Trophies Made Of Human Skulls Highlight The Collapse Of The Maya Civilization

belize maya civilization

Much is already known about the ancient Maya civilization that once ruled the Central American nation of Belize. Of course, there are always new and intriguing things to discover – as recently proven by a team of archaeologists from Michigan State University.

Deep in the Belizean jungle, near Pacbitun, the archaeologists uncovered two human skull trophies. These defleshed and painted skulls were found buried with an ancient warrior and are believed to be manufactured from the heads of his defeated enemies. 

Though the discovery of these skulls is exciting in its own right, the location of the finding makes it even more interesting. The archaeologists believe that the discovery of the skulls may hint at the existence of regional conflicts towards the end of Maya civilization. More specifically, they think that it shows conflict between the established ruling class in the south (Belize) and upcoming powers in the north (near the Mexican Yucatan).

The archaeologists arrived at their conclusions because the location of the discovery and the time-period of the warrior are both consistent with the downfall of the Maya civilization. During the warrior’s life, northern cities in the Mexican Yucatan were rising to prominence and creating art and ceramics that were heavily influenced by military battles – often showing killings and decapitations.

The exact cause of the collapse of the Maya civilization in Belize is certainly complex and still relatively unknown. However, the presence of what seems to be a northern warrior (given the similarities between his trophies and the art of the time) in an established Maya city may indicate that war and conflict played a significant role in the events.

The best way to learn more about the ancient Maya civilization and its eventual downfall is by taking a trip to Belize. While here, you will be able to visit historic ruins and caves – taking in everything there is to know about the Maya people in the process.

Rather than figuring out every single detail of your trip on your own, you ought to book the Belize beach and jungle package from Chabil Mar. This package will not only make it easy for you to see the Maya sites but will also allow you to spend time relaxing on Belize’s pristine white sandy beaches. To learn more about the package or to make your booking, you can visit our website.

This is the Belize Resort Where You Should Stay For Your Placencia Vacation

The Best Resort in Placencia

Placencia is one of the top vacation destinations in Belize. Often called “the island you can walk to,” Placencia is just half a mile wide and 16 miles north to south. Located on the beautiful Caribbean coast of southern Belize, Placencia is home to some of the most beautiful golden sand beaches in a country that is chock full of beaches.

When it comes time to choose from amongst all the Belize beach resorts, visitors need to carefully sort through offerings in order to find the best one. With so many Placencia Belize resorts to choose from, though, deciding can be difficult. Luckily, one resort really stands out head and shoulders above the rest.

A perennial TripAdvisor winner and the winner of multiple hospitality awards, Chabil Mar is located right on the beach just a short, five-minute walk from Placencia Village. Chabil Mar has its own private span of beach as well as two freshwater infinity pools, a lush tropical garden, a private sea pier ideal for open-air dining, and an on-site gourmet restaurant.


At Chabil Mar, service and the comfort of guests always comes first. Chabil Mar has luxuriously appointed villas, each with air conditioning, high-speed wireless internet, and a full range of modern amenities, making it an ideal choice for anyone searching for lodging in Placencia, Belize. Although there are several Placencia Belize hotels nearby, only Chabil Mar is a true oasis of comfort and luxury.

Guests of Chabil Mar can also take advantage of free bicycle and Hobie cat (sailboat) rentals. The resort also offers Belize vacation packages that include transportation, lodging, and guided tours to all of the top destinations in the country for one convenient price. The name “Chabil Mar” means “Beautiful Sea” in the local Mayan language and offers guests far more comfort and privacy than nearby Placencia hotels.

The Placencia Peninsula is located close to a lot of great attractions, including hiking through the vast Cockcomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary (home to more than 200 jaguars!), ancient Maya ruins, and boat tours along the well-named Monkey River. But there’s also lots to see on Placencia itself, including the “capital,” Placencia Village, holder of the Guinness Book of World Records for the smallest “main street,” in reality, a four-foot wide pedestrian-only sidewalk lined with colorful murals, boutique shops, restaurants, and cafes.
For all of your Belize travel needs, book your vacation with Chabil Mar.

The Ancient Maya of Belize


The Ancient Maya Of Belize
By: Jaime J. Awe Ph.D.
Copyright: First Edition December, 2005
(Following are excerpts taken from the above publication and do not constitute the book in its entirety)

What Mayan language was spoken in Belize before the arrival of the Spanish? Epigraphers and historical linguists believe that two major languages were spoken in Belize during the Classic period (A.D. 300-900) of Maya civilization. Yucatec was spoken in the northern two thirds of the country, and Cholan was the common language of the people who lived in the south. Cholan speakers are now only found in Guatemala and in the state of Chiapas in Mexico.

What Mayan languages are spoken in Belize today?

Today Yucatec is still spoken by the Maya who live in the villages of San Antonio and Succotz in the Cayo District, and by people in the Corozal and Orange Walk Districts. Mopan, which is spoken in San Antonio Village in the Toledo District, is a dialect of Yucatec. Other Maya communities in the Toledo District are Kekchi speakers. Kekchi originated in the Alta Verapaz region of Guatemala.

When was Maya civilization fully established?

In the past scholars believe that Maya civilization was not fully established until about A.D. 300, at the start of the Early Classic Period. Recent research, however, has provided conclusive evidence that ancient Maya civilization was actually in full bloom by at least 100 B.C. in the late Pre-classic period. By this early date the Maya were already carving stelae on altars, conducting long distance trade, utilizing mathematical and calendrical systems, and constructing monumental architecture.

How did the Maya perceive their universe?

