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Maya Civilization
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Maya Civilization

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...
Early Explorers of the Maya Civilization: From Aguilar to Waldek
Article by Joshua J. Mark

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...
Early Explorers of the Maya Civilization: John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwood
Article by Joshua J. Mark

Early Explorers of the Maya Civilization: John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwood

The names of John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwood are forever linked to the Maya and Mayan studies as the two great explorers who documented the ruins from Copan in the south to Chichen Itza in the north. The stories told by Stephens...
Maya Religion
Definition by Maria C. Gomez

Maya Religion

Maya religious beliefs are formed on the notion that virtually everything in the world contains k’uh, or sacredness. K’uh and k’uhul, similar terms which are used to explain the spirituality of all inanimate and animate...
Maya Government
Definition by Maria C. Gomez

Maya Government

Ancient Maya government was formed on the basis that rulers were thought to have been god-like, which to some might suggest one unified state. However, the consensus amongst anthropologists supports that each major Maya city remained its...
Maya Architecture
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Maya Architecture

Maya architecture is best characterized by the soaring pyramid temples and ornate palaces which were built in all Maya centres across Mesoamerica from El Tajin in the north to Copan in the south. The Maya civilization was formed of independent...
Chacchoben
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Chacchoben

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...
Palenque
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Palenque

Located in the foothills of the Chiapas altiplano of modern Mexico, Palenque was an important Maya city which flourished between c. 600 and 750 CE. The name Palenque derives from the Spanish, meaning 'fortified place', but the original...
Xibalba
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Xibalba

Xibalba (Shee-bal-ba) was the name the K'iche Maya gave to the underworld. For the Yucatec Maya the underworld was known as Metnal. The name Xibalba translates as 'Place of Fright', which indicates the terror the place had in...
Popol Vuh
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Popol Vuh

The Popol Vuh is the story of creation according to the Quiche Maya of the region known today as Guatemala. Translated as `The Council Book', The Book of the People' or, literally, `The Book of the Mat', the work has been referred...