General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 28 Feb 2021/5 Monkey
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Links on the Maya

As the Maya have now entered the National Curriculum in England (History, KS2), we are adding a range of links that we hope you will find useful, for all ages...

‘An Inspiring Scene’
One of Denver Art Museum’s Creative Resources for Teachers, this is an unusual and lovely resource: a lesson plan based around a palace scene painted on a Maya ceramic vase from Guatemala. The unit encourages you to pick out intriguing details in the scene...

Living Maya Time
A superb and beautifully illustrated website, SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN, produced by the eminent Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (USA). Great sections on the Maya, the Sun, Corn, Calendars, and more - including simple maths games! Also has a Spanish version of the site. Highly recommended...

Maya dancer animation
Get a good feel for the moves of a dancer from ancient Mexico! No sound, but this is a neat little animation, from Mesoweb. Suitable for kids.

Mayas for Ancient Mayan
‘All across the Maya world, in southern Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize, we are finding Maya colleagues thirsting to learn the writing of their ancestors. We support them with workshops and teaching materials...’

Maya Maths in Maya schools
Inspiring short video in Spanish of how the basics of the ancient Maya counting system is now being introduced into schools in the Yucatan, Mexico

Maya Archaeology of Mesoamerica Resource
An encyclopaedic, authoritative and huge reference site, technical but also accessible, with sections on a massive range of subjects - from bats to the ballgame, cacao to caves, flora to fauna, art to architecture, foods to frogs... In development (2020) entire sections on educational books, cartoon characters and more, to introduce children to the natural world of the Maya. Excellent.

Maya Mathematics
A straight-forward, non-jargonistic page introducing non-specialists to the basics (and highlights) of Maya maths; part of a series on ‘Mathematics in various cultures’ written by two faculty members of the School of Mathematics and Statistics of the University of St. Andrew’s, Scotland.

The Maya Project
‘A blend of art and academic research portraying the biosocial realities of the Maya in Mesoamerica’, based at Loughborough University, UK.

For a wealth of resource material particularly on the Maya - this is a site for serious research.

Illustrated Popol Vuh
A beautiful photographic essay by Justin Kerr, this page (PDF format) explores the main themes in the classic Maya creation book Popol Vuh, transcribed in the sixteenth century by an anonymous Quiché Maya writer.
Second link goes to Justin Kerr’s superb mayavase database, a huge collection of rollout photographs of Maya ceramic vases.

Guatemala Maya Indian Centre
For anything to do with the Maya, consult our ‘sister’ educational partner, the Guatemala Maya Indian Centre (also in London)

Pro Arte Maya Project/K’inal Winik Cultural Center (USA)
Artist-author-educator Marilyn Anderson works with Maya educators in the USA and Guatemala producing colouring books and other free resource materials on contemporary Maya culture, for use by children and teachers in Guatemala. Marilyn works collaboratively with the K’inal Winik Cultural Center and Yax Te’ Books in Cleveland, Ohio, whose mission is to produce and distribute books and other materials that support the use of Maya culture in classrooms around the world. They’re also involved in a wide range of exchange and educational visits programmes.

El Pilar: Historical Monument, Classroom and Living Culture
These linked sites give an impressive picture of an archaeological reserve just 50 kms from Tikal in Guatemala, where the research emphasis is on ‘ancient Maya people rather than the governing elites’. El Pilar is the only Maya site that presents the domestic component for visitors to appreciate...

Maya Research Program
Volunteer opportunities in a small Maya village just 20 miles from Chichen Itza through the ‘Yaxhunah Community Participation Experience’.

Maya Hieroglyphic Astronomy
A new specialist site, set up by Gerardo Aldana, ‘to organize
themed discussion forums on various aspects of the scholarship on Mayan astronomy’. For serious students...

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Maya News Magazine
Attractively presented ‘flipboard’ style website, giving up-to-date news from the world of the Ancient Maya - from Mexico to Belize.’s-ancient-maya-news-magazine-bWxm4x

Night Fire Films
Producers of acclaimed documentaries on Classic Maya culture, such as Breaking the Maya Code and Dance of the Maize God. Trailers are worth watching alone!

