Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian


Additional Site Related Resources

The Legend of the Dwarf and the Governor of Uxmal (PDF) »
Maya oral tradition recounts how a dwarf and a governor faced three challenges that led to the construction of the tallest pyramid in Uxmal.
The Maya Calendar System (PDF) »
A more detailed explanation of the Maya calendar system.
The Meaning of the Days of the Maya Sacred Calendar (PDF) »
The Komon Tohil group of Day Keepers from Zunil, Guatemala, describe the meaning of each day in the Maya sacred calendar.
Quirigua Stela C Deciphered (PDF) »
Epigrapher Dr. Erik Velásquez of the Universidad Autónoma de México provides a more detailed translation of the hieroglyphs in Stela C of Quiriguá.
Tortuguero Monument 6 Deciphered (PDF) »
Epigrapher Dr. Erik Velásquez of the Universidad Autónoma de México provides a more detailed translation of the hieroglyphs in Monument 6 of Tortuguero.
Zenith Passage at Chichén Itzá: TL Columnas 15 05 12: (VIDEO) »
This timelapse video shows how shadows disappear from vertical objects (columns in the ancient Maya city of Chichén Itzá, Yucatán, México) during the zenith passage of the Sun, when the Sun is directly overhead. This astronomical event happens twice a year in tropical latitudes, and helped the ancient Maya measure the length of the solar year.
The Descent of Kukulkán: TL Castllo 1920 (VIDEO) »
This timelapse video shows a solar alignment at Chichén Itzá. During the equinoxes in March and September, a serpent of light and shadow descends the pyramid of El Castillo at the ancient Maya city of Chichén Itzá, Yucatán, México. This event marks the time to prepare the earth for planting corn.

ImagesCalendars - »
Webpage Section »
Pa Puul »
Sun, Corn, and the Calendar - »
The Maya and the Sun - »
Maya World Map - »
Sun Above Sun Below Festivities- »
Sun Above Sun Below - »
Connecting Earth and Sky - »
The Maya People - »
The Creation Story of the Maya - »
Meaning of 2012 - »

Online ResourcesGeneral:

Maya Calendar System:


Teachers' Guide:

For Children:

Maya Math:

Maya Writing System of Hieroglyphs:

Print Resources for Students

  • Children of the Maya. Ashabranner, Brent. Putnam Juvenile (April 1986). ISBN10: 039921707X. ISBN-13: 978-0399217074.
  • Maya Civilization. Culbert, T. Patrick. Smithsonian; 1st edition (June 17, 1995). ISBN: 0895990369. ISBN-13: 978-0895990365.
  • Tikal. Mann, Elizabeth. Mikaya Press (November 2, 2002). ISBN: 193141405X. ISBN-13: 978-1931414050.
  • El Q’anil: Man of Lightning. Montejo, Victor. University of Arizona Press (February 1, 2001). ISBN: 0816520828. ISBN-13: 978-0816520824.
  • Popol Vuh: A Sacred Book of the Maya. Montejo, Victor. Groundwood Books; First Trade Paper Edition (March 1, 2009). ISBN: 0888999216. ISBN-13: 978-0888999214.
  • The Bird Who Cleans the World and other Mayan Fables. Montejo, Victor. Curbstone Books; First Edition (July 1, 1995). ISBN: 1880684039. ISBN-13: 978-1880684030.
  • White Flower: A Maya Princess. Montejo, Victor. Groundwood Books (September 16, 2005). ISBN: 0888995997. ISBN-13: 978-0888995995.
  • Maya Weaving: A Living Tradition. Stalcup, Ann. Powerkids Pr; 1st edition (August 1999). ISBN: 0823953319. ISBN-13: 978-0823953318.
  • The Maya. Trout, Lawana Hooper. Chelsea House Publications (December 1991). ISBN: 1555467148. ISBN-13: 978-1555467142.
  • Abuela's Weave. Castañeda, Omar S., and Sánchez, Enrique O. Lee and Low Books, Inc. New York, NY (1993) ISBN: 1-880000-20-2.

Print Resources for Research

  • The Ancient Maya. Scharer, Robert J., with Loa P. Traxler, 2006. Stanford University Press. Stanford. ISBN: 0804748179. ISBN-13: 9780804748179.
  • The Maya (8th Edition). Coe, Michael D. Thames & Hudson.
  • Maya: How a Great Culture Rose and Fell. National Geographic Magazine, 2007. Vol. 212, No. 2.
  • Skywatchers. Aveni, Anthony (2001). University of Texas Press.
  • Maya Cosmos: Three Thousand Years on the Shaman’s Path by David Freidel, Linda Schele and Joy Parker, Quill William Morrow, 1995.

Archaeological Sites:

  • The Murals of Bonampak. Mary Ellen Miller. 1986. ISBN 0-691-04033-8. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.
  • Maya Masterpiece Revealed at Bonampak. National Geographic Magazine, 1995. Vol. 187, No. 2.
  • History Carved in Stone: A guide to the Archaeological Park of the Ruins of Copán. William L. Fash and Ricardo Agurcia Fasquelle, 2007. 4th Edition. Associación Copán. Copán Ruinas, Honduras. Transamérica, Honduras, S. A. ISBN: 978-99926-722-2-8.
  • Copán: A Royal Maya Tomb Discovered; La Ruta Maya; and City of Kings and Commoners. National Geographic Magazine, 1989. Vol. 176, No. 4.
  • Maya Artistry Unearthed. National Geographic Magazine, 1991. Vol. 180, No. 3.
  • Biologia Centrali Americana: Archaeology. Vols. I-IV. Alfred P. Maudslay, 1889. R. H. Porter and Dulau and Co., London.
  • Incidents of Travel in Yucatán. John Lloyd Stephens. New Edition by Karl Ackerman, 1996. Smithsonian Books, Washington. ISBN: 1-56098-651-4.

Maya Creation Story:

  • Popol Vuh: The Sacred Book of the Maya. Allen J. Christenson, 2007. University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN-13: 978-0-8061-3839-8. ISBN-10: 0-8061-3839-4.

Maya Calendar Keeping and Spirituality:

  • Contemporary Maya Spirituality: The Ancient Ways Are Not Lost. Jean Molesky-Poz, 2006. University of Texas Press. ISBN-13: 978-0-292-71315-4.
  • Time and the Highland Maya. Tedlock, Barbara. University of New Mexico Press.
  • Maya Sacred Geography and the Creator Deities. Karen Bassie-Sweet, 2008 University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 987-0-8061-3957-9


  • The Blood of Kings: Dynasty and Ritual in Maya Art. Linda Schele and Mary Ellen Miller, 1986. Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth. ISBN: 0-8076-1159-X.
  • Painting the Maya Universe: Royal Ceramics of the Classic Period. Dorie Reents-Budet, 1994. Duke University Press. Durham & London. ISBN: 8223-1438-X.
  • Maya of/de Guatemala: Their Life and Dress. Carmen L. Pettersen, 1976. Georg Westermann Verlag. ISBN: 0-295-95537-6.
  • Star Gods of the Maya: Astronomy in Art, Folklore, and Calendars. Susan Milbrath. 1999. University of Texas Press. ISBN 0-292-75226-1

Maya Writing System of Hieroglyphs:

  • Reading the Maya Glyphs, Second Edition. Michael D. Coe and Mark Van Stone, 2005. Thames & Hudson. ISBN-13: 978-0-500-28553-4. ISBN-10: 0-500-28553-5.