They perceived their world as having three levels: the heavens, earth and underworld. The heavens were subdivided into thirteen levels and the underworld into nine levels. At the center of the universe was the sacred Ceiba tree whose limbs touched the heavens and roots descended into the underworld. Heaven was the adobe of sacred gods and deified ancestors. Earth was the home of humans, the forests, and all other creatures. The underworld was a place of death and diseases, and home of the Bolontiku (nine evil gods).

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The Music of Belize

belize music

Often described as a true melting pot, the modern-day nation of Belize is a rich blend of different cultures, including the Maya, Garifuna, Creole, and Mestizo people.

During its earliest history, Belize was briefly under the dominion of Spain but then became Britain’s only mainland colony in the area. Later emigration of Mennonites from Germany and Switzerland added to the many European influences in Belizean music, including polkas, quadrilles, schottisches, and polkas.

Primarily from the Garifuna culture, local styles feature musical instruments like drums, banjo, accordion, guitar, and a donkey’s jaw bone (played like a saw or zither). The Mestizos, immigrants from Guatemala and Mexico, brought the marimba, double bass, and drum sets.

These various influences have created a number of distinct styles of musical expression in Belize. Cumbia, related to salsa and merengue, is a popular type of music played by troupes in areas where Mestizos live. Probably the most famous musical Creole style is known as “brukdown” (breakdown), a melodic mix of calypso featuring percussion and rhythms from a donkey’s jawbone, drums and banjos. Newer forms of brukdown are called “boom and chime” and feature the use of electric guitars, congas, and bass guitars.

Two related genres of music created in Belize are known as punta and punta rock. Developed by Garifuna musicians, punta and punta rock mix traditional rhythms and dance steps from African melodies and add modern lyrics to create a style somewhat similar to reggae. Punta and punta rock were developed for parties and social events where dancing is just as important a component as the music and singing.

Probably the most iconic component of Belizean music is Garifuna drumming. Whether as an accompaniment to other instruments or played solely, Garifuna drums are traditionally made from local hardwoods covered with a skin from peccaries (a kind of wild pig) or deer. Garifuna drumming preserves the flavor and intensity of its African origins, and is often played along with “siseras”, a kind of maraca.

The award-winning luxury resort of Chabil Mar on the Placencia Peninsula is an excellent place to stay in order to experience all of the rich musical heritage of Belize. With close access to Dangriga, the culture capital of Belize, and other towns and villages with a rich heritage of Maya, Creole, and Garifuna music, Chabil Mar features well-appointed villas, a lush tropical garden, and its own gourmet restaurant featuring elegant beachfront dining, with live garifuna drummers and dancers during our Friday night beach-side grill nights (in-season), where our chefs prepare your dinner for you on open grills adjacent to the dining area, outside.

Visit our website for more information on Belize, and don’t hesitate to send us an email, or call US/CAN Toll Free: 1-866-417-2377, Local: (011-501) 523-3606, if you have questions or need help in planning a Belize vacation.


5 Belizean Festivals You Simply Cannot Miss This Year

One of the great things about visiting Belize is that there’s always something going on. No matter what time of year you come to Belize, you can join in on the fun with one of the country’s many exciting festivals, holidays, and events.

Here are 5 festivals in Belize that you shouldn’t miss this year:

Placencia Lobsterfest


Summer kicks off with style every June on the Placencia Peninsula with a festive three-day party that celebrates the mighty lobster. Local chefs compete to create the most savory dish from the world’s favorite crustacean while diners work to burn off all those extra calories with fun games, live music, and a beach party that lasts until dawn. There’s plenty for the whole family to enjoy, including other seafood treats, face painting, and homemade handicrafts and artwork for sale.

This year’s Lobsterfest in Placencia runs from June 21-23, 2019.

September Celebrations

Belize Flag


Sometimes it seems as though the entire month of September is one big holiday. Beginning on September 10, the national holiday of St. George’s Caye Day celebrates the historic 1798 triumph of British settlers over a Spanish armada which led to Belize becoming the only English-speaking country in the region. Patriotic celebrations, parades, and red, white, and blue (the national colors of Belize) festooned everywhere culminate with big bang on September 21, Independence Day, celebrating the moment in 1981 when Belize became a free and independent nation.

Garifuna Settlement Day


More than 200 years ago, the Garifuna people were exiled from their Caribbean home after an uprising against the British. Seeking sanctuary, the Garifuna arrived in Belize on a fleet of dugout canoes, an event which is re-enacted on the morning of November 19 every year for the national holiday of Garifuna Settlement Day. Although the Garifuna compromise only 4% of Belize’s population, their contribution to music, dance, and food has the whole country celebrating on November 19.

Mango Festival in Hopkins


Many consider the mango to be the tastiest tropical fruit grown in Belize, and the idyllic coastal village of Hopkins grows no fewer than 20 different varieties. Besides all the tasty fruit and mango-themed dishes, there’s live music, games, contests, and dancing in the street to herald the arrival of the mango crop.

In 2019, the Hopkins Mangofest is scheduled for the first week in June.

International Costa Maya Festival


Originally a celebration of Maya heritage from around the region, the International Costa Maya Festival is now one of the biggest festivals of the year. Held in San Pedro on the island of Ambergris Caye, the International Costa Maya Festival has top musical acts, plenty of delicious food and drinks, and a beauty pageant.

In 2019, the festival will held in the first week of August.

For more information about Belize, feel free to chat with our Concierge at: or contact our Reservations Manager at: Or perhaps you would like to call toll free from the US or Canada: 1-866-417-2377.


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