Holmul is a pre-Columbian archaeological site of the Maya civilization, located in the northeastern Petén Basin region in Guatemala, near the modern-day border with Belize.


  • Archaeological research 1
  • History 2
  • Holmul ceramic style 3
  • See also 4
  • Notes 5
  • References 6
  • Travel to Holmul 7
  • External links 8

Archaeological research

The site was first visited by an archaeological research team in 1911, led by

  • Boston University: Holmul archaeological project
  • Authentic Maya: Holmul

External links

  • El Mirador, La Corona, Holmul
  • Lost Cities of the Ancient Maya

Dr. Francisco Estrada-Belli gives private tours of the site on Far Horizons Archaeological and Cultural trips. www.farhorizons.com

Travel to Holmul

Estrada-Belli, Francisco (2001). "Archaeological Investigations at Holmul, Guatemala: Report of the First Field Season, May–June 2000". The Foundation Granting Department: Reports Submitted to FAMSI.  
Estrada-Belli, Francisco (October 2002). "Anatomía de una ciudad Maya: Holmul" (PDF online facsimile, Wired Humanities Project–University of Oregon).  
Estrada-Belli, Francisco (2003). "Archaeological Investigations at Holmul, Petén, Guatemala: Preliminary Results of the Third Season, 2002". The Foundation Granting Department: Reports Submitted to FAMSI.  
Estrada-Belli, Francisco (2004). "Archaeological Investigations in the Holmul Region, Petén, Guatemala: Results of the Fourth Season, 2003". The Foundation Granting Department: Reports Submitted to FAMSI.  
Estrada-Belli, Francisco; Magaly Koch (2007). "Remote Sensing and GIS Analysis of a Maya City and its Landscape: Holmul, Guatemala". In James Wiseman and  
Kosakowsky, Laura J. (2001). "Preliminary Report on the Ceramics from Holmul, Guatemala: Year 2000 Season". The Foundation Granting Department: Reports Submitted to FAMSI.  
Reents-Budet, Dorie (1991). "The “Holmul Dancer” Theme in Maya Art". In Virginia M. Fields. Sixth Palenque Round Table, 1986. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. pp. 217–222. http://www.mesoweb.com/pari/publications/RT08/HolmulDancer.html
Reents-Budet, Doreen (1994). Painting the Maya Universe: Royal Ceramics of the Classic Period. Durham&London: Duke U.P. 


  1. ^ McKillop (2004, p.47)
  2. ^ "Introduction", Estrada-Belli (2001)
  3. ^ Reents-Budet 1994: 294-299
  4. ^ Reents-Budet 1991


See also

The name of Holmul is also attached to a Late-Classic ceramic art style associated with the wider Holmul-Naranjo region, and characterized by a red and orange palette on a cream background;[3] its predominant theme is that of the so-called 'Holmul dancer',[4] that is, the Tonsured Maize God, shown as a dancer with a ceremonial back rack.

Holmul ceramic style

Because of Holmul's status as one of the last Mayan cities to be abandoned, archaeologists are interested in walls built around the city during its last years of habitation. Walls also exist around another city in the Holmul Domain, called Cival, and could suggest the possibility of a final siege near the time of the collapse of the two cities, although the real implications of the structures are unknown.

Recently (2013), a building from about 600 AD was found with a large stucco frieze showing a central ruler and two flanking ones in repose. Below the frieze runs a long inscription from which it appears that the construction (which contains a staircase burial) was commissioned by king Ajwosaj of Naranjo, a city on the Holmul river. Naranjo was subordinated to the Kaan(ul/al) dynasty of Dzibanche and Calakmul. The latter kingdom was a main rival to Tikal.

One archaeological site located near Holmul, called La Sufricaya, includes painted murals which seem to suggest some degree of foreign involvement in the Holmul Domain. Foreigners in the region may have been from Teotihuacan, or possibly from Tikal. This could have drastic implications for traditional understanding of the relationship between the Maya and the people of Teotihuacan, especially between the years 300 and 550 A.D.

Holmul, as a city, began its existence at around 800 B.C., and was abandoned by 900 A.D., at around the time that the Maya civilization collapsed due to unknown causes. This made the city one of the longest occupied by the Maya. Holmul reached the height of its power at between 750 and 900 A.D., and may have had a considerable social influence over the many communities located in the compact area around it. The region likely influenced by Holmul is sometimes referred to as the Holmul Domain.


, until 2008, when Boston University took over the exploration's funding again. Vanderbilt University Shortly after its start, this archaeological project received funding from [2]