Map of Mesoamerica Culture Area with Five Subdivisions.

(1) Gulf Coast Area,

(2) Maya Area,

(3) Oaxaca Area,

(4) Central Plateau Area,

(5) Northwest Area.





Mesoamerica Cultures & Maps




Mesoamerica (Spanish: Mesoamérica) is a region and cultural area in the Americas, extending approximately from Central Mexico to Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and northern Costa Rica, within which a number of pre-Columbian societies flourished before the Spanish colonization of the Americas in the 15th and 16th centuries. Among the earliest complex civilizations was the Olmec Culture which inhabited the Gulf coast of Mexico and extended inland The Toltec - Mayan - Aztec and other Cultures... 




National Museum of Anthropology and History - Mexico City D.F. Mexico

 - The Maya 


Lost Kingdoms of the Maya (  58 mins)



Aztec Cosmogram - Codex




The Aztec goddess of Coatlicue,


The Aztec Sun Stone, also known as the Aztec Calendar Stone, at National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City.




Sequenza was a Jesuit Priest found historical proof that the Aztecs was descended from the people in the bible. For that he was expelled as a Jesuit Priest. No one took him serious, you can even find and history on his work. 


Aztec People - Culture - Empire

Hugh Newman - Before The Maya: The Olmecs, Quetzalcoatl and the Megalithic Origins of Mesoamerica ( 10 mins)

Filmed at the Megalithomania Conference in Glastonbury on 9th May 2010 by Nautilus AV Productions.

Description: Hugh has recently travelled around Mexico, Guetamala, Hondurus and Belize in search of the pre-Mayan megalithic civilization that flourished as far back as 7000BC. Mexico is famous for its Mayan and Aztec architecture but Hugh has discovered evidence of much earlier cultures, that were of "megalithic" origin and were the inspiration behind the Mayan emergence. The Mayans have been credited with introducing a sophisticated calendar, agricultural practices and incredible stonework, but it is now thought that the 'Olmec' invented the Long Count calendar that ends in 2012 and taught the Maya much of what they knew, and were experts in the use of Toad DMT, psychedelic mushrooms and altered states, suggesting they received their knowledge from the shamanic realm and shared it with other cultures. Hugh also explores the legend of the 'white god' Quetzalcoatl and gives an overview of the incredible Olmec civilization, who were thought to be African in origin and were part of a prehistoric cosmopolitan culture that travelled the world. 

Legacy: The Origins of Civilization - Central America -- The Burden of Time

 ( 51 mins)

Isolated from the rest of the world, the Mayans and Aztecs created sophisticated civilizations that in many ways paralleled ancient Mediterranean empires. God-like kings and a priestly ruling class dominated splendid cities of temples and pyramids.
We humans have been on the Earth for more than a million years, but civilization -- life in cities -- has come about only in the last 5,000. Through history civilizations have rose and fell, carved out of nature, dependent on nature, in the end -- nature took them back. But in the past few hundred years, one form of civilization -- that of the West -- has changed the balance of nature forever. And now it is civilization itself that has become the central problem of our planet. To understand why, we must look afresh at how we see history. 


The Aztec Empire - What Happened to the Aztecs. (2005) History Documentary

 ( 43 mins)


Join leading scholars as they chart the Aztec empire's rise and fall in this authoritative profile of one of the world's most intriguing civilizations. The program examines how the society eventually dominated ancient America and how theThe Aztec Empire vanquished the mighty Aztecs in a matter of months. Aztec influences on contemporary Mexico are discussed, and exciting new discoveries are revealed at the Great Temple of Tenochtitlán excavation site. 







Ancient Olmec Statues




Latex Ball made by the Olmec 




The Olmecs

The Olmec were the first major civilization in Mexico. They lived in the tropical lowlands of south-central Mexico, in the modern-day states of Veracruz and Tabasco.


The Olmec flourished during Mesoamerica's Formative period, dating roughly from as early as 1500 BCE to about 400 BCE. Pre-Olmec cultures had flourished in the area since about 2500 BCE, but by 1600-1500 BCE Early Olmec culture had emerged centered around the San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán site near the coast in southeast Veracruz.They were the first Mesoamerican civilization and laid many of the foundations for the civilizations that followed. Among other "firsts", the Olmec appeared to practice ritual bloodletting and played the Mesoamerican ballgame, hallmarks of nearly all subsequent Mesoamerican societies.

The most familiar aspect of the Olmecs is their artwork, particularly the aptly named "colossal heads". The Olmec civilization was first defined through artifacts which collectors purchased on the pre-Columbian art market in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Olmec artworks are considered among ancient America's most striking. 


Olmec artforms emphasize both monumental statuary and small jade carvings and jewelry. Much Olmec art is highly stylized and uses an iconography reflective of the religious meaning of the artworks. Some Olmec art, however, is surprisingly naturalistic, displaying an accuracy of depiction of human anatomy perhaps equaled in the Pre-Columbian New World only by the best Maya Classic era art.  


Somehow the ancient Olmecs carved stone into pillars used to build things

A centuries-old Latex Ball made by the Olmec in what is now Mexico

Ancient civilizations in much of Mexico and Central America were making different grades of rubber 3,000 years before Charles Goodyear "stabilized" the stuff in the mid-19th century, new research suggests.

The Aztec, Olmec, and Maya of Mesoamerica are known to have made rubber using natural latex—a milky, sap-like fluid found in some plants. Mesoamerica extends roughly from central Mexico to Honduras and Nicaragua - Ancients blended plant juices to get bouncier or tougher rubber

Ancient rubber makers harvested latex from rubber trees and mixed it with juice from morning glory vines, which contains a chemical that makes the solidified latex less brittle…


Secrets of the Ancients - The Olmecs (Documentary)  ( 48 mins)


Documentary on the Olmec Civilization. The secrets of the ancients explored. The giant stone heads of the Olmec are one of the greatest mysteries of world and human history.




