Mexico and the Maya Pathfinder

This guide is designed to help those in search of information on the Maya Indians and some of the archaeological sites left behind in Mexico. Some of the resources included in this guide will include general historical information on the Maya Indians, others will focus on the archaelogical sites themselves while others will include information on the modern Maya Indians. There will be sections on internet resources, selected titles, other print resources, databases, and search terms. This pathfinder is intended for students and teachers at the high school level. It is intended for use in either a Spanish or a Social Studies curriculum. Because this pathfinder is intended for use in a Spanish classroom, some of the sources will be in Spanish.

Internet Resources Selected Titles Software and Interactive Books Audio/Video/Images Databases

Internet Resources
The Web contains numerous sites on the Maya Indians and the archaeological sites they left behind. For a basic start, you can perform keyword searches on any search engine using keywords such as Maya and Mexico using the Boolean operator AND. This will lead you to individual archaeological sites. Or, you can start at the following sites:

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Selected Titles
The following titles were selected through the Concordia Lutheran High School IMC and the Allen County Public Library. These titles are not by any means the only titles available. Keywords that may be used to find information are: Mexico, Maya, Indians of Central America, Mayas - Antiquities, Mayas - Art, Mayas - Social Conditions, Mayas - Religion and Mythology, Mayan Language - Writing, Hieroglyphic.
  • J972.81 BURLA Burland, C.A. The Ancient Maya. New York : John Day Co. [1967].
  • J972.81 DAY Day, Nancy. Your travel guide to ancient Maya civilization. Minneapolis, Mn. : Runestone Press, c2001.
      Takes readers on a journey back in time in order to experience life during the Maya civilization, describing clothing, accomodations, foods, local customs, transportation, a few notable personalities, and more.
  • J972.81 KIRKP Kirkpatrick, Naida. The Maya. Chicago : Heinemann Library, c2002.
      Shows how the ancient Mayan people lived by describing their social, economic, political, religious, and cultural life, and looks at how archaeologists learn about ancient civilizations.
  • J972.81 LOURI Lourie, Peter. The Mystery of the Maya : uncovering the lost city of Palenque. Honesdale, Pa. : Boyds Mills Press, 2001.
      In this photo-essay, Lourie recounts his visit to this archaeological site, discovered over a century ago but still largely unexcavated. His narrative, which begins with a dramatic encounter with a highly venomous pit viper, maintains momentum throughout. The author provides some background information on early excavations of the city along with fascinating archival photos and reproductions from that period.
  • MY 497.4152 M76H Montgomery, John. How to read Maya Hieroglyphs. New York, Hippocrene Books, c2002.
  • 972.81016 H35 Stone, Andrea. Heart of Creation : the Mesoamerican world and the legacy of Linda Schele. Tuscaloosa : University of Alabama Press, c2002.
      The book includes reflections on Schele's contributions to the field, an original article by Schele edited posthumously, nine original articles by other experts in the field, a bibliography of Schele's work, and a warm, personal set of recollections of her life and personality.
  • 972.81016 SE2 Archaeology. Secrets of the Maya. New York : Hatherleigh Press, c2003.
      From the discovery of ancient caves used for religious rituals—including human sacrifice—to the search for the long-lost "White City," Secrets of the Maya will take readers on an exciting and surprising archaeological journey. Featuring articles on the latest research, a comprehensive timeline, and a special section on Mayan hieroglyphs, Secrets of the Maya will appeal to experts and amateurs alike. 150 color and black and white photos.
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Software and Interactive Books
Below you will find the names and descriptions of some educational software and Interactive books that relate to the Maya in Mexico.
  • Folk Art and Craft Exchange - Mayan Folktales (
    These stories were told to Fernando Peñalosa by don Pedro Miguel Say, a famous Q'anjob'al storyteller from San Miguel Acátan, Huehuetenango, Guatemala, who now lives in Los Angeles, California, in the Koreatown area. Each month new folktales will be reprinted on the FolkArt & Craft Exchange.
  • MayaQuest (
    Journey to Central America and explore the mystery behind the collapse of the ancient Maya civilization. As the Quest team visits Maya experts, explores ruins, and talks with Maya people, investigate theories for the collapse of a great civilization.
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Most of the audiovisuals listed below are available through either the Concordia Lutheran High School Library or the Allen County Public Library. Where not available through these sources, availability information will be listed.
  • Mexican Way of Life(
    This movie is available for download through The diversity of Mexico is richly communicated in this program -- from snow-covered mountain slopes to barren deserts; from lavish resorts to modest Indian villages. The influences of Spaniish and Mayan roots are visible in the modern art and architecture of Mexico.
  • V J972.81 AN2 Schlessinger, Andrew. Ancient Maya [videorecording]. Wynnewood, Pa. : Schlessinger Media, c1998.
  • V 917.2 R937 The Ruta Maya [videorecording] : The Yucatan, Belize & Guatemala. San Ramon, Ca. : International Video Network ; Lonely Planet, c1995.
      Describes ancient pyramids, excavations, and recreations of the Ruta Maya.
  • V 972 F19 Fall of the Aztec & Maya Empires [videorecording]. Chicago : Questar Video, 1999.
      This video story not only traces the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs and Maya, but also follows the journeys, in 1839, of New York explorer John L. Stephens to these strange and wonderful cities. Using computer graphic reconstruction, animated maps, classic art, reanactment and beautiful on-location cinematography, the viewer sees Teotihuacan, Cholula, Monte Alban, Chichen Itza, Tenochtitlian, Tikal, Copan, Uxmal, and Palenque as they might have looked 1000 years ago.
  • V 972.81 M454 Time-Life Video and Television. Maya [videorecording] : the blood of kings. Alexandria, Va. : Time-Life Video and Television (distributor), c1995.
      While Europe was in the midst of the Dark Ages, the Maya of Central America were developing a culture responsible for a complicated writing system, mathematic and astrological calculations and archeological marvels. Explore ruins in the jungles of Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala to understand a people both sophisticated and bloodthirsty and a society that collapsed with mysterious speed.

  • Chichén Itzá - A Photo Gallery (
    This site provides students with beautiful color photographs of the ruins of Chichén Itzá. Each photograph is accompanied by a short description of what is pictured. This site also includes links to other mesoamerican photo galleries such as Uxmal, Teotihuacÿn, Palenque and more.
  • University of Villanova Faculty Senate - Chichen Itza (
    This site allows students to view photographs of Chichén Itzá. The photographs are titled, but the site does not include descriptions of the contents of photographs.
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The databases listed below are accessible on-line. Keywords that may be used to find information are: Mexico, Maya, Indians of Central America, Mayas - Antiquities, Mayas - Art, Mayas - Social Conditions, Mayas - Religion and Mythology, Mayan Language - Writing, Hieroglyphic.
  • Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Chicago (
    The Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Chicago has created an on-line teacher resource database that can be accessed through the home page - outreach - online teacher resources. These resources include links to other collegiate Latin American Studies programs, Latin American databases and web-based curriculum.
  • (
    This database allows you to search in both English, Spanish and Portuguese for topics related to the Latinamerican world, its culture and its history. There are links to Mayan Arts and Books currently featured on this site. Example search:
      Countries: Mexico Results: Business, Culture, General information, Economy and Finance, Education and research, News, Sports, Travel, Government and Politics and much, much more.
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For more information contact Stephanie Marks at (260)-483-1102 ext. 113 or at .
This site was created on June 4, 2003