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Latest Maya civilization Stories

2008-03-07 03:00:15

By Keven Ann Willey, The Dallas Morning News Mar. 7--SAN CRISToBAL, Mexico -- Contrasts are what produce "wow" moments in Chiapas, Mexico's southernmost state. It's Mexican. But it's really more Mayan. The Spanish were afraid of the jungle and never succeeded in conquering the region. It's modern. Five airports, two large cities (Tuxtla Gutierrez, San Cristobal), better BlackBerry reception than in parts of Texas. But it's also ancient. The Mayans developed a number system based on...

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2008-02-25 14:55:00

An intrepid archaeologist is well on her way to dislodging the prevailing assumptions of scholars about the people who built and used Maya temples.From the grueling work of analyzing the "attributes," the nitty-gritty physical details of six temples in Yalbac, a Maya center in the jungle of central Belize "“ and a popular target for antiquities looters "“ primary investigator Lisa Lucero is building her own theories about the politics of temple construction that began nearly two...

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2008-02-21 01:35:00

Five years ago, archaeologists began working with NASA scientists to better understand the mysterious end of the ancient Mayan civilization that thrived for over 1,000 years in Central America and southern Mexico. The work is paying off,  according to archeologist William Saturno, who discovered ruins of hidden Mayan cities in the Guatemalan jungle with assistance from satellite images. The ruins consisted of five sprawling sites with hundreds of buildings. Saturno discovered...

2008-01-23 13:05:00

The ancient Mayans may not have sacrificed virgin girls as previously thought; instead, bones reveal that they may have been young boys instead. The ancient Mayans had many temples and palaces in Mexico and Central America; these temples had priests, and the priests had to make sacrifices. In the city of Chichen Itza in the Yucatan peninsula priests sacrificed children by throwing them into underwater caves called cenotes. These sacrifices were often to the rain gods in order to have fertile...

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2008-01-23 10:25:00

Ancient Mayan temple builders discovered and used lustrous pigments to make their buildings dazzle in the daylight, a Queensland University of Technology researcher has discovered.Studying tiny shards of paint from the Mayan city of Copan, Queensland University of Technology (QUT) physical and chemical sciences PhD researcher Rosemary Goodall found evidence of mica that would have made the buildings glitter when hit by the sun.Ms Goodall said the mica was applied over the red paint of stucco...

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2007-08-23 18:13:10

By MARK STEVENSON UH-MAY, Mexico - Thousands of Mayan Indians lost homes as Hurricane Dean blew through the Yucatan peninsula, but their real wealth was the trees, now scattered and broken in the storm's wake. Village after village is carpeted with fallen mangoes, oranges, guanabanas and mameys that will never be harvested. Mexico's Mayan communities have survived centuries of oppression, expulsion from valuable land along the Caribbean coast, and many damaging storms. But they say no...

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2007-03-02 11:12:39

New Haven, Conn. -- Archeologists from Yale and the University of Leicester have identified an ancient solar observatory at Chankillo, Peru as the oldest in the Americas with alignments covering the entire solar year, according to an article in the March 2 issue of Science. Recorded accounts from the 16th century A.D. detail practices of state-regulated sun worship during Inca times, and related social and cosmological beliefs. These speak of towers being used to mark the rising or...

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2006-12-06 09:50:00

MEXICO CITY -- Scenes of enslaved Maya Indians building temples for a violent, decadent culture in Mel Gibson's new film "Apocalypto" may ring true for many of today's Mayas, who earn meager wages in construction camps, building huge tourist resorts on land they once owned. Some Mayas are excited at the prospect of the first feature film made in their native tongue, Yucatec Maya. But others among the 800,000 surviving Mayans are worried that Gibson's hyper-violent, apocalyptic film could be...

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2006-09-14 16:10:00

WASHINGTON - It's more than idle doodling and the meaning is unclear. But there's one thing researchers are sure of: The insect, ear of corn, inverted fish and other symbols inscribed on an ancient stone slab is the earliest known writing in the Western Hemisphere. The arrangement and pattern of the symbols suggest the ancient Olmec civilization was using written language roughly three centuries earlier than previously proposed. "We are dealing with the first, clear evidence of writing in the...

2006-05-04 00:50:00

By Mica Rosenberg EL PERU WAKA, Guatemala -- Archeologists outsmarted tomb raiders to unearth a major Maya Indian royal burial site in the Guatemalan jungle, discovering jade jewelry and a jaguar pelt from more than 1,500 years ago. The tomb, found by archeologist Hector Escobedo last week, contains a king of the El Peru Waka city, now in ruins and covered in thick rainforest teeming with spider monkeys. He may have been the dynastic founder of the city, on major Mayan trade routes that could...


Word of the Day
grass-comber
  • A landsman who is making his first voyage at sea; a novice who enters naval service from rural life.
According to the OED, a grass-comber is also 'a sailor's term for one who has been a farm-labourer.'