pm

franz from Baden, Austria

one cannot but admire the craftsmanship of the ancient builders ...
very nicely framed image, and strong tropical colors !!

9 Dec 2011 7:28pm

MissT from Chicagoland, United States

I love the diagonal that runs from the clouds up left, down through the red railing over to the right - excellent composition.

10 Dec 2011 7:35am