Abnormally high concentrations of corn pollen scattered throughout the area indicate Lamanai originated as an agriculturally based settlement.As the Classic Period came to an end in the ninth and tenth centuries, many of the neighboring Mayan cities proceeded through a period of decay to final collapse.Lamanai survived this time of upheaval and continued trade with sites in the northern part of the Yucatan Peninsula on into the Post-Classic Period.
Lamanai also profited from intense immigration from the fringes of nearby cities that were undergoing gradual abandonment.
The Spaniards first arrived in the middle of the sixteenth century.
The European presence immediately began a series of changes that predominantly focused on Catholic conversion.
Missionaries erected Christian churches and related structures into the indigenous settlement pattern.
Looming over the west bank of the New River Lagoon, Lamanai, or "submerged crocodile," is off the beaten track-perhaps the reason why it thrived for over 3000 years.
The city of Lamanai began its regional supremacy around 1500 B. Extending from the formative years of the Mayan world to the preaching friars of Spanish colonists, Lamanai flourished and supported a vast community of farmers, merchants, and traders.
Named for the thriving crocodile population in the nearby New River lagoon, Lamanai's main structures and excavated artifacts exhibit many representations of the famed reptile.
Because some of Lamanai's ruins are some of the oldest in Belize dating back to 700 B.
C., the site has received more attention than other archaeological sites in the country.