Ancient Mesoamerica (modern-day Mexico and Central America) witnessed an extraordinary flourishing of cultures from the beginnings of the Olmec civilization around 1200 BCE, through the Maya civilization and on to the catastrophic fall of...
Lost Temples: Mayan Pyramids of Chichen Itza
Why did the Maya abandon their magnificent city of Chichen Itza? See All National Geographic Videos http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/?source=4001
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...
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...
Pre-Hispanic City of Chichen Itza (UNESCO/NHK)
This sacred site was one of the greatest Mayan centres of the Yucatán peninsula. Throughout its nearly 1,000-year history, different peoples have left their mark on the city. The Maya and Toltec vision of the world and the universe is revealed...
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...
Shadow Effects of the Pyramid of Kukulcan
The Castillo or Pyramid of Kukulcan at the Maya (and possibly later Toltec) centre of Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico. The pyramid was built prior to 1050 CE as a temple to honour the Maya feathered-serpent god Kukulkan. The steps create a...
A seated Maya warrior. This stone and plaster figure is from the exterior of The Temple of the Warriors, Chichen Itza. Mexico, 1000-1100 CE. (St. Louis Art Museum, Missouri)
The Mayan construction Akab Dzib is believed by some archaeologists to be the oldest building in Chichen Itza, with its central chambers dating from the 2nd century CE.
Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli, 'Dawn Lord,' was a Mesoamerican god who represented a menacing aspect of Venus, the morning star, and was one of the four gods which held up the sky. The people of the ancient Americas believed his rays could damage...