Colossal sculpted heads of the mysterious Olmec people of Central America












Olmecs – Giant Heads – La Venta & San Lorenzo Tabasco - Mexico

Archaeologists study a monumental stone head discovered at the La Venta site in Tabasco State, - The Stone Material was transported about 30 Km to the area of San Lorenzo, where there were found, digging for oil. First head was discovered in 1862,


Colossal Olmecs ( 52 mins)

City College of San Francisco's Latin American Studies Department, Concert & Lecture Series, and The Consulate of Mexico present Colossal Olmecs. The speaker is Dr. Sara Ladron, Director of the Museum of Anthropology; Xalapa, Vera Cruz, Mexico. 


OLMEC HEADS - "EL NEGRO" at Tuxteco Museum, Santiago Tuxtla ( 4 mins)

The Olmec - Ancient Mexico ( 4 mins)

An ancient culture is getting new attention. Featured in the new National Treasure 2 movie, who were the so-called Olmec Indians of ancient Mexico? A very mysterious and advanced civilization, many believe that the Mayan calendar is really Olmec in origin. From pyramids to written language to sophisticated social structure and even ball games, the Olmecs were the mother culture of the Americas. 


Lost Worlds: Scientific Secrets of the Ancients - by Robert Charroux 
















Great Goddess of Teotihuacan 200-500 A





Teotihuacán, Mexico

The city is thought to have been established around 100 BCE and continued to be built until about 250 CE. The city may have lasted until sometime between the 7th and 8th centuries CE. At its zenith, perhaps in the first half of the 1st millennium CE, Teotihuacan was the largest city in the pre-Columbian Americas. At this time it may have had more than 200,000 inhabitants, placing it among the largest cities of the world in this period. Teotihuacan was even home to multi-floor apartment compounds built to accommodate this large population. The civilization and cultural complex associated with the site is also referred to as Teotihuacan or Teotihuacano.

Apart from the pyramidal structures, Teotihuacan is also known for its large residential complexes, the Avenue of the Dead, and numerous colorful, well-preserved murals. Additionally, Teotihuacan produced a thin orange pottery style that spread through Mesoamerica.


  • Avenue of the Dead

  • Pyramid of the Sun

  • Pyramid of the Moon

  • Feathered Serpent Pyramyd

  • Ciudadela


As originally built, the Sun Pyramid was approximately 215 by 215 m at the base, and about 63 m high. It was significantly enlarged at least twice in later periods, resulting in a final size of 225 m along each side. The pyramid was located on the east side of the Avenue of the Dead in the northern half of the city. If the area of monumental construction between the Moon Pyramid and the San Juan Canal is regarded as the central zone of the city, the Sun Pyramid is located at its middle. In addition to its geographic centrality, the importance of the pyramid is indicated by a cave located under the structure. It is believed by certain scholars that the cave was used for ritual activities, and why the pyramid was constructed where it is today.

The Pyramid of the Moon is located at the extreme northern end of the Avenue of the Dead, the principal axis of the city of Teotihuacan. The pyramid, facing towards the south, was constructed as the principal monument of the Plaza of the Moon. For many years it was believed that the pyramid contained earlier structures within its walls, but until the Pyramid of the Moon Project excavations began in 1998, archaeologists could only guess at how many there were and how they had been constructed. Over the last four years, as a result of the fieldwork that has been carried out, a large quantity of information and materials have been obtained. All of these materials are now in the process of being analyzed. The team plans to continue the excavations of the Pyramid of the Moon and the adjacent areas over the next few years. 


The Mystery of Teotihuacan ( 5 mins)

We still don't know who these people were who built one of the largest pre-columbian cities in the Americas 

Pyramids of Death - National Geographic - ( 49 mins)

The amazing discovery of one of the oldest, but also powerful civilizations of the world unknown. Are some of the largest pyramids in the world. Millions of tons of stone raised above the landscape, a mix of wealth and poder.Contudo were not the pharaohs who built them. This is the great city of Teotihuacan in Mexico, instead of one of the most powerful civilizations of their identity at the same time. This of its founders, who spoke the language and even the original name of the city disappeared. The latest findings, however, showed human remains inside the pyramids. DNA analysis shows it is not the Mayans, Incas or Aztecs, but of an entirely unknown civilization ... Researchers reconstruct these remarkable findings and reveals the mystery of the rise and fall of one of the most powerful and ancient civilizations of the world unknown ... 


The Ciudadela, on the opposite side from the Pyramid of the Moon

10 Most Beautiful Ancient Mayan Temples 






Murals at Teotihuacán, Mexico




Feathered Serpent Pyramid



Stone carving of Quetzalcóatl

 (the Feathered Serpent) at

Teotihuacán, Mexico.




Quetzalcóatl – The Feathered Serpent Pyramid Teotihuacán, Mexico








Ancient Petroglyphs found in the Mazatlán area

This boulder, covered with mysterious designs, sits at the entrance to the Museo Arqueologia de Mazatlán (Archaeological Museum).





Palenque - Temple of the Inscriptions






Pacal's Jade Mask





Palenque - Mayan Ruins in Chiapas, Mexico

Palenque in Modern Maya) was a Maya city state in southern Mexico that flourished in the 7th century. The Palenque ruins date back to 226 BC to its fall around 1123 AD. After its decline, it was absorbed into the jungle, which is made up of cedar, mahogany, and sapodilla trees, but has been excavated and restored and is now a famous archaeological site attracting thousands of visitors. It is located near the Usumacinta River in the Mexican state of Chiapas, located about 130 km (81 mi) south of Ciudad del Carmen[citation needed] about 150 m (164 yd) above sea level. It stays at a humid 26°C (79°F) with roughly 2160 mm (85 in) of rain a year.

Palenque is a medium-sized site, much smaller than such huge sites as Tikal or Copán, but it contains some of the finest architecture, sculpture, roof comb and bas-relief carvings that the Mayas produced. Much of the history of Palenque has been reconstructed from reading the hieroglyphic inscriptions on the many monuments; historians now have a long sequence of the ruling dynasty of Palenque in the 5th century and extensive knowledge of the city-state's rivalry with other states such as Calakmul and Toniná. The most famous ruler of Palenque was Pacal the Great whose tomb has been found and excavated in the Temple of the Inscriptions.

By 2005, the discovered area covered up to 2.5 km² (1 sq mi), but it is estimated that less than 10% of the total area of the city is explored, leaving more than a thousand structures still covered by jungle. 



