Book Review by Marta Barber


The Order of Days: The Maya World and the Truth about 2012

recently released by David Stuart, Ph.D.

 The Classic Maya left written that the creation of the calendar cycle in which they were living took place on 4 Ahaw 8 Kumk’u (Aug. 13 – or 11–, 3114 BCE). This date involves three calendars: the 260-day t’zolkin, the 360-day-plus-five-day ha’b and the Long Count.

The t’zolkin is the divinatory calendar and it consists of 20 days, each with its glyph, one of which is Ahaw, day 20. These 20 days are repeated 13 times, thus 260.

Read more: The Order of Days


Dave Quarterson presents:

Reflections on The Road to Ruins

by Ian Graham


Wouldn’t it be fascinating to spend an evening with Ian Graham? A comfortable chair, a fire in the hearth and a 25-year-old bottle of Chivas Regal with two glasses. You could sit back and listen to a master tell of his 87-year-long journey from a self-professed lackluster student to a MacArthur Fellow – and one of the preeminent Maya archaeologists of our time. I just had that same experience reading Ian Graham’s marvelous autobiography, The Road to Ruins.

Read more: Road to Ruins

Tulum Be Your Own Guide app iphone FrontTulum – Be Your Own guide is an app for iPhone or iPad that provides directions to and information on items of interest at the site of Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico. It is designed to guide you around the site during a visit. When used onsite, the app uses your device's GPS to direct you to specific structures and other features around the site. No Wi-Fi or cellular data is used, so no need to worry about large data bills. Read on to find out why I think you should spend $0.99 for this app even if you don't plan on visiting Tulum any time soon.

by Keith Merwin, IMS Webmaster

Read more: Tulum iOS app

Holmul Frieze

August 7, 2013 Large stucco frieze found at Holmul

Francisco Estrada-Belli, director of the Holmul Archaeological Project, announced the project had found a stucco frieze measuring roughly 26 feet (8 meters) wide and 6 feet (2 meters) high. The carving is located inside a 20 meter tall pyramid at the Holmul site.

Read more: Large stucco frieze found at Holmul

FEB closeFrancisco Estrada-Belli

Director: The Holmul Archaeological Project

Francisco Estrada-Belli is an Italian-Guatemalan archaeologist affiliated with Boston University and the American Museum of Natural History, who is currently teaching at Tulane University. He received a Ph.D. degree from Boston University in 1998.  Since 2000 he has directed the Holmul Archaeological Project, a multi-disciplinary investigation of early Maya culture in Guatemala.  He is author of numerous scholarly articles on the Maya including the recent book “The First Maya Civilization. Ritual and Power before the Classic period.”  He is a National Geographic explorer, having received 13 research grants from the National Geographic Society, and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London. He is co-founder of the Maya Archaeology Initiative, a nonprofit for heritage preservation and education in the Maya Biosphere of Guatemala. (from Boston University site)


Read more: Francisco Estrada-Belli

Pioneers in Maya Archaeology


thumb REMerwin 001Raymond Merwin: 1881 - 1928

Submitted by Keith Merwin

Most students of Mesoamerican archaeology would not recognize the name Raymond Merwin. But his work provided a number of firsts in the field. The site he is most identified with Holmul, Guatemala is often shown on maps of sites in the Peten. His excavation work there in 1910 and 1911 was the first stratigraphical study of a Maya ruin and produced the first ceramic sequence. Merwin located the famous twin tower structure at Rio Bec. At Lubaantun he found three round carved stones that he called ball court markers, the first such reference. Yet because of a long illness and early death little about his work was published and he is all but unknown.

Read more: Raymond Merwin

More Articles...

  1. Chetumal
  2. Xalapa Museum


  • Where In the Maya World Are We

    Where in The Maya World Are We?

  • Reviews

    Through the years members have reviewed books on the subject of Maya Studies in the Newsletter. Some of those reviews are included here.

  • Maya Sites
  • Museums

    Museums with Mesoamerican Collections

    Presented here is information on museums that have Mesoamerican items in their collection. Members of IMS are welcomed to write short reviews of museums visited, no matter their location.

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thumb APMaudslay_001Pioneers in Maya Archaeology

Biographical sketches of men and women who did much of the early defining
work in Maya studies.

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