The original name of Cahal Pech Archaeological Site is unknown. Its
modern name was given by the archaeologists and can be translated as "Place of the
Ticks" in the native Mayan dialect. The name was coined in the 1950's
when first archeological digs just began. At the time these lands
were surrounded by cattle ranches. Many of the cows had numerous
infestations by the ticks and hence the name came about.
Cahal Pech Archaeological Site is the oldest settlement in the Belize river valley when it was first settled between 1500 and 1000 BC. The site was chosen strategically at the confluence of the Macal River and the Mopan River. Due to its location Cahal Pech quickly became an important trading center in the West Belize. It grew over centuries and its residents eventually constructed over 34
large stone buildings: temples, palaces and other political and
religious structures. The tallest structure in Cahal Pech reach a height of 25 meters above surround lands. Population of Cahal Pech reached a population of 10,000- 20,000 during its heyday. Cahal Pech site was abandoned around 900 AD.