Palenque is one of the Grandest Mayan ruins.

It easily ranks with Chichen Itza, Uxmal and Tikal in architecture and majesty. Even though it is over 400 miles (650 kilometers) away from the Riviera Maya, Palenque and nearby Misol Ha falls and Agua Azul. The flat lands of Quintana Roo, to the exotic mountain state of Chiapas in southern Mexico; land of waterfalls, cascades, Mayan ruins, caves, canyons, lagoons and extraordinary wildlife.
Palenque Mexico ( 4 mins) 









Palenque Astronaut

Other intriguing pieces of ancient astronaut “evidence” include the Piri Reis map and the sarcophagus lid of Pakal the Great (the Mayan god-king of Palenque), which supposedly depicts him in an astronaut suit and space capsule.
Chariots of the Gods 7/10 ( 10 mins) 







Tulum Mayan Ruins Temple, Quintana Roo Tulum  -  Mexico









Pyramid of Kukulkan, Chichen Itza – Calendar & Equinox Indicator

El Castillo's design is thought to relate to the Mayan calendar. Each of the four faces incorporates a broad, steep staircase consisting of 91 steps that ascends to the top platform. Counting the top platform as an additional step gives a total of 365 steps: 1step for each day of the year, thus – a Calendar!!,_Chichen_Itza 




Kukulkan at Chichen Itza during the

 Equinox. The famous descent of the

 snake March 2009



The serpent effect demonstrated with artificial light during night-time.





The Serpent Effect at Chichen Itza, Mexico

On the Spring and Autumn equinox, in the late afternoon, the northwest corner of the pyramid casts a series of triangular shadows against the western balustrade on the north side that evokes the appearance of a serpent wriggling down the staircase. Some have suggested the effect was an intentional design by the Maya builders to represent the feathered-serpent god Kukulcan. Archaeologists have found no evidence to support such an assertion.
Kukulcán's pyramid is notable for the fact that at the spring and fall equinoxes (March 21 and September 22) the sun projects an undulating pattern of light on the northern stairway for a few hours in the late afternoon—a pattern caused by the angle of the sun and the edge of the nine steps that define the pyramid's construction. These triangles of light link up with the massive stone carvings of snake heads at the base of the stairs, suggesting a massive serpent snaking down the structure.
Additionally, when one looks at the western face during the winter solstice, the sun appears to climb up the edge of the staircase until it rests momentarily directly above the temple before beginning its descent down the other side. The orientation of the pyramid is approximately 17 degrees east of magnetic north, in an area where the declination is approximately 2 degrees east, so the actual orientation is around 19 degrees east of true north. Several other major structures on the site are oriented in approximately the same way.

Spring Equinox 2009: Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico  ( 9:34 mins)  









El Caracol - Observatory at Chichen Itza, Mexico

El Caracol, the Observatory, is a unique structure at pre-Columbian Maya civilization site of Chichen Itza. El Caracol, which means 'snail' in Spanish, is so named due to the spiral staircase inside the tower.

Mayan astronomers knew from naked-eye observations that Venus appeared on the western and disappeared on the eastern horizons at different times in the year, and that it took 584 days to complete one cycle.[4]

They also knew that five of these Venus cycles equaled eight solar years.[5] Venus would therefore make an appearance at the northerly and southerly extremes at eight-year intervals.

Of 29 possible astronomical events (eclipses, equinoxes, solstices, etc.) believed to be of interest to the Mesoamerican residents of Chichén Itzá, sight lines for 20 can be found in the structure. Since a portion of the tower resting on El Caracol has been lost, it is possible that the other measurements will never be ascertained to have been observed.,_Chichen_Itza 


Chariots of the Gods 7/10 ( 10 mins)   







Chac Mool Statue


Inner chamber of the Pyramid of Kukulkan, Chichen Itza, built on an earlier structure of unknown date.

The famous Chac Mool Statue that used to be inside El Castillo, now in the Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City.






The Central pyramid is constructed

with 13 steps up to a platform which

contains an additional 4 steps.

The total structure

 is 18 meters (60 ft.) tall.



Aerial view of the Conjunto 2 complex.

This photo appears on the large sign

at the entrance to the ruins. It helps

give a sense  of how the circular

pyramids and their surrounding

platform circles are laid out.

The circular aspect is what makes the Guachimontones unique in Mexico,

and perhaps in the world.






Circling the Conjunto 2 pyramid are 10 rectangular platforms. Many of the platforms, have steps leading up

to  their tops. The platforms are

constructed with 2 to 4 levels.

Originally the top level of the

 platforms contained buildings

made of wood with thatched

roofs. These buildings  may

 have been connected to

particular elite families or

 lineage groups.




Teuchitlan - The Round Pyramids of Teuchitlan

Everyone is aware of the Great Pyramids of Egypt and the Mayan Pyramids in Eastern Mexico, but I will wager that few have heard of the Round Pyramids of Teuchitlán. The reason so few have likely heard of these ‘round’ pyramids is because they are a very recent discovery of the late 20th Century. The circular architecture is known as Guachimonton, the name given to the largest of the circles and this site. It is the largest and most complex site with this architecture, and is located in the center of the Tequila valleys, west of Guadalajara.

Located one kilometer from the town monumental buildings shaped in concentric circles resembling tiered cakes - stand proudly. These structures, surrounded by rectangular platforms, leave us astounded as our guide reveals that the place is over 2000 years old and that the buildings were built with stone and clay.

The Teuchitlan culture began develop around 1000 BC, reaching its peak in 200 AD and its lowest point in 500 AD. Its influence spread across a large part of Jalisco, stretching as far as Colima, Sinaloa, Zacatecas and el Bajio.

Guachimontones - Near Teuchitlan - Jalisco - Mexico


Mexico's Guachimontones Ruins  






Tzompantli – Chichen

The outer columns and walls inside the temple are covered with elaborate 








Cholula Underground Tunnel




Great Pyramid of Cholula, Puebla - Mexico

The Great Pyramid of Cholula, also known as Tlachihualtepetl (Nahuatl for "artificial mountain"), is a huge complex located in Cholula, Puebla, Mexico. It is the largest archaeological site of a pyramid (temple) in the New World. The pyramid stands 55 metres (180 ft) above the surrounding plain, and in its final form it measured 400 by 400 metres (1,300 by 1,300 ft). The pyramid is a temple that has traditionally been viewed as having been dedicated to the god Quetzalcoatl.[2] The architectural style of the building was closely linked to that of Teotihuacan in the Valley of Mexico, although influence from the Gulf Coast is also evident, especially from El Tajín. 

