National Geographic

In Search of the Ancient Maya with William Saturno

This collection contains a selection of content from NG Education about topics related to a National Geographic Live! speaker event. Use search to find more.

Speaker William Saturno, Archaeologist

For more than a decade, archaeologist William Saturno has searched for clues to the mysteries of the Classic Maya, carrying out excavations in Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras. During this time he’s made some very important Maya discoveries, including the spectacular murals of San Bartolo, and—in the sprawling complex of Xultun—a house whose walls are covered with glyphs that appear to represent calculations of the various cycles of the Maya calendar. A report on this illuminating new discovery appeared in the June 2012 issue of National Geographic. Join Saturno for a lively overview of archaeology’s two-century-long quest for answers about this enigmatic Mesoamerican people, illustrated with colorful imagery and irresistible tales of royal intrigue, backstabbing, and war. The sparks will fly as William Saturno brings to life the events that determined the fate of kingdoms, and how they affect us today.

Find out more about the NG Live! Event: In Search of the Ancient Maya.

Showing results 1 - 16 of 16


Flying Robots and the Search for Lost Cities -- National Geographic

Drone technology brings engineers and archaeologists together in their mission to survey Maya sites.


Water World

Cenotes on the Yucatan Peninsula may have had spiritual importance to the ancient Maya.


Remains of a Thriving Civilization

Video. This segment discusses an ancient Mayan city called Xocnacah [Shoke-nuh-kay]. It was a massive city with a c...


Changing Climate and the Maya

New data suggests climate—specifically, severe drought—played a key role in the collapse of the Maya ci...


Modern Day Maya

This segment blends the faces of modern day Maya in the Yucatan with recreation actors in ancient Maya costumes, an...


Archaeologist and Anthropologist: Dr. Lisa J. Lucero

This archaeologist is studying how the ancient Maya used cenotes and other features of their tropical landscape....


Technology, Rainwater, and Survival of the Maya

Video. The ancient Maya had their own version of this sort of landscape-altering infrastructure. The region of the ...

Historic Article

A Maya Kingdom Falls . . . and Another Rises

On January 16, 378, a Maya king, Jaguar Paw, was killed in what is now Tikal, Guatemala. The conquering army did no...


The Mayan Story of Creation

Watch this video and learn about the ancient Mayan perception of creation as Morgan Freeman participates in a tradi...


The Maya Underworld

Cave explorer Guillermo de Anda will take students on a fascinating journey deep underwater where he found Maya tre...

For Students Only


Mayan Culture


Underwater Archaeologist: Dr. Guillermo de Anda

Guillermo de Anda is an underwater archeologist who specializes in the search for Mayan artifacts. By diving in cav...


Clues to Mayan Prosperity

Archaeologist Stephanie Simms analyzes teeth from a human burial found at an ancient hilltop mansion called "Stai...


Mayan Caves: Places of Sacred Rituals

This segment explores the significance of caves for the ancient Mayan people. Archeologist Fatima Tec Poole investi...


El Castillo, Chichen Itza

Photo: Chichen Itza Pyramid during Autum Equinox in Mexico.