The Maya are an ancient people, whose civilization thrived in Central America thousands of years ago. Scholars have thought for more than 100 years that Maya culture originated in the northern reaches of what is now Guatemala around 600 BCE, migrating north to the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico beginning around 700 CE. Throughout the film Quest for the Lost Maya, a team of anthropologists finds evidence that the Maya have been in the Yucatan more than a thousand years longer than believed.
This segment of Quest for the Lost Maya discusses Xocnacah [SHOHK-nuh-kay], a massive, ancient Mayan city. The construction of the city's center plaza would have required enormous human effort, including the work of architects, mathematicians, engineers, masons, and accountants, overseen by kings and their appointed leaders. Such a labor force suggests that a very well-organized, highly sophisticated Mayan civilization inhabited the Yucatan as early as 600 BCE.
How large was the central plaza at Xocnacah?
How old is this monumental structure?
What artifacts did archaeologists find at Xocnacah? What do these artifacts suggest about the Mayan culture there?
Suppose the year is now 3000, and archaeologists stumble upon the remains of your hometown or city. What remains will they find? What will those remains say about your culture?
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry ancient Adjective
science of the origin, development, and culture of human beings.
Encyclopedic Entry: anthropology archaeologist Noun
person who studies artifacts and lifestyles of ancient cultures.
person who designs buildings or other large structures.
material remains of a culture, such as tools, clothing, or food.
large settlement with a high population density.
complex way of life that developed as humans began to develop urban settlements.
Encyclopedic Entry: civilization culture Noun
learned behavior of people, including their languages, belief systems, social structures, institutions, and material goods.
person who plans the building of things, such as structures (construction engineer) or substances (chemical engineer).
data that can be measured, observed, examined, and analyzed to support a conclusion.
tropical ecosystem filled with trees and underbrush.
person who works with bricks, stone, and mortar.
person who studies the theory and application of quantities, groupings, shapes, and their relationships.
people and culture native to southeastern Mexico and Central America.
urban area Noun
developed, densely populated area where most inhabitants have nonagricultural jobs.
Encyclopedic Entry: urban area