Archaeology of El Pilar

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altExcavations at the site have shown a long development of ancient Maya construction. Main buildings were already being constructed in 250 B.C. Ceremonial platforms and temples continued being constructed through the centuries of the Pre-Classic and Classic Periods. According to Anabel Ford, many of the largest structures were built in the Late Classic Period at the height of Maya civilization. Some constructions, however, were completely built during the Terminal Classic.

The earliest report about El Pilar came in 1972 when the Archaeology Commissioner toured the site following reports of looting.  Anabel Ford of the University of California at Santa Barbara began her Belize River Archaeology Settlement Survey (BRASS) in 1982. Since that time Ford has mapped and surveyed the area. In 1993 and 1994, extensive excavations took place at the site. One of the site’s greatest attributes is its panoramic view. In the mid-1990’s El Pilar became a protected reserve.