Nova (PBS)
Contains the Cracking the Maya code documentary, showing how scientists began to unravel the meaning of Maya glyphs. Includes a classroom activity for students where they can determine their own birth date using the Maya Long Count calendar system. The second link is for Lost King of the Maya including a tour around the Maya site of Copan. The third link is for the documentary Maya - NASA archaeologists use satellites to pinpoint ancient Maya ruins buried deep in the jungle.

Science Museum of Minnesota
Maya Adventure, a site that highlights activities and information related to ancient and modern Maya culture. Maya Adventure includes images from the Museum’s anthropological collections and activities developed by the Museum’s education division. Featured in the project is information from two exhibits about the Maya developed by the Museum, Cenote of Sacrifice and Flowers, Saints and Toads.

The Jaguar Stones
A superb US site on the Maya, with something for everyone - including a Club! The couple that run the site do their own wacky Living History sessions in schools on the Maya. Highly recommended...
This well-funded research site features a searchable database of four Maya codices (Madrid, Dresden, Paris, Grolier). ‘The codices contain information about Maya beliefs and rituals, as well as everyday activities, all framed within an astronomical and calendrical context.’ Established by project leader Dr. Gabrielle Vail

Mayan Numerals
Another useful site for exploring the basics of the Maya ‘vigesimal’ counting system (ours is decimal), aimed at teachers, written by Jamie Hubbard. Includes a few exercises and teaching ideas.

Pioneers in Maya Archaeology: Alfred P. Maudslay
An excellent, downloadable, short biography of Maudslay can be found on the Institute of Maya Studies website
Steve Radzi has faithfully and beautifully sketched the illustrations in this electronic gallery on location at archaeological sites throughout the Maya region. Highly recommended.

Casa Frederick Catherwood
The website of this excellent resource centre (in Mérida, Yucatán) has a page dedicated to Catherwood’s famous lithographs of ancient Maya ruins, all viewable online, as thumbnails and also enlarged images.

‘The Fall of the Mayan Civilisation’
Accessible, if slightly dated, BBC History webpage by Jessica Cecil on one person’s interpretation of the collapse of the Classic Maya - based on catastrophic drought.

Mayan Art of the Americas
Beautiful gallery of images of Maya artefacts in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Website of the European Association of Mayanists - an academically oriented non-profit association that promotes Maya Studies in Europe. Excellent resources section; particularly valuable is the downloadable Introduction to Maya Hieroglyphs Workshop Handbook.

‘The Exciting Adventures of the Hero Twins’
A fun, appealing version of the famous story from the Popol Vuh of how the mythical Hero Twins tricked the gods of the underworld, written by Lin Donn, illustrated by Phillip Martin (first link).

‘Maya Civilization’ (Canadian Museum of History)
An excellent, comprehensive, clearly written and well illustrated general introduction to Maya civilisation, with sections on people, geography, languages, cities, society, religion, writing, maths, calendar, astronomy, the Maya today, a timeline and a very useful Maya glossary. Great for general research on the ancient Maya. However the slide shows are poor (best is Costume) and the site is now old and several links no longer work or are badly out of date.
A kind of visual encyclopedia, with galleries of photos, weblinks, news reports, background info (eg biographies of famous archaeologists), videos, artefacts, and more...

The Living Maya
An introduction to the traditional lifestyle of the modern-day Maya - the website supports a book of the same title

Animated Popol Vuh
This is a delightful animated version of the creation myth of the Maya, based on the Popol Vuh; produced by Patricia Amlin, it was animated - 10 years in the making - in 1988 from paintings on original Maya pottery. Approx 10 mins (split into 7 separate videos).

What weaving means to the Maya
Part of the Mayan Hands website (US based Fairtrade project supporting craft-making communities in Guatemala); provides good background information on the symbolic importance of weaving in the Maya world.

Maya Mythos
If you really want to study Maya gods seriously, Carl Callaway has assembled an impressive collection of online articles and other resource materials by world renowned scholars...