Carved Stone Head, Cholula Pyramid Climbing the Inlaid Stone Path along the Cholula Pyramid 



Tlaloc stands proudly outside the National Museum of Anthropology



The original colossal (23 feet high)

stone statue to Tlaloc where it layed for centuries in a dry stream bed in the

village of Coatlinchan,

30 miles from Mexico City





Tlaloc - God of Rain and Fertility - Coatlinchan - Mexico

Tlaloc, also known as Nuhualpilli, was an important deity in Aztec religion, a god of rain, fertility, and water. He was a beneficent god who gave life and sustenance, but he was also feared for his ability to send hail, thunder and lightning, and for being the lord of the powerful element of water. In Aztec iconography he is usually depicted with goggle eyes and fangs. He was associated with caves, springs and mountains. He is known for having demanded child sacrifices.

In Aztec cosmology, the four corners of the universe are marked by "the four Tlalocs" which both hold up the sky and functions as the frame for the passing of time. Tlaloc was the patron of the Calendar day Mazatl and of the trecena of Ce Quiyahuitl. In Aztec mythology, Tlaloc was the lord of the third sun which was destroyed by fire.

National Museum of Anthropology of Ciudad de Mexico





Pyramid of the Niches before restoration





Building C





El Tajín – Veracruz - Mexico

El Tajín is a pre-Columbian archeological site and one of the largest and most important cities of the Classic era of Mesoamerica. A part of the Classic Veracruz culture, El Tajín flourished from 600 to 1200 C.E. and during this time numerous temples, palaces, ballcourts, and pyramids were built. From the time the city fell in 1230 to near the end of the 18th century, no European seems to have known of its existence, until a government inspector chanced upon the Pyramid of the Niches in 1785 


El Tajin, Pyramid of the Niches

One of the most important ancient cities of Mesoamerica. Flourished in 600 – 1200 AD, inhabited by people of diverse nationality. Impressive monuments are Pyramid of the Niches, Building 5 (also a pyramid) and other pyramid shaped temples. 


             Blue Temple                           El Tajin Building                     5 Ball Courts


Pyramids of El Tajín, México ( 4 mins) 

El Tajín Pyramid ( 7 mins)

El Tajín, Veracruz, archeological zone 







Cinteotl - the Aztec God of Maize

In Aztec mythology, Centeotl (also known as Centeocihuatl or Cinteotl) is the masculine deity of maize.

According to the Florentine Codex, Centeotl is the son of the earth goddess, Tlazolteotl and solar deity Piltzintecuhtli, the planet Mercury. Another myth claims him as the son of the goddess Xochiquetzal. The majority of evidence gathered on Centeotl suggests that he is usually portrayed as a young man (although a debate is still ongoing), with yellow body colouration.Some specialists believe that Centeotl used to be the maize goddess Xilonen. Centeotl was considered one of the most important deities of the Aztec era. There are many common features that are shown in depictions of Centeotl. For example there often seems to be maize in his headdress. Another striking trait is the black line passing down his eyebrow, through his cheek and finishing at the bottom of his jaw line. These face markings are similarly and frequently used in the late post-classic depictions of a Mayan maize god. 



Rain God Tlaloc Honouring

the Maize God Cinteotl



An ancient and much-loved Aztec

Goddess, Tlazolteotl was Matron of

 both Pleasure and Sin.





The concept of “Teotl” is central to the Aztec religion. The term is often translated as "god", but may have held more abstract aspects of divinity or supernatural energy akin to the Polynesian concept of Mana

The nature of Teotl is a key element in the understanding of the fall of the Aztec empire, because it seems that the Aztec ruler Moctezuma II and the Aztecs in general referred to Cortés and the conquistadors as "Teotl"—it has been widely believed that this means that they believed them to be gods, but a better understanding of "Teotl" might suggest that they were merely seen as "mysterious" and "inexplicable".

Many Other Gods



Toltec Warriors Statues









Toltec Warriors Statues - Ancient Tula, Mexico - The Toltec

Columns in the form of Toltec warriors in Tula.

The Toltec culture is an archaeological Mesoamerican culture that dominated a state centered in Tula, Hidalgo in the early post-classic period of Mesoamerican chronology (ca 800-1000 CE). The later Aztec culture saw the Toltecs as their intellectual and cultural predecessors and described Toltec culture emanating from Tollan (Nahuatl for Tula) as the epitome of civilization, indeed in the Nahuatl language the word "Toltec" came to take on the meaning "artisan". The Aztec oral and pictographic tradition also described the history of the Toltec empire giving lists of rulers and their exploits and the actual knowledge of the culture of Tula, Hidalgo. Other controversy relating to the Toltecs include how best to understand reasons behind the perceived similarities in architecture and iconography between the archaeological site of Tula and the Maya site of Chichén Itzá - as of yet no consensus has emerged about the degree or direction of influence between the two sites.
Toltecs, Mexico - BBC World Wonders ( 3 mins)

The Toltec culture is an archaeological Mesoamerican culture that dominated a state centered in Tula, Hidalgo in the early post-classic period of Mesoamerican chronology (ca 800-1000 CE). The later Aztec culture saw the Toltecs as their intellectual and cultural predecessors and described Toltec culture emanating from Tollan (Nahuatl for Tula) as the epitome of civilization, indeed in the Nahuatl language the word "Toltec" came to take on the meaning "artisan". The Aztec oral and pictographic tradition also described the history of the Toltec empire giving lists of rulers and their exploits. Among modern scholars it is a matter of debate whether the Aztec narratives of Toltec history should be given credence as descriptions of actual historical events.  







