I was most looking forward to the Mayan ruins in Belize. I love going to historical sites and learning about ancient cultures (Egypt remains my favourite trip of all time). Our trip took us to two ruins, Chahal Pech and Xunantunich.
What is very different about the Mayan ruins and culture is how little is known. Unlike other cultures which have documents (in the form of hieroglyphics or the like), the Mayan culture is quite the mystery. It seemed like much of their lifestyle, rituals and culture history is based on hypothesis. One big question that remains unanswered is what happened to the Maya civilization? Why did their culture die out?
Some 88 different theories or variations of theories attempting to explain the Classic Maya Collapse have been identified. From climate change to deforestation to lack of action by Mayan kings, there is no universally accepted collapse theory, although drought is gaining momentum as the leading explanation
I also found it interesting that much of their history remains buried. It would seem that the lack of resources and funding has left many of the sites covered. Even in the large Xunantunich site, there were huge mounds to each side which entombed ancient ruins. The history of the Maya (that they do know) is that each new leader built on top of the old one, so layers upon layers remain undiscovered.
Awaiting a foreign University’s funding …..