Category Archives: Maya

Smarthistory: Khan Academy for Social Studies

Great Mosque at Damascus by G. Lewis, courtesy of Smarthistory & Flickr

Great Mosque at Damascus by G. Lewis, courtesy of Smarthistory & Flickr

Khan Academy is popular in math for its brief lectures and interactive modules. However, you can also use it in the Social Studies. Check out Smarthistory, a free multimedia platform for student and teacher of history, archaeology, museum curation, and art history.

It includes an interactive timeline, in-depth yet easy to understand articles, vibrant images, and videos about topics throughout history and around the globe. Check out “Teach with Smarthistory” for ideas on how to incorporate it into your classroom. If you are a historian, archaeologist, museum curator, or otherwise involved in the social science consider contributing an article or multimedia content. Additionally, Smarthistory contributes videos to Google Art Project.

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Explore the Mesoamerican Ball Game: Online and Interactive

589px-Maya_Vase_BallplayerKuddos to my student Matthew who sent me this website. We are on the Mesoamerican section right now in my history course. The ballgame was an integral and pervasive activity throughout Ancient Mesoamerica. It is in their history, religion, and art. It was one of the most socially and ritually important activities in the Ancient Americas.

The website “The Mesoamerican Ballgame” explores the history and significance of the ballgame throughout history. You can explore an interactive timeline, study its history among various cultures, and even see vide of the game being played today! It also includes lesson plans and activities for students of all grade levels.

The website was developed by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Mint Museum of Art.

Top 10 Archaeological Discoveries of 2012

Screen Shot 2012-12-13 at 12.24.08 PMToday, Archaeology Magazine has rolled out its “Top 10 Discoveries of 2012.” The list includes (in no particular order):

Maya Sun God Mask

Neanderthal Medicine Chest

First Use of Poison

Aztec Ritual Burial

Caesar’s Gallic Outpost

Europe’s Oldest Engraving

The First Pots

Scottish “Frankenstein” Mummy

2,000 Year Old Stashed Treasure

Oldest Egyptian Funerary Boat

 

Mayan Tomb Holds Royal Burial

Archaeologists working at Uxul have uncovered a Royal Burial. The tomb contains the remains of a man in his early to mid-twenties and several artifacts indicative of a prestigious burial. The young prince, however, does not appear to have been first in line for the throne. A drinking vessel found with the Prince has several hieroglyphics that identify his royal status and provide an approximate date for the death and subsequent burial.

“We feel that the person that was buried there is a son of a local ruler, someone who was not in direct line to the throne, but we feel this ruler still had certain connections to the Calakmul dynasty,” – Kai Delvendahl

To learn more about this find, see the article on FoxNews and the Huffington Post.

Mass Grave Found in Mexico Identified as Ancient Victims

A mass grave recently uncovered in Mexico has, fortunately, been identified as more than 1,000 years old – putting to rest fears that they were victims of modern violence.

The grave contains more than 160 people (men and women) who were likely ritually sacrificed. The bones demonstrated markings of body modification ocular amongst the Ancient native inhabitants.

To learn more about this discovery, see the article at MSNBC.

Top 10 Archaeological Discoveries of 2011

This month’s Archaeology Magazine¬†highlights the top ten finds of the 2011 Field Season. The list includes:

Sorry – the Maya did *not* Predict the End of the World in 2012

2012 – it’s been the subject of conspiracy theories, catastrophic predictions, and terrible, terrible films. People frequently cite the ‘ancient wisdom’ of the Maya that the end of the world is nigh. However, the 2012 phenomenon is one of the greatest fallacies of history. The Maya, in fact, never predicted the world would end in 2012

While it is true that the Mayan calendrical cycle, which spans approximately 5,125 years and begins with their creation event (in 3114 BCE) ends December 21, 2012 it does not mean dire and catastrophic world’s end. In fact, it simply means that the clock will start over (much like when the odometer goes from 999,999 it starts back over at 0).

So, don’t get all your crazy partying out now, plan for 2013. If you want to learn more about the Mayan Calendar and the consequences of 2012, see the article in National Geographic.