Maya Music

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There are many depictions on painted vases and murals of the ancient Maya playing musical instruments. We also have been lucky enough to find remains of these instruments too.

The Maya Writing System

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The Maya hieroglyphic script was the only fully-fledged writing system in the Americas. There are over a thousand Maya glyphs known from carved stones, painted murals and ceramics. Most of them are logograms; the rest are phonetic signs. This article will show you how to read Maya glyphs. This resource can be use for the […]

Maya Numerals & Mathematics

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Ancient Maya arithmetic and numeration system, with its Dot-and-Bar notation and concept of zero, is a fascinating topic. In this article, we will explain how to read the Maya numerals and how to do mathematical operations in the Maya vigesimal system. This resource can be use for the History Key Stage 2 (KS2) curriculum.

Maya Timeline

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  Background Information Mesoamerica is a classification that is not defined by geography or languages, rather by the presence of cultural traits. These traits included forms of game with a rubber ball in a rectangular court, codices; books made of sheets of bark paper or deerskin and a common diet of maize, beans and squash. […]

Archaeology: Learn, Practice, Excavate!

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Created in collaboration with London Grid for Learning, Archaeology: Learn, Practice, Excavate! is a general and wide-reaching resource that can be used by all primary teachers in history. There are three stages to this KS2 History resource, which shows pupils how archaeology is used to ‘dig up the past’ and decode History.  

What if British history was told the same way Maya history is told?

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There is so much incorrect information about the Maya online. This causes me much frustration, particularly as teachers (KS2 History Maya Civilisation) unknowingly are teaching these inaccuracies in the classroom and thousands of children are learning untruths about the Maya. There should be some sort of standard set for these ‘educational’ online resources, in order that […]

Meet the Maya at Stratford-Upon-Avon

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  I will be giving class presentations and tours of the new Maya exhibition at Stratford-Upon-Avon Butterfly Farm, of which I was involved. Presentation and tour last 90 mins and includes: The magnificent achievements of the ancient Maya Maya mythbusters What it is like for an archaeologist working in the Maya rainforest Handling of a variety […]

How to spot untrustworthy resources on the Maya

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Since the ancient Maya have been added to the Key Stage 2 national curriculum for History (non-European Study) in the UK, there’s been a ‘mushrooming’ of online resources covering the topic, most of which are downright awful! After the recent flawed news story about a teenager finding a Maya site, I thought it an apt […]

Maya words and glyphs for the colours

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The Maya had all the colours we know but only five colour glyphs have been deciphered: white (sak), black (ik’), yellow (k’an), red (chak) and blue/green (yax).   White / sak In Maya cosmology, the colour white is associated with the North    

Maya word for alligator

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The Mayas used the same word for various species of crocodiles (Crocodylus acutus and Crocodylus moreleti) and caimans (Caiman crocodilus): A’ayin or Ahiin. The glyph for Ahiin is the stylised head of a crocodile with a cross in the eye:    

The Jaguar

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The Maya word for Jaguar (Panthera Onca) is Bahlam or B’alam. In classic Maya script, it could be written several ways: as a logogram representing the entire word      

Maya numbers and arithmetic

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As early as the Late Preclassic (ca 400 BC), the ancient Maya used a positional, vigesimal (base 20) notation involving the use of the mathematical concept “zero”, a truly great intellectual accomplishment and one of the earliest known instance of this concept in the world (the Europeans never invented the “zero”, they borrowed it from the […]

The White-nosed coati

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The white-nose coati (Nasua narica) is a relative of raccoons. It is also known as Coatmundi. In Mexico they call it Tejon, while it is called Pizote in Guatemala and in Costa Rica. The Maya name for the pizote is Chi’ik or Ch’we, but the Lacandon call it  Ts’uts’u.

2016 Teacher Trip to Guatemala Programme

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Itinerary Day 1: Monday 3rd April Antigua We will arrive at Guatemala City’s international airport, La Aurora and travel by shuttle to the beautiful colonial city of Antigua. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Antigua was once one of the regional capitals of the Spanish Empire. The city is full of colourful colonial architecture and is […]

Wooden Maya Calendar

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This beautiful calendar is the perfect tool to explain and understand the concept of time and timekeeping of the ancient Maya. This product is suited for the Maya Key Stage 2 (KS2) history curriculum.

Paper Maya Calendar

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The pack includes the full Maya calendar (Calendar Round) with 5 separate rings to be cut out in white card. Includes a pin for fixing the rings, information about the calendar, instructions and a quiz. This product is suited for the Maya Key Stage 2 (KS2) history curriculum.

Our Maya Active Worksheet Pack is a Bett Awards 2016 Winner

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“A Journey Through the Maya World” was nominated for the Bett Awards 2016 in the Primary Digital Content category. Well, we’re now officially a Bett Awards 2016 Winner! Formerly known as the British Educational Training and Technology Show, the Bett Awards are an annual celebration for the highest levels of achievement by companies that supply Information and Communications […]

Frequently asked questions about the Maya

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You have a question?  First, check the FAQ below to see if it hasn’t already been answered. You’ll also find information on the Maya World page. What is your question about? (click the titles to expand the lists and discovers all the questions and Diane’s answers)   Diane and her life as an Archaeologist   […]

Maya Civilisation KS2 – Free teaching resources

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  Hello, my name is Dr Diane Davies. I’m an archaeologist and Maya expert. I provide resources and workshops for teachers, schools and all those interested in learning about the Maya. What are you looking for?   Facts about the ancient Maya See here for An overview of the Maya world Go there for an […]