Maya women hairstyles and headwear
An unusual blog entry illustrating ‘Maya women hairstyles and headwear in the Classic period (c.600-900). Based on primary sources: vase paintings, murals, ceramics, figurines, bone carvings, stelae etc.’

Maya Blue
In Spanish A beautifully illustrated article on the Terrae Antiqvae website/blog on the ‘recently’ (2008) uncovered secret of the intense pigment used by the Classic Maya. Scroll down around 1/3 of the page!

Linda Schele drawings
High resolution files of many key drawings by this hugely eminent Maya scholar are now available at a new website maintained by LACMA.

‘Maya Civilization’ cartoon
by BrainPop, a USA-based educational resource outfit producing very simple, introductory cartoons on a range of subjects. Not quite 100% accurate, but a great little snappy kid-friendly video to get things going...

Decode a Maya stela
This article and interactive, prepared by eminent Mayanist Mark van Stone, allows you to read (and listen to!) a sequence of glyphs on an ancient Maya stone monument. Superb.

Save Teachers’ Sundays on the Maya
Excellent set of downloadable teaching resources on the ancient Maya by Raymond Rodgers, all previewable. Recommended.

Universos sonoros mayas
Funded and supported by Mexico’s UNAM, this is an online catalogue of ancient Maya wind and percussion instruments, with a good range of sound clips, but lacking in detail In Spanish.

La Ruta Maya Foundation
A private organisation that manages and promotes the return of antiquities to Guatemala. Its collection numbers over 3,000 objects.

BBC ‘Lost Lands’: the Maya
Short and sweet, a 4-minute cartoon introduction to the ancient Maya, focusing on the ballgame, foods and housing. SUITABLE FOR YOUNG CHILDREN.

The Maya ‘Pompeii’
When the Maya town of Ceren in El Salvador was discovered in 1978 it was hailed as the ‘New World Pompeii’: it was preserved perfectly under ash following a volcanic eruption 1400 years ago. A photo-essay on the Daily Mail website.

‘Maya Civilization’
An excellent general educational website created in support of an exhibition on the Maya at the Canadian Museum of History back in 1995. Includes glossary, timeline, slideshows, the Maya today, plus a range of highly useful ‘backgrounder’ pages. Recommended!

Amazing acoustics
Coincidence or not, the sound effect of clapping in front of the Kukulkan pyramid at Chichén Itzá is remarkably similar to the cry of the Resplendent Quetzal. Judge for yourself... In Spanish

Google/British Museum Maya Heritage project
Launched late 2017, this state-of-the-art online learning resource makes accessible for the first time online the ancient Maya collection of Alfred Maudslay, consisting of hundreds of invaluable photos, casts and other scientific documents gathered in the late 1800s. The second link takes you to the newer ‘Untangling Maya Glyphs’ online resource, based entirely on BM collection artefacts. And the third goes to ‘Female Gaze’ - Anne Maudslay and other women travellers in Mexico.

BBC Bitesize History
New series, perfect for young children, launched 2018 and developed in collaboration with Mexicolore, is this super little cartoon-style resource: short, one-minute clips introducing the ancient Maya, every-day life, farming, beliefs, archaeological remains, the ‘Collapse’, games, etc.

Maya revive ancient beekeeping
Uplifting story of how Yucatec Maya farmers are reviving traditional techniques. ‘The bees can’t live without the forest. The forest can’t live without the bees...’

Maya Calendar Arts
Website of Canadian art educator Dr. Marguerite Paquin, this intriguing site explores how ‘the Mayan calendar... not only encodes the cycling of energies tied in with heavenly bodies (the sun in particular) but also reveals how these energies connect with personal lives and world events, both ancient and current.’ Beautifully presented.

Maya Ethnobotany
An authoritative, encyclopaedic website on key themes of Maya ethnobotany, with sections on flowers, fruits, trees, vegetables, spices, basketry and colorants. Sister site to, directed by Dr. Nicholas Hellmuth (see above).