Mask Temple

sights / Historic

Mask Temple information

Lamanai , Belize
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To the northeast along a jungle path, the Mask Temple (Structure N9-56) was begun around 200 BC and was modified several times up to AD 1300. It has a 13ft stylized mask of a man in a crocodile headdress emblazoned on the southern part of its west face. Dating from about AD 400, this is one of the finest big masks in the Maya world, and unusual in that it is made of limestone blocks rather than plaster. A similar mask is hidden beneath the facade on the northern side. Deep within this building archaeologists found the tombs of a man adorned with shell and jade jewelry, and a woman from almost the same date. The pair are thought to be a succession of leaders – perhaps a husband and wife, or brother and sister.