Tikal, Guatemala round Calendar Carving





Tikal, Guatemala

Tikal is one of the largest archaeological sites and urban centres of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization. It is located in the archaeological region of the Petén Basin in what is now northern Guatemala

Where the rain forests of Guatemala now stand, a great civilization once flourished. The people of Mayan society built vast cities, ornate temples, and towering pyramids. At its peak around 900 A.D., the population numbered 500 people per square mile in rural areas, and more than 2,000 people per square mile in the cities -- comparable to modern Los Angeles County.




Half excavated pyramid at Tikal 

The Lost Gods - The Maya 1/3 >>( 10 mins)

The Lost Gods, a documentary series that takes a thought-provoking look at these ancient empires and their vanished religions.

The Maya believed they owed a blood debt to the Gods -- one that could only be repaid through sacrifice. Deep in the rainforest of Guatemala, host Christy Kenneally explores the massive Mayan city of Tikal. In Mexico, he discovers the secrets of the spectacular temples of Palenque and Chichen Itza. And at the Island of Flores, Guatemala, he reflects on the final stand of the Maya against the invading Spaniards. 

Dawn of the Maya - A National Geographic Documentary ( 53 mins) 



El Mirador, Petén, Guatemala
















La Pirámide de la Danta, El Mirador, Petén, Guatemala

La pirámide más grande del mundo, construida por los mayas allá por el año 600 antes de Cristo.

There is also one ruin that I am extremely interested in visiting. It is situated in the middle of the jungle on the border with Mexico and it’s called El Mirador. This ancient city can only be reached by helicopter or by hiking two days through thick jungle. The government is currently in the process of restoring El Mirador so that flights will be able to transport tourists to this hidden gem, sans the intense 4-day excursion to go and come back.



Throughout this northern region of Peten there are over 1,500 archeological sites, of which 90% have not been restored due to high maintenance costs.


Ancient Guatemalan Ruins

1. Abaj Takalik
2. Aguateca
3. Altar de los Sacrificios
4. Ceibal
5. Dos Pilas
6. El Mirador
7. El Naranjo
8. Iximché
9. Kaminal Juyú
10. Kinal
11. K'Umarcaaj
12. La Democracia

13. Mixco Viejo
14. Nakún
15. Piedras Negras
16. Quiriguá
17. Río Azul
18. Tamarindo
19. Tayasal
20. Tikal
21. Topoxté
22. Uaxactún
23. Yaxhá
24. Zaculeu



Mayan Cylindric Vase from Holmul,

Peten, Guatemala,

 Late Classic period, c.600-900 AD





One of the most highly valued crops

of  the Pacific slopes of southern Guatemala was cacao.

Representations of cacao are

preserved in ceramics from this

region, often in the form of

incense burners or lidded cache

vessels. This lid is modeled in the

form of a young woman who holds

a small bowl filled with cacao pods.

 She emerges from a pile of cacao

beans, once used as a form

of curency.


The Maya elite served a frothy cacao

drink during feasts. The importance

 of  these gatherings dictated the use

of elaborate service vessels such as

this unusual lidded container in

the form of a cormorant with a

tiny turtle attached to its breast.




Lords of the Peten - Guatemala 

Symbols of early Maya kingship at Cival, Petén, Guatemala
Excavations carried out in the summer of 2003 at Cival, a Preclassic Maya centre in north-eastern Guatemala, uncovered monumental sculpture and elaborate offerings that shed new light on the earliest beginnings of Maya dynastic symbolism.

Initial exploration in 2002 revealed massive Preclassic ceremonial architecture at the site and a carved stela stylistically Preclassic in date (Estrada-Belli et al. 2003).

A tunnel excavated in the eastern Structure 1 of Triadic Group 1 penetrated the stairway of a Preclassic pyramid of about AD 100. An earlier pyramid found under the rubble of the later structure, was adorned with a giant stucco mask (c. 5m wide and 3m high) apparently preserved in striking detail, although only the proper left side is visible (Figure 1, 2). The carving depicts an anthropomorphic face with an L-shaped eye, an eyebrow with U-motif, and merlons above the eye. There is a squared mouth with a single fang, a short nose, a cross-shaped motif on the cheek, a rectangular ear flare with dots at the four corners and a U-motif in the centre. Above the flare is a knot and scroll, while an unusual motif dangles below it. Ceramics associated with this sculpture date its disuse to the middle of the Late Preclassic period between 150 BC and AD 50. 



Peten Art


Fue develado uno de los frisos de la aún soterrada ciudad de El Mirador, en el norte de Petén, Guatemala.  El friso, que forma parte de un acueducto, daba cuenta de una escena del "Popol Vuh".


Elaborate full-figure hieroglyphs

 on  the west  side of Quiriguá

 Stela D











Archaeological Park and Ruins of Quirigua - Guatemala

Quiriguá (Spanish pronunciation: [kiɾiˈɣwa]) is an ancient Maya archaeological site in the department of Izabal in south-eastern Guatemala. It is a medium-sized site covering approximately 3 square kilometres (1.2 sq mi) along the lower Motagua River,with the ceremonial center about 1 km (0.6 mi) from the north bank. During the Maya Classic Period (AD 200–900), Quiriguá was situated at the juncture of several important trade routes. The site was occupied by 200, construction on the acropolis had begun by about 550, and an explosion of grander construction started in the 8th century. All construction had halted by about 850, except for a brief period of reoccupation in the Early Postclassic (c. 900 – c. 1200). Quiriguá shares its architectural and sculptural styles with the nearby Classic Period city of Copán, with whose history it is closely entwined. 



Zoomorph B - Quirigua is most famous for its zoomorphs, which are depictions of creatures that are half man and half animal.








Link to Other Mayan Sites 



Ancient Cosmonaut – Guatemala




  Soyuz 1 Cosmonaut -  Vladimir Komarov  




Ancient Cosmonaut – Guatemala
Sky People: This ancient stone figure, found at the Mayan ruins in Tikal, Guatemala, resembles a modern-day astronaut in a space helmet.

In Guatemala City there is a sculpture that’s reminiscent of a modern day astronaut. He is clearly shown wearing a helmet, with a visor and has a communication panel built in, onto his helmet, there are breathing apparatus attached to his chest and he looks uncannily similar to out modern day space travelers. The question is how was all this possible 2500 years ago, when the world had not even seen automobiles or any feat of modern day engineering for that matter.



