La Blanca

La Blanca, Peten, Guatemala, 27-28 August 2016

.

This is a mixed infrared and normal post.

.

Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Rainbow-billed Toucan, Topoxte, Travel, Wildlife, Yaxha

This is our ultra-luxurious transport for a trip into the Guatemalan jungle, with my photographic pack on the tray on the right.

.

Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Rainbow-billed Toucan, Topoxte, Travel, Wildlife, Yaxha

We were heading for Nakum, another ancient Mayan city, and a rival to Yaxha.  (At least I’m pretty sure it was Nakum, there is some possibility it may have been Naranjo).

.

Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Rainbow-billed Toucan, Topoxte, Travel, Wildlife, Yaxha

But we got to a place where there was no point going further.  It was not so much that the truck couldn’t get past this point, but if it was this bad here, it was going to be impossible later on.

..

Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Rainbow-billed Toucan, Topoxte, Travel, Wildlife, Yaxha

Here is an interesting chart from the Park Office at Yaxha that I visited later in the day.  It’s very inaccurate, though.  If you include the Minoan Civilisation with Ancient Greece, that goes back to say 2600 BBC.  El Mirador goes back to at least 1750 BC.  Chichen Itza survived to about 1250 AD.  There seems to be no reason to terminate the Byzantine Empire at 950 AD instead of 1453.  And the people of Topoxté moved to Zacpeten, where they lasted until 1697.  It does show the extraordinary length of the Mayan civilisation though. The Incas and Aztecs are ephemeral in comparison.  And it roughly equates to the whole Graeco-Romano civilised period from Crete to the fall of Byzantium.

Here also is some text “translated” from that notice board on the three periods of Mayan Civilisation….

HISTORICAL PERIODS OF MAYAN CIVILIZATION
PRECLASSIC PERIOD (1800 BC to 250 AD)
Ceremonial centers were created, ruled mainly by religious beliefs, and writing, plastic art, the cultivation of sciences and the development of monumental architecture began to be developed, such as the Acropolis with pyramids decorated with masks and friezes on their facades, which express the cult to the ancestors and the complexes of astronomical commemoration.
CLASSIC PERIOD (250-900 AD)
The Classic period marked the time of the flowering in all the orders of the most important cities of the central Petén. At this time the development in the agriculture implemented the irrigation systems and communal crops, increasing their relations with other Mesoamerican peoples. The technology increased and the political organization was tightly consolidated to the religion.
POST-CLASSICAL PERIOD (900-1524 AD)
At this time there is a cessation of political and cultural activities in the large cities of the central area, many of which are abandoned, a fact that has led to multiple interpretations of the events that might have led to this cultural decline commonly known as “collapse.”

.

Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Rainbow-billed Toucan, Topoxte, Travel, Wildlife, Yaxha

Since our morning expedition was abandoned, we instead went to La Blanca.

.

Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Rainbow-billed Toucan, Topoxte, Travel, Wildlife, Yaxha

Sometimes the light shifted and it looked quite different.

.

Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Rainbow-billed Toucan, Topoxte, Travel, Wildlife, Yaxha

Though small compared to Yaxha, still impressive in its own way.

.

Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Rainbow-billed Toucan, Topoxte, Travel, Wildlife, Yaxha

This and following images are at the Acropolis Complex, the Royal Palace.

.

Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Rainbow-billed Toucan, Topoxte, Travel, Wildlife, Yaxha

La Blanca was adjacent to fertile land that flooded in the rainy season.  There was also a huge reservoir for periods of drought and chultuns, or underground storage chambers for additional insurance.

.

.

Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Rainbow-billed Toucan, Topoxte, Travel, Wildlife, Yaxha

It was mainly an administrative centre and a place of trade, with not so much emphasis on religion.

.

Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Rainbow-billed Toucan, Topoxte, Travel, Wildlife, Yaxha

It dates from the Early Classic to the Early Postclassic, so around 250 to 1200 AD.  La Blanca is likely to have been a client state of either Yaxha or Naranjo.

 

Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Rainbow-billed Toucan, Topoxte, Travel, Wildlife, Yaxha

Graffiti on the wall of the “Oriental Palace”.  (You may need to look closely or click on the image for a larger view).  A deer at the right, at frog at bottom left.  possibly a human at top left.

.

Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Rainbow-billed Toucan, Topoxte, Travel, Wildlife, Yaxha

Another “palace” view..

.

Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Rainbow-billed Toucan, Topoxte, Travel, Wildlife, Yaxha

A butterfly on the ground at La Blanca.

.

Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Rainbow-billed Toucan, Topoxte, Travel, Wildlife, Yaxha

Passing the wetlands on the way back….

.

Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Rainbow-billed Toucan, Topoxte, Travel, Wildlife, Yaxha .

.

Archaeology, Architecture, Guatemala, History, Infrared, Landscape, Maya, Nature, Photography, Rainbow-billed Toucan, Topoxte, Travel, Wildlife, Yaxha

Back at the ecolodge, this is a Rainbow-billed toucan.

 

Note to Lib Ferreira:  I said the Tikal post was the last one.  Actually it’s the next one, comoing out in the next day or so.

.

9 comments on “La Blanca

  1. roythoman says:

    Looks like a great trip. I enjoy visiting Mayan ruins. I have been to Copan in Honduras and Lamanai in Belize. I couldn’t help but wonder what Mayan life was like. It’s amazing that something so old still exists. I’m

    Liked by 1 person

    • Murray Foote says:

      Unfinished comment?

      Copan would be amazing and I hadn’t heard of Lamanai but that looks very impressive too. One of the things that impressed me was the density of settlement. It’s hard to imagine just how much there was – and hundreds of thousands of citizens – but lidar will eventually give us clues. Tikal is next.

      Like

  2. leggypeggy says:

    Love the palace in green and pink.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lib Ferreira says:

    Thanks Murray, it was such a pleasure to meet you. Looking forward to seeing your images from Tikal, I am sure they will give me a major travel bug!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s