Santa Rita Corozal is a Maya ruin and an archaeological reserve on the outskirts of Corozal, Belize.
Historical evidence suggests that it was probably the ancient and important Maya city known as Chetumal.
The modern town of Corozal was founded in 1848 by refugees from the Caste War in neighbouring Yucatán, and expanded steadily. The ruins of Santa Rita became a target for building resources; the mounds of the site made convenient road fill and the stones were used for structure foundations. Because of this, the exact borders of the ancient Mayan city may never be known.
In the early 1900s, amateur archaeologist Thomas Gann visited the site and discovered a Mixtec-influenced mural; these do not survive, but copies made by Gann do. No substantial research followed this until the Corozal Postclassic Project, led by Arlen Chase and Diane Zaino Chase, carried out a series of excavations between 1979 and 1985.
Little structural evidence remains from the Postclassic era. The only existing structure at the ruins dates from the Classic era. The centre of this building has been described as a ceremonial chamber, with a complex series of interconnected passages leading to other rooms, including two burial chambers. One contained the remains an elderly woman surrounded with jewellery and pottery; the other was that of a warlord, evident from the artefacts found buried with him — a ceremonial flint representing leadership and a stingray spine most used in blood-letting rituals. Both burials date from around 500 CE.
Artifacts found dating from the Postclassic era reveal that religious rituals like blood-letting, which were very important during the Classic era, continued to play an important role. The presence of items of Aztec origin, also dating from the Postclassic period, attest to the continuing trade importance of Santa Rita several hundred years after the decline of the major ceremonial centres of the interior.