Maya and Aztec

Ancient Mesoamerican civilizations

Archives for the ‘Maya’ Category

Six Centuries of Mayan Achievement: 300 AD to 900 AD

Category: Maya

During the Classic period, the Maya made significant advancements in the fields of astronomy and calen­dric. The Maya observed three distinct calendars. They were the 260-day sacred year (tzolkin) calendar, the tun or 360-day year, and the vague year calendar, which was divided into eighteen months of twenty days each. Unquestionably, the most outstanding Mayan […]

Pedro de Alvarado and the Conquest of Utatlan

Category: Maya

Like many of the conquistadors, Pedro de Alvarado came from one of the poorest regions of Spain called Extremadura. Little is known about him prior to his departure at age 25. Pedro’s peers con­sidered him fearless, ambitious, as well as cruel. His braveiy and his brutality are well documented. Alvarado was fair-haired and very handsome. […]

Diego de Landa

Category: Maya

Every effort was made by the Spanish conquistadors to eradicate all signs of Mayan culture. They were helped by the Franciscan and Dominican friars who destroy all signs of Mayan religious be­liefs. The friars destroyed temples, shrines, and banned all ceremonial costumes. All native reli­gions were banned, and instruction in Catholicism was mandatory. In addition, […]

Mayan Systems of Transportation

Category: Maya

It is believed that all Mayan ceremonial centers were connected by a series of roads. However, the exact extent of the ancient system of roadways will probably never be known because much of it has been destroyed by centuries of vegetation growth and modernization. These “white roads” were constructed out of large stones which were […]

Palenque: Mystery of the Mayan Royal Tomb

Category: Maya

Today, what we know about ancient Mayan city of Palenque we know because of decades of exca­vations and research. In 1945. Alberto Ruz Lhuillier took over the excavations. Almost from the start Ruz took an interest in the Temple of Inscriptions. The temple was a very imposing structure that stood on top of a high […]

Everyday Life of the Ancient Mayans

Category: Maya

No event held more significance for the average Maya than the birth of a child. Child birth was considered a sign of good fortune and a measure of wealth. Children were given a childhood name by a priest and a nick­name by the family. Masculine names always started with the prefix Ah, and female name […]

The mayan calendar

Category: Articles, Maya

The Mayans had an elaborate calendrical system, no longer in use, which obviously evolved in complete isolation from those of the old world. This system ended with the fall of the Mayan civilization. Most of the remaining knowledge of it was destroyed by the Spanish during the conquest. It was not until very recently, during […]

What will not happen in 2012

Category: Articles, Maya

Epigraphers await 2012 with trepidation. There will be ill-founded claims, bad Hollywood movies (one now in production), silly reportage, and much distortion of what 2012 meant for the ancient Maya. Every imaginable anxiety will apply to this key event in the Maya calendar. If we are candid, too, there will be renewed interest in our […]

Sacred plants of the maya

Category: Articles, Maya

Some of the Central American rainforest’s hidden treasures are being revealed by the Maya, more than a millennium after their passing. A study of the giant trees and beautiful flowers depicted in Maya art has identified which they held sacred. Created during the Maya Classic Period, the depictions are so accurate they could help researchers […]


Category: Articles, Maya

There are few Prehispanic sites in Mexico where the natural environment is as singular as the archaeological monuments, and such is the case of Muyil, an ancient Maya city located 20 minutes away from Tulum and 1 and half hours away from Cancun. This is one of the 20 archaeological sites found in the Sian […]

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