Ancient Cosmologies: Understanding Ancient Skywatchers, Mayas, and their Worldviews

Since the beginning of humankind, the fascination with the celestial vault has been regarded as an important element in human life, their future, and history. Overview Ancient and pre-modern worldviews of the cosmos originated in practical lifeworld structures and experiences and therefore cannot be analyzed in the same manner as modern cosmologies are. Being embedded[…]

Maximón, a Maya Saint in Sunglasses

Life-size effigies of the saint are distributed throughout the highlands. By Dr. Kathleen McCampbellArchaeologist He sits among gifts of flowers, bread, alcohol, and smoke. He hears pleas for wealth, safety, and luck, and is adored, feared, and hated. He is San Simón, Maximón, Rilaj Mam, Judas, El Tata. A caudillo, cultural ancestor, soldier, and folk saint,[…]

Women’s Voices in a Male World: Actions, Bodies, and Spaces among the Ancient Maya

A greater focus on female activities such as food processing and weaving can provide valuable information on macro-scale social dynamics. Abstract Feminist archaeology has prompted scholars to reconsider gender roles in ancient Mesoamerica.Current research, however, tends to focus on elite women, classes and sites. Although I do not ignore the potential of these sources, in[…]

Investigations into Ancient Maya Domestic and Ritual Activities

Gaining an understanding of the particular social processes involved in the transitional Terminal Classic period in this area of the Maya world. Introduction A fifth season of excavations was conducted between June and September 2005 at the ancient Maya site of Pook’s Hill, Belize (Helmke 2006a). The excavations were conducted as part of the Belize[…]

Texting in Ancient Mayan Hieroglyphs

Because Mayan hieroglyphs have yet to be encoded, the ancient Mayan emperor K’inich Janaab’ Pakal would have to stick to emoji—but that’s about to change. If King Tut were around today, could he send a text in Egyptian hieroglyphics? Yes, with the right font and keyboard. That’s because the writing system of the pharaohs has[…]

How Climate Change Put a Damper on the Maya Civilization

Thousands of years before their collapse, severely soggy conditions lasting for many centuries likely inhibited the civilization’s development. By Olivia Trani More than 4,000 years ago, when the Great Pyramid of Giza and Stonehenge were being built, the Maya civilisation emerged in Central America. The indigenous group prospered for thousands of years until its fall[…]

The Grolier Codex: What the Oldest Manuscript to Survive Spanish Conquest Reveals

Extensive trade networks connected the Maya to the rest of Mesoamerica, producing the dynamic landscapes and bustling ports reported in early Spanish accounts. The Maya were, at their height, one of the world’s great civilisations. In the “classic” period, from AD 250–900, Maya cities with monumental architecture and huge populations spread across a large area[…]

The Maya Civilization: What’s Geography Got to Do With It?

The Maya Civilisation can be traced as far back as 2000 BCE. Introduction Geology is not just about looking at rocks. From finding oil and gas and tackling climate change to manufacturing, archaeology or geopolitics, geoscientists appear in most spheres of today’s world and economy, albeit often behind the scenes. In a new series of[…]