Lubaantun, a pre-Columbian ruined city of the Maya civilization in southern Belize, is located about 42 kilometers northwest of Punta Gorda in the Toledo District. Dating from the Maya Classic era, flourishing from the 730s to the 890s AD, Lubaantun features distinctive architecture built primarily of large stone blocks without mortar, primarily black slate rather than the limestone typical of the region. The structures display unique features such as “in-and-out masonry” with rounded corners on step-pyramids. Notably, the site’s center is situated on an artificially raised platform between two small rivers, suggesting military defensibility. The city is renowned for its large collection of miniature ceramic objects believed to be charmstones or ritual artifacts, while its ancient name remains unknown, with “Lubaantun” derived from the modern Maya term meaning “place of fallen stones.”


This bowl is wide. This vessel was probably used in the home for storing food.


This bowl has a peculiar structure with a constricted neck and rounded bottom.  While it is mostly preserved, the paintings on the body unfortunately did not survive the passage of time.  Due to its degraded surface, we are unsure what the bowl’s illustrations could have been.  We do know that the painting extended onto the rim.


Due to the site’s proximity to the sea, the Maya were able to source seashells for jewelry, ornaments and pottery making.  This shell shows some wear and tear from being in the ground.

Polychrome Vessel

This colorful round bowl is considered polychrome because of its multicolor appearance, typically associated with ceremonial and ritual events. While unpainted or undecorated vessels were likely used for everyday household purposes, polychrome ones held ceremonial significance. Despite the absence of glyphs to interpret its pattern, this vessel is remarkably preserved, showcasing its intricate paintings.

Mano and Metate

This mano and metate were placed on a pedestal included in the scan.  We opted for using the LiDAR option on Polycam due to the weight of the metate and mano.  As you may be familiar, manos and metates are household staples in the Maya community, contemporary and ancient.  These tools were used for the grinding of corn and other spices and have remained a useful utensil to have in the kitchen.  These are typically made from basalt or granite.