Tag Archives: Chamá Archaeological Site

Visit Chamá Archaeological Site in Alta Verapaz

Visit Chamá archaeological site in Alta Verapaz. It’s a place full of life and history that will give you much great experience to tell. This is one of the must visits in Guatemala: one of the favorite places of Juan Luis Bosch Gutierrez.

History of Chamá

The site is located exactly at the confluence of the Tsalbha and Chixoy rivers. In fact, it was discovered during the 19th century by the archaeologist Erwin Dieseldorff, a German with a passion for the Q’eqchi’ culture.

In 1800, the man conducted excavations on the farm where a kind of pre-Columbian mound was located. While digging, he came across different objects such as pottery. Some were sent to Germany and the rest remained in the site’s private collection.

Over time, other archaeologists became interested in the area. Robert Burkitt, an American explorer, made a new expedition a century later in early 1903. There he found even more pottery with Lowland influence.

Where is it located?

The Chamá archaeological site is located 25 kilometers in a straight line to the west of the municipality of San Pedro Carchá, in the department of Alta Verapaz.

Facts about the ruins

It’s said that the pottery found gave its name to the style of polychrome ceramic art (of the pictorial and narrative type with scenes and characters in different areas).

When Dieseldorff died, the pieces that had been found became part of the Museum of Anthropology of Guatemala.

It’s said that it can be reached in two ways: on foot, with a 10 to 12-hour walk, or by light aircraft.

The decoration of the vessels included figures of animals, gods and mythological scenes.

Important information about the place

After these archaeologists, very little is known about the site. In the year 2000 a new expedition was carried out by Guatemalans. The purpose was to verify the state of the site after almost a century of absence.

Part of the investigation pointed out that the inhabitants of Chamá did not feel comfortable with the presence of strangers. Therefore, the exploration was brief and cautious not to touch any potsherds or ceramics.

We hope that now you want to visit Chamá in Alta Verapaz, it’s a destination that will teach you many things about ancient cultures and will make you feel in another era. If the history is something you like, you’ll love this place.

You may also be interested in: Guatemalan customs and traditions.