Xunantunich - a Mayan Ruin in Belize






Xunantunich - a Mayan Ruin in Belize

Xunantunich is a Mayan ruin in Belize. While there are many Mayan ruins in Mexico, this ancient civilization also stretched beyond the borders of present-day Mexico, and there are also ruins in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. The ruins at Xunantunich Belize sit at the top of a hill overlooking the Mopan River. Built during the classical period, there are six major plazas and more than 25 palaces and temples. The ruins at Xunantunich are most famous for El Castillo, meaning the Castle, a 130-foot pyramid above the plaza. This ceremonial site is a popular attraction for anyone exploring Belize. - The ruins at Xunantunich are often mentioned for not only the impressive El Castillo, but also for one defining feature of this temple. An intricate stucco decoration at one time surrounded the entire temple. Called a frieze, this decoration is very detailed and beautiful. - The architecture is from the classic period, and construction probably began about 300 AD. Archaeologists theorize that the site was abandoned in approximately 900 AD because of an earthquake. Archaeologists have found evidence to strongly suggest that this was the end of Xunantunich. 



Temple of the Masonry Altars









The Ancient Ruins of Altun Ha in Belize
Altun Ha is the name given ruins of an ancient Maya city in Belize, located in the Belize District about 30 miles (50 km) north of Belize City and about 6 miles (10 km) west of the shore of the Caribbean Sea. The site covers an area of about 5 miles (8 km) square. Altun Ha was occupied for many centuries, from about B.C 900 to A.D. 1000. Most of the information of Altun Ha and at its largest was in the Classic Period from about A.D 400 to A.D. 900. The ruins of the ancient structures had their stones reused for residential construction of the agricultural village of Rockstone Pond in modern times, but the ancient site did not come to the attention of archeologists until 1963. The Old Northern Highway connects Altun Ha to Belize's Northern Highway, and the site is accessible for tourism. The largest of Altun Ha's temple-pyramids, the "Temple of the Masonry Altars", is 54 feet (16 m) high. Presently, no one knows the ancient name of the ruins.  


Overlook of the Site from Temple of the Masonry Altars



Caracol - Belize



Maya Pyramid Belize




Caracol Maya Ruins – Belize









Lamanai Maya Ruins, Belize. Mask Temple

Lamanai, one of Belize’s largest Maya ceremonial centers, is a Mesoamerican archaeological site located on the banks of the New River Lagoon in the Orange Walk District in northern Belize.
These ruins have a particular characteristic that is different from most Maya ruins; it is close to a body of water. Given to this, Lamanai managed to have the longest occupation span of any Maya site, spanning from the 16th century BC until the 17th century AD – way after the severe drought that led to the Mayan civilization decline around 900AD and slightly after the Spanish conquest.
The name Lamanai comes from the Yucatec Maya word Lam’an’ain, which means, “submerged crocodile” –a name fitting to this place, as the New River Lagoon is full of crocodiles.




Copan - Honduras



Steleas at Copan Maya





Frescos at the Mayan ruins of Copan. More Copan Ruins Archeological


Sun God. Mayan ruins of Copán. Honduras








Mayan Ruins of Copán -  Honduras


Copán is an archaeological site of the Maya civilization located in the Copán Department of western Honduras, not far from the border with Guatemala. It was the capital city of a major Classic period kingdom from the 5th to 9th centuries AD. The city was located in the extreme southeast of the Mesoamerican cultural region, on the frontier with the Isthmo-Colombian cultural region, and was almost surrounded by non-Maya peoples. In this fertile valley now lies a city of about 3000, a small airport, and a winding road.

Copán was occupied for more than two thousand years, from the Early Preclassic period right through to the Postclassic. The city developed a distinctive sculptural style within the tradition of the lowland Maya, perhaps to emphasize the Maya ethnicity of the city's rulers.

The city has a historical record that spans the greater part of the Classic period and has been reconstructed in detail by archaeologists and epigraphers. Copán, probably called Oxwitik[pronunciation? by the Maya, was a powerful city ruling a vast kingdom within the southern Maya area. The city suffered a major political disaster in AD 738 when Uaxaclajuun Ub'aah K'awiil, one of the greatest kings in Copán's dynastic history, was captured and executed by his former vassal, the king of Quiriguá.[6] This unexpected defeat resulted in a 17-year hiatus at the city, during which time Copán may have been subject to Quiriguá in a reversal of fortunes.

A significant portion of the eastern side of the acropolis has been eroded away by the Copán River, although the river has since been diverted in order to protect the site from further damage.



Part 1 Copán (Maya City) Honduras ( 18 mins)

Copán is an archaeological site of the Maya civilization located in the Copán Department of western Honduras, not far from the border with Guatemala. It was the capital city of a major Classic period kingdom from the 5th to 9th centuries AD. The city was located in the extreme southeast of the Mesoamerican cultural region, on the frontier with the Isthmo-Colombian cultural region, and was almost surrounded by non-Maya peoples. In this fertile valley now lies a city of about 3000, a small airport, and a winding road.

Copán was occupied for more than two thousand years, from the Early Preclassic period right through to the Postclassic. The city developed a distinctive sculptural style within the tradition of the lowland Maya, perhaps to emphasize the Maya ethnicity of the city's rulers.

The city has a historical record that spans the greater part of the Classic period and has been reconstructed in detail by archaeologists and epigraphers.Copán, probably called Oxwitik[pronunciation?] by the Maya, was a powerful city ruling a vast kingdom within the southern Maya area. The city suffered a major political disaster in AD 738 when Uaxaclajuun Ub'aah K'awiil, one of the greatest kings in Copán's dynastic history, was captured and executed by his former vassal, the king of Quiriguá. This unexpected defeat resulted in a 17-year hiatus at the city, during which time Copán may have been subject to Quiriguá in a reversal of fortunes.  








In its heyday from about A.D. 300 to

900, the Maya civilization boasted

 hundreds of cities across a vast

swath of Central America. Now

archeological sites, these once-

flourishing cities extended from

Chichén Itzá in the northern

Yucatán to Copán, about 400

miles  to the south in modern-

day  Honduras.


 Each bore ceremonial centers

where theocratic rulers practiced

a complex religion  based on a host

 of gods, a unique calendar, and

ceremonies that featured a ball

 game and human sacrifice.


