On Wednesday March 21st was the spring equinox in the final year of the current cycle of the Maya long count calendar, which ends on December 21, 2012. To commemorate the ending of the 13th Baktun, as it is called, the Institute of Archaeology hosted a night of camping, cultural presentations and history at the ancient Mayan city-state of Caracol in the Cayo District.
It is estimated that Ambergris Caye had been continually occupied by the Maya for some 2,000 years until it was abandoned around 1500 AD, with some 20,000 Maya inhabiting the site at its peak between 1200 to 1400 AD. The Maya islanders most likely engaged in fishing, trading and salt production, as Ambergris would have been strategically located on the main coastal trading route. However, due to the lack of significant structures and the paucity of artefacts, the island never received the attention the grander inland sites such as Caracol and Xunantunich did.