| | About Us | | |



  South West Petén (Petexbatún)

La Pasión and Petexbatún Area

Arroyo de Piedra | Tamarindito | Nacimiento | Punta de Chimino | Itzan and La Amelia


Arroyo de Piedra: Located in the Protected area ( 31 sq Km.) of Dos Pilas,  The history of this site have been predated to the middle Classic period, and perhaps dominated by Ceibal, but with the emergence of Dos Pilas it became an important secondary center in the Petexbatún polity. Located midway between Dos Pilas (2-3 km to the west-southwest) and Tamarindito (3 km to the east),  Architecture in Arroyo de Piedra is different from that of Dos Pilas and Aguateca but very similar to Tamarindito, also, hieroglyphic data shows that Arroyo de Piedra and Tamarindito formed a polity prior to the foundation of Dos Pilas by Tikal, that become  its rivals,  in fact the number 4 ruler of  the Dos Pilas/Aguateca dynasty was captured in a battle with this polity. It too was abandoned in the late 8th century, following the collapse of Dos Pilas and its vassal cities.

Stela 1

Tamarindito and Arroyo de Piedra Emblem Glyph

Arroyo de Piedra Stelea- Maya Expeditions
 Stela 4


Tamarindito: Located along a escarpment, Tamarindito is thought to have been the capital of a ruling lineage in the Early Classic Petexbatún, absorbed in the Late Classic by the new power that established itself at Dos Pilas. It must have posed a threat, given the oversight function established at the nearby center of Arroyo de Piedra.  This site formed a polity with Arroyo de Piedra, sharing the Emblem Glyph, Tamarindito is a small site with more than 140 structures and also shows, 8 Stelas and 2 altars, a ball court and a Hieroglyphic staircase named the Prisoner Staircase that relates the defeat and capture of the Dos Pilas ruler in 761 AD, this polity had strong links with Machaquilá to the east. The site also features a Dam made during the Middle Classic that shows an intensive agricultural system. the Lagoon has been the object of interesting paleontological investigations that have shown traces of occupation since the Middle Pre Classic to the Terminal Classic. Changes in the rate of sedimentation in the lake can be related to the occupation of the region by Maya peoples beginning sometime between 2,000 and 1,000 years B.C. Sedimentation during the Late Classic (A.D. 600-800) was slowed by a system of soil erosion controls. Paleontological analysis indicate that Holocene period changes in the region’s vegetation were roughly similar to the paleo-ecological record from other parts of the Petén, but with some significant differences.

A pattern of human disturbance that differs somewhat from other parts of the Petén is also indicated by the pollen record. Significantly, many major high forest species show reduction during both the Late Preclassic and Late Classic periods, but are present in greater numbers during the intervening Early Classic corresponding to an apparent concentration or reduction in human population. A great diversity of economic tree species are indicated for the time of Maya occupation.  You can visit Tamarindito, Dos Pilas and Arroyo de Piedra in the same day

Looted Sculpture and Stelas, Tamarindito 


     Hieroglyphic Staircase

Nacimiento: This site is located nearby Aguateca and has 130 structures in 26 groups the Central Plaza has a Temple Pyramid on top of the largest cave of the site, and a ball court. The site's area is 1.5 sq. Km. This site shows a close link with Aguateca

Main Residential Area

Punta de Chimino: Another site belonging to the Petexbatún state is a small Late Classic Site, (600-900 AD). located on the Petexbatún lakeshore in a peninsula, this site was the last refuge for the Dos Pilas and Aguateca rulers, it was heavily fortified,  and also it is a nice place to visit if you enjoy the Nature like bird watching, and other rare species, the site has visible Stelas, and mounds,, it also has 3 man made pits,  the largest being 140 mt. long, 45 mt. wide and 9 mt. deep, that separates it from the main land, There evidence of rock surrounded terraces for intensive crops that made this site self sufficient in food combined with fish and domestic animals.  There are platforms for intensive agriculture within the city, showing its defensive characteristics. The last Date is 830 AD, along with Ceibal, Punta de Chimino was the last Classic site in this region.

Stela 1I


Acrópolis, Main Temple




Itzán and La Amelia: Itzán is a site on a small tributary of the Pasión River, only 20 km northwest of Dos Pilas, it belonged to the Petexbatún polity, featuring small temples with hieroglyphic stairways, and Stelas. Maya elites and commoners intensively occupied the Itzan escarpment, located in the lower Río de la Pasión drainage system of Petén, Guatemala, during the Preclassic and Protoclassic periods. Itzán was colonized during the Xe phase of the Middle Preclassic period, and its occupation intensified during the late Middle and Late Preclassic periods, when elite residential and ceremonial facilities were erected. During the Late Preclassic and Protoclassic periods, the escarpment was dominated by Chaak Ak'al, a large site distinguished by massive pyramids and lengthy wall-like constructions, which undoubtedly served as a polity capital. Subsequent to the Protoclassic period, the locus of activity atop the escarpment shifted back to Itzan, which served as a polity capital through the Late Classic period. From data collected at Itzan, Chaak Ak'al, and other sites of the lower Río de la Pasión drainage system, a picture of regional Preclassic Maya political geography is emerging.

 La Amelia a site nearby was occupied in the Late Classic (600 to 830 AD), and involved in the war between Tikal and Calakmul, in fact the first site to be attacked by Tikal was Itzán on 650 AD, followed by the Take over of Dos Pilas, leading to centuries of war until this region collapsed on 830 AD, being the first of the Classic sites in this area to be abandoned.

Itzán Emblem Glyph

La Amelia St 2 detail

La Amelia St 2

Itzan Site map

La Amelia St 1 Last Date
in the Petexbatún area



Locations of visitors to this page


Last updated 28/01/2011 17:07:35 -0500
© 2005 Copyright, Authentic Maya