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...
K'inich Janaab' Pacal otherwise known as Lord Pacal and Pacal the Great, 603-683 CE and Mayan king of Palenque. (National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City)
Pakal the Great & Xibalba
A reproduction of the sarcophagus lid of the Maya ruler of Palenque, King Pakal the Great, also known as K'inich Janaab' Pacal (23 March 603 CE - 31 March 683 CE). In this detail the king is falling into the terrible jaws of the Maya underworld...
Jade Death Mask of Kinich Janaab Pacal
The jade death mask of Maya king Kinich Janaab Pacal, c. 683 CE, Palenque. (National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City)
Tikal, located in the north of the Petén region of Guatemala, was a major Maya city which flourished between 300 and 850 CE. The city, known to the Maya themselves as Mutul, is one of the grandest in Mesoamerica. Amongst the first...
Mosaics are designs and images created using small pieces (tessrae) of stone or other materials which have been used to decorate floors, walls, ceilings, and precious objects since before written records began. Like pottery, mosaics have...
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...
Chaccoben (pronounced chac-CHO-bin) is a Maya site dated to c. 700 CE located in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. Once a large and significant urban religious center, the city was abandoned c. 900-950 CE at about the same time as the other...
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...
The Maya are an indigenous people of Mexico and Central America who have continuously inhabited the lands comprising modern-day Yucatan, Quintana Roo, Campeche, Tabasco, and Chiapas in Mexico and southward through Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador...