REPORT #527 August 2002

by Ray Auxillou

(Developing Caracol as an important remote Mayan tourist site!)

Belizean history is rather vague about what happened after Lord Waters the King from Caracol in Belize, conquered the Mayan Kingdom at Tikal in 562 AD.

Some new historical writings have come to light and recently translated from uncovered steps at Dos Pilas. Translations done by Federico Fahsen of Vanderbilt, a noted Maya epigrapher. The story is in the October edition of National Geographic, 2002. This being south and west of Tikal. Located on the Rio Pasion region of Guatemala; this river was the super highway of the ancient Mayan world. Lots of traffic all the way into the Gulf of Mexico. The river banks are strewn with lost city ruins.

The new information fills in a sixty year missing period of Mayan fuedal history wars. Apparently, the glyphs of the steps at Dos Pilas tell of the birth of a new King, called Balaj Chan K'awiil on Oct. 15th 625 AD. The child at four years old was sent with a military force to create a city called Dos Pilas about 70 miles southwest of Tikal. This allowed the locals to control the river trade. His brother was the ruler of Tikal, called Nuun Ujol Chaak.

To the north in the Peten just over the border in what today is Mexico from Guatemala, there was a Mayan people called the snake people. Or the people of the KAN. The capital was Calakmul in what is now Campeche in the middle of the southern part of the Yucatan Peninsular. These are the same people, whose descendents successfully defied the central government of Mexico for the last two hundred years and only recently have permitted the cross Yucatan highway to be built between Xcarcega and Chetumal.They also invaded Belize,or British Honduras during the War of the Castes, nearly throwing out the Spanish from Merida and the Yucatan peninsular.

About 650 AD, Calakmul attacked and defeated Dos Pilas down in the southwest Peten. Balaj Chan K'awiil was captured, but restored to the throne of Dos Pilas as a king, swearing allegiance to his new overlord. It doesn't explain why Calakmul by-passed Tikal and conquered the more distant and southern kingdom at Dos Pilas. But Balaj Chan K'awiil as puppet king, eventually attacked and made war on Tikal and his elder brother for nearly ten years. Eventually capturing Tikal and his brother the King. The brother Chan K'awiil of Dos Pilas sacrificed his elder brother Nuun Ujol Chaak of Tikal and all his nobles at a ceremony in Dos Pilas.

Dos Pilas then went about building an Empire of fuedal allegiances and became a regional player. The unexplained abandonment of Caracol, supposedly done in an instant of time, leaving food on the tables, could have been an invasion by Balaj Chan K'awiil sometime in this time period? At the moment we do not know? But Caracol in Belize had administered Tikal as a subject kingdom for about a hundred years.

Another little piece of history in the central Mayan Empire Fuedal kingdom wars fits into place.

Note: Early Belizean History book can be read on the web on the Belize Electronic Library, done as a project of the Belize Development Trust for students within Belize.

Back to Main Belize Development Trust Page

Maintained by Ray Auxillou, Silvia Pinzon, MLS, and Marty Casado. Please email with suggestions or additions for this Electronic Library of Belize.