The ancient Maya also mastered

astronomy, mathematics, art and architecture, and a glyph system of

writing on stone, ceramics, and bark

paper. Using an interactive map,

visit  15 of the better-known

Maya sites.




NOVA: Lost King of the Maya – Copan 2001 ( 54 mins)

David Stuart began deciphering Maya hieroglyphic inscriptions at the age of eight, and at 18 he became the youngest recipient of a MacArthur "genius grant." Now at Harvard University's Peabody Museum, he is a world-renowned expert on the written language of the ancient Maya. Among other fieldwork in Mexico and Guatemala, he is part of an ongoing project to record and preserve the monumental Hieroglyphic Stairway at Copán in Honduras. In this series of film clips, join Stuart as he guides you to some of Copán's greatest treasures.

In an ancient Mayan arena, enemies of notorious King Yax KÕuk Mo square off in a ball game that appears much like modern soccer. But in this fateful contest, winners liveÑand losers lose their heads.

Sixteen centuries ago, a mysterious, left-handed warrior seized control of the Mayan city of Copan, founding a dynasty that would last for four hundred years. NOVA pieces together the fascinating puzzle of this mighty monarch, in Lost King of the Maya.

For 400 years, the Yax Kiuk Mois dynasty of Holy Lords presided over the Maya city of Copan, maintaining power through hallucinogenic vision quests, ritual warfare, and human sacrifice. Generations of scholars have dismissed the story of Yax Kiuk Moi as pure myth. But now, a team of archaeologists has dug 130 feet underground and over 1500 years back in time and may have found his tomb. Will the archaeologists' discoveries transform the legend of Yax Kiuk Moi from myth into reality? Their journey takes us from bat-infested tunnels to the lush mountainous rainforests of Honduras, and in the process, reveals secrets of the rise and mysterious fall of the entire civilization.

Interactive Map of the Maya World 

Honduras Copan Mayan Civilization Documentary / Directed by Cesar Ricardo Nunez ( 44 mins)

The multi-Emmy Award winner Cesar Ricardo Nunez has produced this documentary to show the mysteries of the Mayan civilization culture regarding the end of the world 2012 prophecies and the overall beauty of the Mayan city of Copan Ruins in Honduras.

Over 2000 years ago the Mayans built a brilliant civilization; a civilization of massive stone pyramids and beautiful carved sculptures of worship. Over the course of centuries it grew into one of antiquity's most advanced cultures. Between the years 300 and 900 of the Common Era, the Mayan civilization boasted hundreds of cities across North and Central America, spreading throughout modern day Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico, and Honduras, extending 700 miles from Chichen Itza in northern Yucatan to the southernmost city of Copan. But who truly are these Mayans? How did they build these magnificent cities rising out of the jungle? Did they really predict the end of the world? The answers lie in the place that best exemplifies Mayan art, architecture and culture -- "Honduras Copan"  








Museum – it holds several Replicas - Mayan Ruins of Copán - Honduras

Exact Replica of an Ancient Pyramid 







Macaw in Flight

The Mayans revered scarlet macaws and this excellent original sculpture of a macaw in flight can be seen in the Sculpture Museum of Copán in Honduras.







Ancient Mayan Ruins of a Kitchen Found in Yucatán 





Diquis - Stone Spheres






Mysterious Stone Spheres in the jungles of Costa Rica

One of the strangest mysteries in archaeology was discovered in the Diquis Delta of Costa Rica. Since the 1930s, hundreds of stone balls have been documented, ranging in size from a few centimetres to over two meters in diameter. Some weigh 16 tons. Almost all of them are made of granodiorite, a hard, igneous stone. These objects are monolithic sculptures made by human hands.






Water Deity (Chalchihuitlicue), 15th–early 16th century Mexico; Aztec Stone

The finely carved figure belongs to a sizable group of kneeling females that display costume elements identifying them as water deities called Chalchihuitlicue ("she of the jade skirt") in Nahuatl, the language spoken by the Aztecs. In Aztec religion, the water goddess was the wife of the rain god Tlaloc, an ancient deity that had long been worshipped throughout Mesoamerica. Chalchihuitlicue symbolized the purity and preciousness of spring, river, and lake water that was used to irrigate the fields. As a fertility goddess, she portrays the Aztec ideal of fertile young womanhood. Most typical of the water goddess costume is the distinctive headdress consisting of multiple thick bands, probably cotton, wound about the head and bordered above and below by rows of balls and two large tassels attached to the sides of the head. In back, the bands are twisted and tied in a prominent knot, the tasseled ends falling over her straight hair. Her clothing is that of a noble woman with a skirt and triangular shoulder cape bordered by a tasseled fringe. The water goddess was closely related to the Aztec corn goddess, Chicomecoatl, who is often also shown wearing this headdress, while holding ears of corn in her hands. 

Head of a Water Deity, 15th–early 16th century
Mexico; Aztec Basalt

H. 9 in. (23 cm)
The Aztecs carved thousands of images of their gods in stones ranging from much-valued greenstones to ordinary volcanic rock. Sculptures like the present example were probably set up in household shrines where they were worshipped in family settings rather than in public ceremonies. Frequently portrayed Aztec deities are fertility goddesses, which include the water goddess Chalchihuitlicue ("she of the jade skirt") depicted here. Identifying elements of the water goddess are the distinctive headdress consisting of multiple (in life probably cotton) bands wound about the head, the thick tassels attached to each side of the head, and the pleated (in life bark paper) ornament (amacuexpalli) in back of the head. Male counterparts of the water goddess, including the rain god Tlaloc, are often shown wearing the pleated bow at the neck. Shell and/or obsidian inlays in the eyes would once have lent the face a lifelike expression.  







Mandalas of the Maya: Celestial Waters and the Auroral Plumes of Tláloc 






Mesoamerican cultures such as the Aztecs and Maya




Mayan Calendar


It is NOT “The end of the World” - but the end of an “ERA” !!!!


