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Its ancient name has been reconstructed from the Emblem Glyph popular among its early rulers - Ux Witz Ajaw, or “Three Hills Lord”.
It is situated approximately 40 kilometres south of Xunantunich and the town of San Ignacio Cayo, and 15 kilometers away from the Macal River.
It rests on the Vaca Plateau at an elevation of 500 meters above sea-level, in the foothills of the Maya Mountains.
Local tour guides say that the nickname "Caracol" originates from the large population of snails present on the site.
This place name may also reference the Three Stone Place of creation.
The site was first reported by a native logger named Rosa Mai, who came across its remains in 1937 while searching for mahogany hardwood trees to exploit. Anderson visited the site for two weeks along with a colleague H. Jex [Hugh Blockley Jex - who later became Inspector of Crown Licence]. They conducted preliminary surveys, noted 9 carved monuments, took notes on the structures of the A Group Plaza, and undertook limited excavations in two locations. More extensive explorations and documentation of the site was undertaken by Linton Satterthwaite of the University Museum at the University of Pennsylvania from 1950 to 1953.
Continued focus on attached specialists; small structures immediately east of Barrio and West of Caana excavated, recovering Terminal Classic line-of-stone buildings and three Early Classic interments.