Lamanai (from Lama'anayin, "submerged crocodile" in Yucatec Maya) is a Mesoamerican archaeological site, and was once a major city of the Maya civilization, located in the north of Belize, in Orange Walk District. The site's name is pre-Columbian, recorded by early Spanish missionaries, and documented over a millennium earlier in Maya inscriptions as Lam'an'ain. Lamanai is renowned for its exceptionally long occupation spanning three millennia, beginning in the Early Preclassic Maya period and continuing through the Spanish and British Colonial periods, into the 20th century. Unlike most Classic-period sites in the southern Maya lowlands, Lamanai was not abandoned at the end of the 10th century AD.

Lamanai was occupied as early as the 16th century BC.[1] The site became a prominent centre in the Pre-Classic Period, from the 4th century BC through the 1st century CE. In 625 CE, "Stele 9" was erected there in the Yucatec language of the Maya.[2] Lamanai continued to be occupied up to the 17th century AD. During the Spanish conquest of Yucatán Spanish friars established two Roman Catholic churches here, but a Maya revolt drove the Spanish out.[1] The site was subsequently incorporated by the British in British Honduras, passing with that colony's independence to Belize.

^ a b "LAMANAI ARCHAEOLOGICAL PROJECT". Archived from the original on 2010-02-28. Retrieved 2009-06-26. ^ Michael P. Closs The Hieroglyphic Text of Stela 9, Lamanai, Belize, Retrieved 6/26/2009
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