The Maya calendar is a system of calendars and almanacs used in the Maya civilization of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, and in many modern Maya communities in highland Guatemala [1] and in Veracruz, Oaxaca and Chiapas, Mexico.[
The essentials of the Maya calendric system are based upon a system which had been in common use throughout the region, dating back to at least the 5th century BCE. It shares many aspects with calendars employed by other earlier Mesoamerican civilizations, such as the Zapotec and Olmec, and contemporary or later ones such as the Mixtec and Aztec calendars. Although the Mesoamerican calendar did not originate with the Maya, their subsequent extensions and refinements of it were the most sophisticated. Along with those of the Aztecs, the Maya calendars are the best-documented and most completely understood.
By the Maya mythological tradition, as documented in Colonial Yucatec accounts and reconstructed from Late Classic and Postclassic inscriptions, the deity Itzamna is frequently credited with bringing the knowledge of the calendar system to the ancestral Maya, along with writing in general and other foundational aspects of Maya culture.
The 260 day count of days is commonly known to scholars as the Tzolkin, or Tzolk'in …
Maya concepts of time

With the development of the place-notational Long Count calendar… Since Calendar Round dates repeat every 18,980 days, approximately 52 solar years, the cycle repeats roughly once each lifetime, so a more refined method of dating was needed if history was to be recorded accurately. To specify dates over periods longer than 52 years, Mesoamericans used the Long Count calendar.







The Mayan Solar Calendar
It is astoundingly accurate, even more so than the modern calendar we use today. The pictures below show the Mayan Sacred Round Calendar (Tzolkin, left) and Solar Round Calendar (Haab, right).

Based on their ancient calendar system, Mayans believed the “Great Cycle of the present age” would last for 13 backtun cycles of 144,000 days and come to an end on December 23, 2012. This calculation has led some people to fear that the Mayan “doomsday prediction” actually means civilization as we know it will come to a Cyclical end. Maya people saw the world as undergoing recurring cycles of death and rebirth, so that the end of the current calendar cycle also marks the start of the next one rather than an onslaught of the apocalypse.







Aztec Calendar

In 1790 the Aztec sun calendar stone was discovered buried 19 metres beneath the ground at the base of the cathedral. We also visited part of the national museum and could see artifacts from this ancient culture. Many had been carved from heavy stone so have been well preserved through the centuries. In ancient times human sacrifice was practised as a gift to the gods to maintain continuity of good bountiful seasons. This next photo shows a sacrifice stone.





Turquoise Mask of Xiuhtecuhtli the god

of fire; Aztec, 14th Century




The Coatlicue Statue that was

uncovered  in the Plaza of Mexico




Turquoise Mask of Xiuhtecuhtli the god of fire; Aztec

The term, Aztec, is a startlingly imprecise term to describe the culture that dominated the Valley of Mexico in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Properly speaking, all the Nahua-speaking peoples in the Valley of Mexico were Aztecs, while the culture that dominated the area was a tribe of the Mexica (pronounced "me-shee-ka") called the Tenochca ("te-noch-ka"). 


An Aztec Serpent Jade from Tenochtitlan



Mayan Number System











Mayan Number & Writting Systems



NOVA: Lost King of the Maya – Copan  2001 ( 54 mins)


David Stuart began deciphering Maya hieroglyphic inscriptions at the age of eight, and at 18 he became the youngest recipient of a MacArthur "genius grant." Now at Harvard University's Peabody Museum, he is a world-renowned expert on the written language of the ancient Maya. Among other fieldwork in Mexico and Guatemala, he is part of an ongoing project to record and preserve the monumental Hieroglyphic Stairway at Copán in Honduras. In this series of film clips, join Stuart as he guides you to some of Copán's greatest treasures.


David Stuart - Deciphering Glyphs on PBS


NOVA: Cracking the Maya Code ( 53 mins)

The ancient Maya civilization of Central America left behind a riddle: an intricate and mysterious hieroglyphic script carved on stone monuments and painted on pottery and bark books. Because the invading Spanish suppressed nearly all knowledge of how the script worked, unlocking its meaning posed one of archaeology's fiercest challenges. Until now. 



Mayan Codices


A detail of the Dresden Codex,

one  of only 6 Mayan codices ,

or painted books, to survive

 the Conquest





Children of the Plumed Serpent:

The Legacy of Quetzalcoatl in

Ancient Mexico”  A detail from

 the Codex Selden, a deerskin

piece from Western Oaxaca in

 Mexico, around 1556-60




Mayan Codices
Maya codices (singular codex) are folding books stemming from the pre-Columbian Maya civilization, written in Maya hieroglyphic script on Mesoamerican paper, made from the inner bark of certain trees, the main being the wild fig tree or Amate (Ficus glabrata).
Paper, generally known by the Nahuatl word amatl, was named by the Mayas huun. The folding books are the products of professional scribes working under the patronage of the Howler Monkey Gods. The Maya developed their huun-paper around the 5th century, the same era that the Romans did, but their paper was more durable and a better writing surface than papyrus. The codices have been named for the cities in which they eventually settled. The Dresden codex is generally considered the most important of the few that survive.

Over 1,000 Mayan codices were discovered in the basement of a Los Angeles museum,

 presumably owned by Randolph Hunt and donated to the museum. Two other codices were found by the Maya Itza Council and have been analyzed for the past 10 years. If that's not enough, 7 additional codices were found by a treasure hunter. Carbon dating has authenticated these sacred texts and professional photographs have been taken for the Maya Itza Council to analyze the meaning behind these lost codices. One of the codices, in particular, is of great interest to the Maya who stated the codex represented "the essential pieces of information that we needed. This is how we go 4th dimensional."










Figurines of Dinosaurs - Chupicuaro Culture – Acámbaro - Mexico

In 1945 Waldemar Julsrud, a German immigrant and an experienced archeologist, discovered some little clay statues, buried at the foot of El Toro Mountain, near Acámbaro, Guanajuato, in Mexico. Near El Toro and at the other side of the town, in the vicinity of Mount Chivo, more than 33,000 figurines made of porcelain were discovered. Similar relics found nearby were associated to the Chupicuaro pre-classical Chupicuaro Culture (800 BC to 200 AD). The figurines are representations of various species of dinosaurs, which are believed to have disappeared 65 millions years ago.


Mystery of Acámbaro Dinosaur Figurines ( 52 mins ) 














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