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The following guide provides Web site links, a list of selected books, and access to online periodical articles about this subject. The Web site links have been researched, evaluated, and annotated by Rio Hondo College Librarians. The Librarians have specifically selected these Web sites to meet the research needs of Rio Hondo College students

go to   Web Site Links        Online Databases (RHC Students only)        Books        Library Catalog      Media        Articles

Text-only version for printing

Web Site Links     top

Ancient Mesoamerican Civilizations

Subtitled Maya, Mixtec, Zapotec, and Aztec, this site includes information about these ancient civilizations' writing systems, governments, and religions.  There is also information about the Mayan calendar, Maya and Zapotec political organization, definitions, and related links.

The Classic Maya Calendar and Day Numbering System

This site, an article by Dr. David L. Mills, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Delaware, provides readable yet technical information about the Mayan calendar, includes charts and a link to Dr. Mills' table for correlating our present day (Gregorian) calendar and the Mayan calendar, and offers a short list of references. 

Collapse : Why Do Civilizations Fall?

Developed by Annenberg/CPB (Corporation for Public Broadcasting) Exhibits, this intriguing site investigates the decline of four ancient civilizations: Maya, Mesopotamia, Chaco Canyon, and Mali & Songhai, and links to useful items on Mayan art and archaeology.

Function and Meaning in Classic Mayan Architecture

Full text of an anthology discussing many facets of Mayan buildings including design, construction, ritual architecture, houses, iconography, and more with index.  (Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Law in Mexico Before the Conquest

This site explores Aztec and Mayan law through images and brief overviews of topics such as warfare, courts, attorneys and  judges, property law, family law, punishment, drunkenness, and slavery.  It includes a small collection of annotated links on Aztec, Mayan, and other Mesoamerican civilizations.  From the Jamail Center for Legal Research, University of Texas School of Law.

Merle Greene Robertson's Rubbings of Maya Sculpture

Features photographs of the paper rubbings of ancient Mayan relief sculpture -- these rubbings all the painstaking work of famous Mayan scholar Dr. Merle Greene Robertson, "The doyenne of Mayanists."  Clink on "Rubbings" to begin viewing the many photographs, all with brief descriptions of the sculpture featured in respective rubbings, along with detailed biographical narrative about Dr. Robertson's work in Guatemala. 


Subtitled An Exploration of Mesoamerican Cultures, this site is "devoted to ancient Mesoamerica and its cultures: the Olmec, Maya, Aztec, Teotihuacano, Toltec, Mixtec, Zapotec and others," yet specializes in Mayan history and presents information about an archeological dig and restoration project at Palenque in Chiapas, Mexico.  Photos, map, animations, videos (requiring QuickTime), rubbings of Maya sculptures, and an illustrated encyclopedia are available as well as the text of the first Palenque roundtable: a conference on art, iconography, and dynastic history of Palenque.  There are related links.  A joint venture of the Pre-Columbian Art Research Institute (PARI) and Mexico's Instituto Nacional de Antropologia y Historia (INAH).

Voice of the Shuttle (VoS)

The Voice of the Shuttle (VoS) began in late 1994 as an introduction to the Web for humanists at the University of California, Santa Barbara and became publicly accessible on March 21, 1995.  VoS is woven by Alan Liu and a development team in the University of California Santa Barbara, English Department.

Worldviews : Maya Ceramics From the Palmer Collection

Virtual exhibit of the Palmer Collection from the Hudson Museum at the University of Maine.  Includes a clickable display of over forty pre-Columbian objects collected by William P. Palmer, III during the 1960s and early 1970s.  It also has a map of where the items were found and discussions related to Maya civilization, writing and symbolism, and iconographer and epigrapher observations regarding the Maya beliefs about the underworld, the cosmos, the natural world and palace of life.

Online Databases (Rio Hondo Students only)     top

Encyclopædia Britannica
Use Encyclopædia Britannica to search an Internet directory that includes more than 130,000 links to Web sites selected, rated, and reviewed by Britannica editors.    

Books     top
The following books can be located in the Rio Hondo College Library.

Reference Books

Ancient Mexico & Central America : archaeology and culture history
Call number: Ref F1219.E85 2004

Atlas del México prehispánico : mapas de periodos, regiones y culturas
Call number: Ref F1219.S65 2000x

World Book Encyclopedia
Call number: Ref AE5.W55 2007

Suggested Subject Headings
For additional titles on this topic at Rio Hondo, click on the following Library of Congress subject headings:

Central America--Antiquities

Human ecology--Yucatán Peninsula





Mayas--Social life and customs


Rain forest ecology--Yucatán Peninsula

Yucatán Peninsula--Environmental aspects

Library Catalog    top
Use the box below to search for additional resources in Rio Hondo College Library.

earch Library Catalog for: 

Media     top
The following media can be located in the Rio Hondo College Library, to be viewed in the Library.

The Fall of the Maya
Call number: Video 000425
Until 1965, the ancient Maya were thought to have been a mysterious but peaceful people governed by astronomer-priests. But then Russian linguist Yuri Knorosov cracked the phonetic code of Maya hieroglyphics. Today, researchers are revealing stories of Maya blood sacrifice, uncovering a world far different from their expectations. This program shows how, from excavations deep in the Honduran jungle to the most recently interpreted hieroglyphic writings, the story is being unraveled of the rise and fall of the Maya.

The Aztec & the Maya
Call number:  Video 000912
The Mayan civilization enjoyed a glorious period from 325 AD to 925 AD. Skilled potters, weavers and farmers, the magnificent temples at Chichen Itza and Copan are among the legacies of a peace-loving people. The Aztecs of Mexico are remembered for their architecture, sculpture, art and for their religious rituals which included large scale human sacrifice.

Maya, lords of the jungle
Call number: Video 000218
Archaeological work on the Mayan civilization in Central America is revealing new facts about Mayan history, religion, agriculture, social structure, and art.

Mystery of the Maya
Call number: DVD 0016
Explores the culture, science, and history of the Mayans. Discusses their work with architecture, math, calendrics, writing systems, and buildings.

Palenque : the walls of Mayan history
Call number: DVD 0078
Using the first know settlement of the Mayan culture as a setting, this program illuminates several important rites and rituals of the Mayas who lived there through the interpretations of the many inscriptions found on the walls of its main buildings.

Articles   top
The Rio Hondo College Library provides online access to full-text articles through our online databasesPlease note:  you must be a Rio Hondo College student, faculty, staff or board member to use these services.

The sample searches and articles below are from the ProQuest database.  If you are viewing this subject guide from an on-campus computer, simply click on the links below.   To gain access if you are at home or off-campus, first click here:  Input your student ID number and password [your birthdate].  You will see a list of all the online databases to which you have access.  Click on ProQuest and enter the database.  You may conduct your own searches at this point or come back to this subject guide and click on any of the links below:

SUB(mayan civilization)
SU(Mayan civilization) AND SU(culture)

Researched and evaluated by:
M. Hogarth, Librarian 2/2000
last update: D. Banton, Librarian 10/2007


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