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Maya Ruins of San Gervasio on Cozumel, Mexico
Imageby James Blake Wiener

Maya Ruins of San Gervasio on Cozumel, Mexico

The ruins of San Gervasio — located on the island of Cozumel in Mexico — were once an important site of pilgrimage to Maya people who lived from c. 1000-1650 CE. A sanctuary of the Maya goddess Ix Chel used to be located at this...
Jade in Mesoamerica
Articleby Mark Cartwright

Jade in Mesoamerica

Jade was a highly-esteemed material in many Mesoamerican cultures, making it a valued regional trade good and first choice for objects of religious and artistic value such as masks, ceremonial axeheads, figurines, and jewellery. Jade, because...
Lumbini
Definitionby Joshua J. Mark

Lumbini

Lumbini is a village, archaeological site, and place of pilgrimage honored as the birthplace of Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha, l. c. 563-483 BCE) located in modern-day Rupandehi District of Nepal, Province 5, near the Indian border. It was...
Copan
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Copan

Copán (in modern Honduras) is located on the floodplain of the river of the same name. It was the most southerly of the Classic Maya centres and, at an altitude of 600 metres, the highest. Copán reached the height of its power...
Yaxchilan
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Yaxchilan

Yaxchilan, located on the banks of the Usumacinta River in the Yucatán peninsula of Mexico, was an important Late Classic Maya centre. The Maya dated the founding of their city to 320 CE, but Yaxchilan flourished between c. 580 and...
Remnants of Maya Ruins at San Gervasio, Mexico
Imageby James Blake Wiener

Remnants of Maya Ruins at San Gervasio, Mexico

The ruins of San Gervasio — located on the island of Cozumel in Mexico — were once an important site of pilgrimage to Maya people who lived from c. 1000-1650 CE. A sanctuary of the Maya goddess Ix Chel used to be located at this...
Maya Diving Figure
Imageby James Blake Wiener

Maya Diving Figure

A Maya diving figure from a lid of a ceramic vessel. Mexico, c. 1000-1100 CE. (St. Louis Art Museum, Missouri)
Ghosts in the Ancient World
Definitionby Joshua J. Mark

Ghosts in the Ancient World

A belief in an afterlife was central to every major civilization of the ancient world and this encouraged the recognition of the reality of ghosts as the spirits of the departed who, for one reason or another, either returned from the realm...
Presentation of Captives to a Maya Ruler
Imageby FA2010

Presentation of Captives to a Maya Ruler

This carved limestone relief, dated 23 August 783 CE, depicts three scribes being presented as prisoners to a Maya ruler. The captives are identified as scribes by the stick-bundle the first one holds (the traditional implements of scribes...
The Ball Game of Mesoamerica
Articleby Mark Cartwright

The Ball Game of Mesoamerica

The sport known simply as the Ball Game was played by all the major Mesoamerican civilizations and the impressive stone courts became a feature of many cities. More than just a game, it could have a religious significance and featured in...
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