The Maya would have had to obtain mercury from far locations, transporting it by foot hundreds of kilometres across present-day Central America.
A change in climate may have triggered the decline and collapse of the Mayan city of Mayapán in the 15th century.
A stand of red mangroves in the calm, calcium-rich, fresh waters of the San Pedro Mártir River, Tabasco, Mexico.
Mangroves grow in saltwater along tropical coastlines, but scientists have found them along a river in Mexico’s Yucatan, more than 100 miles from the sea. Climate change explains their shift.
A variety of clues can tip off archaeologists about a promising spot for excavation.
Archaeologists used to dig primarily at sites that were easy to find thanks to obvious visual clues. But technology – and listening to local people – plays a much bigger role now.
How did military conflict fit into the end of a mighty civilization?
AP Photo/Moises Castillo
Grisly war trophies made from the heads of vanquished enemies certainly grab attention. But archaeologists are more interested in what they may tell about a tumultuous time of shifting political power.
Stucco frieze from Placeres, Campeche, Mexico, Early Classic period, c. 250-600 AD.
Many people think climate change caused Classic Maya civilization to collapse abruptly around 900 A.D. An archaeologist says that view is too simplistic and misses the bigger point.
Remembering victims of genocide in Guatemala City.
Decades after the end of a civil war that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives, the survivors’ search for justice goes on.
The First Salmon ceremony being performed.
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Indigenous people from around the world revere certain traditional foods as sacred. Activists, scholars and chefs are revitalizing these food systems.
A map from 1794 shows Fuego Volcano next to Antigua and Nueva Guatemala.
British Library Board Add.MS 17650d
Fuego and other volcanoes are considered sacred in the Maya culture, but forced Spanish colonisers to move their new capital city.
After colonisation, dispossession and decades of military violence, indigenous women in Guatemala are closing in on justice at last.
LiDAR, was used to “redraw” the remains of the city, along the lower western slopes of the Suikerbosrand hills near Johannesburg.
Technology which located Mayan cities has been used to rediscover a southern African city from the 15th century.
Pages from the Grolier Codex, rare surviving fragments of the Maya past.
The handful of Maya books through which we know about their civilisation grows one larger as archaeologists confirm Grolier codex as genuine.