The isolated El Pilar Ancient Maya Temple is three times larger than Xunantunich and is still being excavated today. The focus here is showing travelers how regular Maya lived by uncovering common homes and planting gardens and crops used by the Maya. El Pilar was occupied from 800 BC to 1000 AD and at one time had over 20,000 residents. For a look at how the regular Maya lived, El Pilar is the place to go.
El Pilar is one of Belize's largest Classic period Maya sites. The centre has a well-defined civic/ ceremonial section that includes both private and public areas. There are at least 15 courtyards or plazas covering an area of 50 acres. The complexity of El Pilar's epicentre suggests the site was of considerable regional importance during the Late Classic period. Beyond the central precinct, settlement density is also very high, suggesting a large population lived in the site's sustaining area. Within the site centre there are several large temples, palaces and elite architecture. The tallest structure stands at 21 meters (70-ft) above the plaza. Other architectural features include at least one ball court and several reservoirs that served as water catchments. Although there has been limited archaelogical work at El Pilar, substantial effors have been expended to develop the site's natural forest environment. East of the site's core, in a section known as the Garden Area, a small residential plaza was concerved in an effort to demonstrate the nture of Maya households and heir connection to the flora, fauna and natural ecology.
Did you know...
El Pilar is one of the largest Maya sites in the Belize Valley and lies 50 kilometers from the major prehistoric city of Tikal in Guatemala.