History

Site Overview

Caracol is the largest Maya archaeological site in Belize, Central America. In AD 650, the urban area of Caracol had a radius of approximately 10 kilometers around the site’s epicenter. It covered an area much larger than present day Belize City (the largest metropolitan area in the country of Belize) and supported more than twice the modern city’s population. Urban Caracol maintained a population of over 140,000 people through the creation of an immense agricultural field system and through elaborate city planning. Caracol is noted not only for its size during the Maya Classic era (A.D. 250-950), but also for its prowess in war; this includes an AD 562 defeat of Tikal (Guatemala) and a subsequent conquest of Naranjo (Guatemala) in AD 631 (see timeline).

Terraces All photographs in this website are by D. or A. Chase, R. Spencer, Caracol Project members, and/or visitors to the site. Paintings are by T. Rutledge, J. Chavda, and B. Stahl.