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Chichen Itza

Sculpted head of Maya serpent warrior. Credit: INAH

Sculpted Maya Serpent Warrior Unearthed at Chichen Itza

Archaeologists digging at Mexico’s Chichen Itza were removing landfill from the Casa Colorada Complex when they made their remarkable discovery. Not only is this sculpted warrior wearing a feathered...
Caracol Collage, created by the author:  The Observatory in 2023; photo by author, Starry sky background compliments of Felix Mittermeier, Pixabay, To the upper left is the lithograph of El Caracol by Frederick Catherwood, 1844, To the upper right is the recreation of El Caracol at Chichén Itzá by artist J.S. Bolles, 1935, Flanking the Caracol are two heads of K’uk’ulkan, photos from Ruppert, Karl, The Caracol at Chichen Izta (sic) Yucatan, Mexico, Carnegie Institution of Washington, 1935.

El Caracol Conundrum: Secrets of Chichén Itzá’s Famous Maya Observatory

Standing unique among ancient structures, Chichén Itzá’s enigmatic “Observatory”, El Caracol, may be the world’s most mysterious and distinctive stone monument. It was built by the Maya of the...
Atlantean sculpture that was found during construction of the path to the new section of Chichén Itzá. Source: INAH

Historic Atlantean Sculpture Unearthed at Chichén Itzá's New Zone

In an exciting revelation for the archaeological community in Mexico, an Atlantean sculpture has been discovered on the path that will lead to a new section of Chichén Itzá, known as Chichén Viejo...
The Pyramid of the Magician at Uxmal, a Maya observatory, under a starry sky which includes the constellation of Orion, to the left. (Image: © Jonathon Perrin)

Chasing The Heavens: Ancient Observatories of the Yucatán Maya

Centuries ago, Maya astronomer-priests charted the heavens from huge stone observatories. From above the jungles of the Yucatán in modern-day Mexico, they carefully recorded the motions of the gods...
The underwater discovery of an ancient Maya canoe in a Mexican sinkhole. Source: INAH

Maya Canoe Found in Sinkhole Provides Clues to Belief in Underworld

Archaeologists from Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) recently announced the completion of a study of a rare and unusual Maya artifact. During an underwater dive into a...
Clockwise from top: Pyramid of the Magician at Uxmal, iguana at Uxmal, Kabáh Arch, the Palace at Dzibilchaltún, all set over the rising sun captured at Yaxuna. (Image Deriv: Courtesy © Dr Jonathon Perrin)

Revisiting Stephens and Catherwood’s 19th-Century Maya Discoveries

Between 1839 and 1841 two intrepid explorers; John Lloyd Stephens, an American writer, diplomat, and traveler, teamed up with English artist and architect Frederick Catherwood to visit 44 Maya sites...
Chichen Itza, Mexico. Source: mehaniq41 / Adobe Stock.

Chichen Itza's Dark Secrets: Decoding Mayan Sacrifices (Video)

In the world of the ancient Mayans , the practice of sacrifice holds a profound significance. Our focus is directed towards the site of Chichen Itza, where intriguing remnants shed light on the...
Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico. Source:  IRStone / Adobe Stock.

Lost Treasures of Chichen Itza: Maya Marvels Revealed (Video)

In a world where Europe languished in the dark ages , the splendor of the Maya civilization reached its zenith. Their majestic temples soared high into the heavens, their intricate hieroglyphic...
Archaeologists unearthed a stone commemorative disc featuring images of contestants in a Maya ball game at Chichén Itzá in Mexico. Source: INAH

Commemorative Disc from 894 AD Maya Ball Game Found at Chichén Itzá

A commemorative disc carved in stone and featuring images of contestants in a Maya sporting event was recently unearthed at the Chichén Itzá archaeological site in southern Mexico on the Yucatan...
Representational image depicting ruins unearthed at Chichen Itza. Residential buildings found at Chichen Viejo are a first for Maya archaeology. Source: Jonatan Cortes / Adobe Stock

Stunning Homes of Maya Elite Revealed at Mexico’s Chichen Viejo

Archaeologists working in the northern Yucatan peninsula of Mexico have announced the discovery of a group of ancient structures near the 5th century AD Mayan city Chichen Itza. According to a...
Mexican woman Abigail Villalobos trespassing on the sacred Kukulcán pyramid at Chichen Itza, Mexico. Source: Twitter

