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Lamanai, Belize - Structure N10-43, High Temple
2nd Stop, Tallest Structure  

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View of New River Lagoon from
 atop Structure N10-43, Lamanai
Lower plaza area around 
Structure N10-43, Lamanai


This temple has two major architectural phases that were identified by D. Pendergast and were found to date from 100 BC to AD 600.  It is the main structure in one of Lamanai's largest plazas.  There are 5 other major structures that surround this plaza.  Excavations beneath the plaza in front of N10-43 located fairly extensive Preclassic architectural and material culture remains.  Since we know the structure reached its highest point at 112 ft (33m) in 100 BC it is not surprising to discover that the area was important well before 100 BC.  

All illustrations by:  
L. Belanger –


Preclassic Phase – 100 BC

Illustrated here are the recently recovered masks during the Tourism Development Project (TDP), they flank the east and west side of the central tripartite stair.  Even more important is the fact this structure is securely dated to the Preclassic period and provides us with the knowledge that the Maya of Lamanai were socially and economically well organized by this early date.  This being the case some theorize that since Lamanai was stable during a fairly early time it allowed them to survive the Classic period collapse, and boast over 3,000 years of occupation.

Late Classic Phase – AD 600

Toward the end of the Classic Maya period this structure undergoes a major frontal modification.  It is during this time that the Maya construct a Lamanai Building Type (LBT, similar to what we see on Structure N9-56, Mask Temple  and N10-9, Jaguar Temple).  This is the largest of all LBT's and has a total of 11 doorways and as is typical is placed athwart, or across the central lower stair.

Cache, Structure N10-43 (High Temple) – Lamanai, Belize

Classic period Blackware vessel, discovered by D. Pendergast during through trenching  

Consolidation of N10-43

The Tourism Development Project (TDP) conducted work from 2000 – 2003, it consisted of consolidation of the main structures at Lamanai.  Claude Belanger was in charge of the Lamanai work and he also assisted with work at Caracol, and Altun Ha.  One goal of this project was to allow a more user-friendly experience for tourists who visit the site; this includes clarifying architectural phases, access to the ruins, and even facility improvements (bathrooms, visitor center, and stores).  

Tourism Development Project (TDP) –
Upper Portion Structure N10-43

 Approximately 65 local people from Indian Church and San Carlos villages were hired to assist with the difficult task of consolidating Lamanai's main  structures.  


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