Category: historyPage 1 of 2

History of Mesoamerica and the Maya World

This post will be sticky in the “history” category. To start with, here are some links that might be helpful. For now, many of these utilize the old…

Carved Mirror-Back with Hieroglyphs

This royal mirror belonged to a ruler of the Maya Snake dynasty. This powerful dynasty controlled much of lowland Mesoamerica, including parts of current Guatemala, Belize, and Mexico during…

Mesoamerican animal husbandry

A team of researchers led by Andrew Somerville of the University of California San Diego, as reported by Cynthia Graber in Scientific American, have produced new evidence that ancient Mesoamericans…

Photo Wednesday: The Stone of the Sun

This image of the Aztec calendar wheel — also known as the Stone of the Sun — that was excavated in the Zócalo (main square) in Mexico City…

A new discovery at El Mirador

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy A pair of monumental (26-foot) stucco panels have been discovered at the important classic Maya site…

A Maya suspension bridge?

A fellow named James O’Kon claims that the Maya built the longest bridge span in the ancient world. His theory is based on computer reconstructions derived from a…

Ancient Maya produced high-quality textiles

That the ancient Maya produced high-quality textiles will come as little surprise to anyone who has traveled through the modern Maya world. But because few textiles are preserved…

The war on plants

Dale Pendell, author of Pharmako/Poeia, has argued that the “war on drugs” is like a religious war, intended to keep officially sanctioned drugs like alcohol and chocolate dominant….

Adding up the bones

and arms, and hearts, and hands, and arrows . . . Geographer Barbara Williams and mathematician Maria del Carmen Jorge y Jorge have, after three decades of labor,…

Edweard Muybridge

A reader named “Yes” correctly identified the photographer of this week’s photos as Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904). Muybridge was born in England and emigrated to the U.S. in 1851….

Photo quiz, part 3

Here’s another image by our mystery photographer (see also the past two days’ posts). What’s going on here? (Hint: the picture documents a subject for which the photographer…

La Maldicion de Malinche

Amparo Ochoa’s take on Mexican history.

Dazzling temples

According to Queensland University researcher Rosemary Goodall and her colleagues who have been working at the well-studied ancient Maya site of Copan in Honduras, the temples must have…

Mexico’s oldest bar closes

Cantina el Nivel opened its doors in 1872. It is considered one of the oldest continuously operating bars in Latin America. Located in Mexico City’s historic center, the…

Columbus and microbial globalism

According to a study by Kristin Harper, an evolutionary biologist at Emory University in Atlanta, there is new support for the notion that syphilis was exported from the…

Ancient pyramid found in Mexico City

The pyramid, about 36 feet high, was found in the central Tlatelolco area. The discovery pushes back the date of the founding of Tlatelolco by a couple of…

Aztec tomb discovered

Using radar equipment, archaeologists have located the tomb of the Aztec ruler Ahuizotl 15 feet below a ceremonial center in the heart of Mexico City. The tomb is…

Chiminos Island Lodge

Chiminos Island Lodge is located in the remote Petexbatun Region region of the Peten. It bills itself as an “eco-archaeological adventure.” I have never visited, but that seems…

Casa de Montejo, Merida

The Casa de Montejo is a historic building that faces the zócalo in Merida. It is considered a notable example of New World Plateresque architecture. The building is…

Sites we like: La Casa Azteca

Casa Azteca is another of my favorite Mesoamerica-related sites. It is quite a thorough and up-to-date source of news and commentary, especially on archeaological subjects. As a bonus,…

The ruins of Santa Teresa, La Antigua, Guatemala

In 1677 three nuns arrived in Antigua from Peru. They had been sent to establish a Carmelite convent in the then Guatemalan capital. A few years later, building…

The Garifuna Journey

This 45-minute video, shot entirely in Belize, presents an overview of the history of Garifuna people of the Central American Caribbean coast, as told in their own voices….

Manioc

For some time archaeologists have disputed whether manioc was a significant foodstuff of ancient Mesoamerica. While it seemed a logical possibility, there was scant hard evidence to support…

The fountain at La Merced, Antigua, Guatemala

The church of La Merced is one of the most distinctive in Antigua. Its history is strongly marked by earthquakes. Originally built in the mid-sixteenth century, it was…

Casita in Mixco, Guatemala

Many years ago we lived in this little house in Mixco, on the outskirts of Guatemala City. The house was near the police checkpoint at the edge of…

Revolution in Guatemala, 1944

Jorge Ubico y Castañeda ruled as dictator of Guatemala from 1931 to 1944, the year documented in this great historical footage (with “Sail to the Moon” by Radiohead…

Stela B, Copan

In every civilization of the ancient world, there are art works and monuments that stand out among their fellows as objects of special character. The great portrait sculptures…

Borges at Uxmal

Over at Right Reading I’ve posted some comments about Borges’s trip to Uxmal when he was eighty.

Four Keys to Haggling

People from cultures where haggling is not a regular practice are sometimes uncomfortable in dealing with market and street vendors. They may even accept the offer of unknown…

Aventura

Archaeologists have discovered traces of an ancient Maya city in a papaya plantation in the Corozal area of Belize. The find includes three Mayan foundations tentatively dated to…