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How to Read a Maya Glyph
Articleby Lily Ball

How to Read a Maya Glyph

For over three centuries, the ancient Maya flourished in Mesoamerica. They built giant stone pyramids surrounded by dense jungle, used a calendrical system that made many believe that 2012 would be the end of the world, and created a writing...
The Red Handprints of Cozumel & Tulum
Articleby Joshua J. Mark

The Red Handprints of Cozumel & Tulum

The Maya sites of San Gervasio (on the island of Cozumel) and Tulum (on the mainland of Mexico in Quintana Roo) are often overlooked for the better-known Chichen Itza or other spectacular ruins further inland but both these locations have...
Visiting the Spirits of Chichen Itza
Articleby Joshua J. Mark

Visiting the Spirits of Chichen Itza

Joshua J. Mark goes looking for adventure while visiting the Maya site of Chichen Itza in Mexico and finds sprites, spirits and iguanas amongst the ruins. He tells of his journey to this magical ancient site that has become a symbol of the...
Maya Writing
Articleby Mark Cartwright

Maya Writing

The Maya hieroglyphic writing system was a sophisticated combination of pictographs directly representing objects and ideograms (glyphs) expressing more abstract concepts such as actions, ideas and syllabic sounds. Maya writing has survived...
Early Explorers of the Maya Civilization: From Aguilar to Waldek
Articleby Joshua J. Mark

Early Explorers of the Maya Civilization: From Aguilar to Waldek

Although John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwood are consistently credited with the `discovery' of the Maya Civilization, there were many who preceded them who sparked their interest in making their famous travels through Mesoamerica...
Xibalba
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Xibalba

Xibalba (Shee-bal-ba) was the name the K'iche Maya gave to the underworld. For the Yucatec Maya the underworld was known as Metnal. The name Xibalba translates as 'Place of Fright', which indicates the terror the place had in the Maya imagination...
Early Explorers of the Maya Civilization: John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwood
Articleby Joshua J. Mark

Early Explorers of the Maya Civilization: John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwood

The names of John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwood are forever linked to the Maya and Mayan studies as the two great explorers who documented the ruins from Copan in the south to Chichen Itza in the north. The stories told by Stephens...
Popol Vuh
Definitionby Joshua J. Mark

Popol Vuh

The Popol Vuh is the story of creation according to the Quiche Maya of the region known today as Guatemala. Translated as `The Council Book', The Book of the People' or, literally, `The Book of the Mat', the work has been referred to as "The...
Maya Food & Agriculture
Articleby Mark Cartwright

Maya Food & Agriculture

For the Maya, reliable food production was so important to their well-being that they closely linked the agricultural cycle to astronomy and religion. Important rituals and ceremonies were held in honour of specialised workers; from beekeepers...
Palenque
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Palenque

Located in the foothills of the Chiapas altiplano of modern Mexico, Palenque was an important Maya city which flourished between c. 600 and 750 CE. The name Palenque derives from the Spanish, meaning 'fortified place', but the original Maya...