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Lamanai, Belize - Structures N12-11 & N12-13 – Spanish Churches
Circa AD 1570 -1640
Not on the main circuit, seen by those who drive in and those who stay over

Lamanai Site map: (Churches not on map)

Belize Map:

Maya area map:

Image of original excavation of churches by D. Pendergast

In the foreground is the platform of Structure N12-11 the first Spanish church at Lamanai that dates to approximately AD 1570 to 1610.  This church was destroyed and a second Spanish church was constructed (large standing chancel in background) around AD 1610.  It was in AD 1638 that there was a widespread Maya revolt and the second church was destroyed a few years later.



Structure N12-13, Second Spanish Church

Excavations by D. Pendergast identified an uncarved stone monument (seen below also) that was erected around AD 1640 when the Maya once again took over religious control of their area.


Caches from the first Spanish Church at Lamanai, Belize

Maya residing at Lamanai still carried out traditional caching practices despite Spanish influence – these figurines were placed in dedicatory construction offerings in the late 1500's  


Nearby Indian Church Village –  
Located immediately south of the Lamanai Archaeological Reserve boundary

The name of the local community, Indian Church Village, adjacent to the ancient Maya ruins of Lamanai was named after the Spanish churches.  The first name recorded on maps and in books for the ancient Maya archaeological site was Indian Church.  It was the work by David Pendergast and his colleagues that identified the original name of the site assigned by the Maya as Lamanai.  


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