Page 3 - Revisiting a Mayan Temple in Belize
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Revisiting a Mayan Temple in Belize
In western Belize, some eighty miles from the capi- tal Belize City, and some eight miles from San Ignazio, is a tiny Mayan village called Succotz. A mile from that village, on the other side of a small river, is the site of an ancient Mayan ruin now called Xunantunich.
In late 1950, my father, an architect in eastern Pennsylvania, was commissioned by the University of Pennsylvania Museum to make a scale drawing of one of the friezes on the Mayan temple at Xunantunich. He took with him his wife Margaret, his three daughters Jo (aged fourteen), Sue (thirteen), and Fran (seven), and his son Peter (ten). That was me. After a series of pain- ful inoculations we headed south. We ended up deep in the jungles of what was then a British colony known as British Honduras.
Sixty-four years later I went again, this time with my wife Anne, who had long wanted to see a Mayan ruin. A January trip to see Xunantunich and other Mayan sites was our Christmas present to each other.
I encountered many changes at Xunantunich. One was the pronunciation of the ruin. We had always pronounced it ZOO-nan-TOO-nich (or, if we were feeling humorous, “tuna
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