Attention-Seeker Treks Over Forbidden Mexican Pyramid

A Mexican woman who climbed up an ancient Maya pyramid was immediately fined by authorities. However, enraged visitors threw water and pulled the hair of the so-called “Lady Chichen Itza”. This story...
Main temple at Tulum with hieroglyphic stairway by Frederick Catherwood, from Views of Ancient Monuments (Public Domain)

Stephens And Catherwood: Adventurers Discovering the Ancient Maya

The astounding journeys of John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwood to Central America in 1839 to 1842 introduced the ancient, unrecognized Maya civilization to the rest of the world. Their life-...
The Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan and the Pyramids in the background, Cairo, Egypt. Source: AlexAnton / Adobe Stock

10 Must See Ancient Cities to Add to Your Bucket List

Everyone ought to have a bucket list and for passionate history buffs, that list invariably includes visiting ancient cities. While reading about them in history books, or in news reports about...
Child’s Handprints in Mexican Cave Reveal Ancient Maya Ritual

Child’s Handprints in Mexican Cave Reveal Ancient Maya Ritual

More than one hundred handprints made by children 1,200 years ago on the walls of a cave in Mexico may have been part of a mysterious coming-of-age ritual of the ancient Maya. Reuters reports that...
Maya Elite List Deciphered At The Temple Of Jaguars

Maya Elite List Deciphered At The Temple Of Jaguars

Researchers in Mexico have deciphered an ancient text revealing the succession of names of the Cocom dynasty royal Maya blood lineage and published a breakthrough book on the subject. The new book...
Maya Animation? Breathing Newfound Vitality into Ancient Maya Art

Maya Animation? Breathing Newfound Vitality into Ancient Maya Art

This article presents a major breakthrough in Maya art and archaeology, revealing the sophisticated way that Maya artists animated ancient artworks. There is a lot of excitement surrounding the...
Ik-Kil cenote, Chichen Itza, Mexico

Sacred Cenotes: Portals to the Maya Underworld

The ancient Maya who populated the Yucatan Peninsula in the first millennium AD believed that there were three ways for the living to enter Xibalba, the world of the dead: through deep caves, through...
The Maya pyramid of Kukulcan at Chichen Itza in Mexico. 	Source: IRStone /Adobe Stock

Chichen Itza: Ancient Maya City Built Above A Gateway to the Underworld

Chichen Itza is an ancient Maya city located in the northern part of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. The city is thought to have been founded around the 6th century AD. Nevertheless, it only rose to...
Pyramid Kukulkan, Chichén Itza, Mexico, Maya archeological site.      Source: IRStone / Adobe Stock

Chichén Itzá is At least 400 Years Older Than Believed

The world-famous ancient Maya city of Chichén Itzá, with its sprawling ruins shadowed by its steep iconic pyramid was founded at least 400 years earlier than previously thought. Dr Guillermo de Anda...
Maya Sacrificial Victims Were Likely Young, Foreign and Skinned Alive

Maya Sacrificial Victims Were Likely Young, Foreign and Skinned Alive

Scientists in Mexico have been studying tooth enamel from the skulls of 1,000-year-old Maya human sacrificial victims from the gloomy depths of a sacred cenote (sink hole). The new study was...
Mayan pyramid of Tazumal			Source: Joey / Adobe Stock

Tazumal, El Salvador: Where Chiefs and Shamans Ruled and Victims Burned

The Maya were one of the many amazing Pre-Columbian cultures that flourished in the Americas before the coming of the Europeans. They have left many splendid architectural remains throughout much of...
Entrance to Balankanchè Cave. Source: Artix Kreiger 2 / CC BY-SA 2.0.

Maya Gateway to the World Below: Balankanché Cave, Throne of the Tiger Priest

Caves are central to the cosmologies of many world cultures , used by humans from the dawn of time. They are associated with powerful natural forces and are believed to be dwelling places for...
Maya artifacts found in Yucatan cave

Artifacts Found In Rediscovered Sacred Cave Could Change Our Understanding of the Maya

The National Institute of Anthropology and History in Mexico has announced a remarkable discovery that will provide new insights into the Maya . Experts found a sacred cave where rituals were...
Magnificent columns in the form of Toltec warriors in Tula

Toltecs: Fierce Warriors Who Changed the Face of Mesoamerica for Good

The Toltec culture was a pre-Columbian culture that dominated the area of what is today central Mexico from the 10 th to the 12 th centuries AD. They ruled the region from their capital of Tollan (...

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