The Road to Caracol GOB approves $5 million contract
(Saturday 20 December 2003 01:41:01 pm)
The Government of Belize has taken a decision to link the ancient hidden City of Caracol built on a mountain top, to the Western Highway by way of an all-weather road.
Caracol, an ancient maya city hidden on a mountain top.
This week Minister of Works Vildo Marin signed the contracts with Cisco’s Managing Director John Woods, the successful bidder.
This project calls for the upgrading of 6 miles of road to all-weather standards and the paving of 9.2 miles with single surface dressing.
The cost of construction, estimated at Bze. $ 5.134 million, is being paid for from two sources, the Inter- American Development Bank and the International Cooperation and Development Fund, both of which are providing soft loans.
The all-weather road is expected to make it easier for tourists from all over the world, and for Belizeans to visit this remarkable hidden city on a mountain-top, which was not discovered until 1938.
Work on the road will begin in two weeks' time and should be completed by October next year.
Caracol has its own version of the Sphinx.
Caracol may turn out to be the crown jewel of Belizean archaeological sites. It is one of the largest of the Mayan cities of the Meso America project. It promises to provide crucial information about how the Mayans lived in the mid-classic and early to late classic times- the period in which Caracol’s civilisation flourished.
Records from Caracol show that the City had an uneasy relationship with her sister city, Tikal and that in the year 617 A.D. the King of Caracol, Lord Kan II conquered the King of Tikal, Naranjo, and brought back many captives as slaves.
Another remarkable aspect of the Caracol site is the seven causeways or winding paths which radiate outward from the city hub in all directions. These causeways were useful in opening up the countryside and may have had military significance as well.
Archaeologists have described a South Acropolis, a Central Acropolis and a Southwest Acropolis. The tallest man-made structure is the immense Caana complex which rises some 42 metres above a courtyard. Because the site has not been extensively pillaged, there is hope that the city will yield information not previously available to scholars.
These impressive pyramids were first discovered by a woodcutter, Rosa Mai, who reported his find to government authorities.
The late H.A. Anderson, Belize’s first Archaeological Commissioner, did extensive work at the site during two seasons.
In 1950 Linton Satterthwait of the University of Pennyslvania visited the site and during two seasons of work succeeded in mapping the Central portion of Caracol and photographed most of the monuments. http://www.belizereporter.bz/index.php/reporter/layout/set/print/content/view/full/735/