What I should have done was read about the ruins before I got here. Lamanai, which means submerged crocodile, is a Mayan city in the Orange District of Belize. It dates to the sixteenth century B.C. and was occupied into the seventeen hundreds A.D. It was a city of forty thousand and combined farming and fishing and large trade networks for success. The three main structures, excavated in the 1970’s by David Pendergast, are the Jaguar temple, the Mask, the High Temple. The Mask Temple is the tombs of successive rulers who built their burial place atop that of their predecessor. The High Temple is in a natural amphitheater and was the site of public spectacles, religious ceremonies, and political grandstanding. Standing in this hot humid jungle looking at tourists climbing to the top of huge stone structures, I weigh the manpower and skills needed to build them and the spiritual and political reasons for completing them.  Longevity speaks of doing things right for a long time in the time and place you find yourself. What would they have thought of our world if they could have imagined it? Would they choose, if they had the choice, our world over theirs?  
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