This is where the archaeologists live. MRP accommodations looked super fancy in comparison. Like, way fancy. We had running water.
A tunnel dug into a temple in this plaza. I believe there was a tomb that was recovered.
Here's Liz, giving everything scale for me.
Ball courts are my favorite. Though archaeology can never be an exact science without a time machine, it is believed that the ball game was played ritually, and sometimes to resolve conflicts between rulers. A rubber ball was bounced with the hips and shot through hoops (not visible here, they are long gone). It is also believed that the winner or team of winners of the match were sacrificed at the end. In addition, they most likely wore protective gear made out of limestone. Mayan ballplayers make our modern day football and hockey players look like slackers.
This is a larger plaza of temples, including the Temple of the Last Lintel.
Look, we were really there!
These wood beams are original. The top of these doorways are called lintels. This original lintel is the only one that hadn't rotted away. It's amazing they lasted so long.
Ceiba trees were sacred to the Ancient Maya. They believed that a spirit took a journey along the ceiba to reach the afterlife. There is/was always one planted next to a Mayan city.
Howler Monkeys. A whole family, including a baby that freaked out and had to be rescued by his daddy.
Here's a terrible picture of me powering up the really big temple and everyone else I was with giving up (except for Liz, who was behind me with my camera).
Unfortunately, there is big courtyard at the top, so it looks like I climbed a tiny temple. Trust me, it's huge.
Got tiny, steep steps?
The view from the top.
Caracol was kind of a badass. For a long time, it was thought that Tikal (the largest Mayan city in the area) defeated Caracol when they went to war, but archaeologists have actually discovered that the opposite was true. The smaller city, Caracol, was the victor in the conflict. Go, underdog!