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Exploring the Mayan World

Pack your virtual bag and immerse yourself in the astounding past-and present-of the Mayan world.
Exploring the Mayan World is rated 4.3 out of 5 by 116.
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Rated 1 out of 5 by from exploring the mayan world This was the worst Lecture i've purchased! I could not get past the 3rd lecture it was more like a travel guide. Very disappointing. I would not recommend this at all!
Date published: 2024-07-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Bingeworthy So little is out there about before contact New World cultures. Prof. goes in depth in three great courses. I binged through all of them.
Date published: 2024-01-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Well Worth and Time and Expense. This title is the fourth of Dr. Barnhart's titles that I have bought and listened to. I found it very informative and enjoyable. I liked his style and delivery. He is easy to follow.
Date published: 2023-12-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Exploring the Mayan World Best of all our courses. we took a Roads Scholar tour to the Yucatan in the early 2000. Dr. Barnhart was one of the leaders. He was so interesting, when we saw his name we knew we had to purchase this series. We thought it was wonderful, and best course we have watched.
Date published: 2023-09-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent overview of Yucatan travel Dr. Ed does a great job showing off the culture, history, and cuisine of Yucatan. World love to see flow ups on Travel in Oaxaca, Guatemala, Mexico City, and other Mesoamerican hotspots.
Date published: 2023-04-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Context I feel like I needed more context, or a time line, something to ground each segment historically. Professor Barnhart made references to different peoples like the Toltec which was confusing in relation to the Maya. I think "Mayan" needs to be better defined and related to the overall history of the Yucatan. Instead of a recap of prior locations, it might be better to spend a few minutes to orient the new locations historically and related to prior locations at the beginning of each segment. Also, when Professor Barnhart references things like "the classical period" or the "colonial period", those should be defined, at least briefly, as the phrase relates to the current location or discussion. It has been a minute since I studied Mexico and its people in college, so I'm familiar with the subject matter, but found this course left me disoriented and needing to look up references. I would not recommend it to a friend as I think it would be difficult to understand the significance if I did not have prior knowledge.
Date published: 2023-03-21
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Poor Video Quality! The professor is excellent. The course is fine. The video quality is substandard, unusable. I have done many Great courses for years. I always download videos to my laptop or iPad. That way when I am on the road or flying and do not have internet access I can enjoy watching the course. Video download has always been critical for enjoying the course. Traditionally video quality has been excellent. Recently the video quality has been degraded by too much compression. That is the problem with this course. There are times the video breaks up and the view is degraded, unrecognizable.
Date published: 2022-12-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Professor Really enjoy Edwin Barnhart’s teaching approach, very refreshing,
Date published: 2022-12-01
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Overview

Join a practicing archaeologist for a spirited virtual tour of the past, present, and future of Maya civilization in the northern Yucatan.

About

Edwin Barnhart

In my own experience as an explorer, it's almost always the case that the locals knew where lost places were all along. The discoverer is just the first person to ask the right questions.

INSTITUTION

Maya Exploration Center

Dr. Edwin Barnhart is director of the Maya Exploration Center. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin and has over 20 years of experience in North, Central, and South America as an archaeologist, explorer, and instructor. In 1994, Professor Barnhart discovered the ancient city of Maax Na (Spider-Monkey House), a major center of the Classic Maya period in northwestern Belize. In 1998 he was invited by the Mexican government to direct the Palenque Mapping Project, a three-year effort to survey and map the unknown sections of Palenque's ruins. The resultant map has been celebrated as one of the most detailed and accurate ever made of a Maya ruin. In 2003, he became the director of Maya Exploration Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the study of ancient Maya civilization. The center leads study-abroad courses for college students and tours for the general public in the ruins of the ancient Americas, among its other research and educational activities. Professor Barnhart has taught archaeology and anthropology at Southwest Texas State University, and currently teaches University of Texas travel courses for college professors on ancient Andean and Mesoamerican astronomy, mathematics, and culture. Over the last 10 years, he has appeared multiple times on the History Channel, the Discovery Channel, and Japanese NHK Public Television. He has published over a dozen papers and given presentations at eight international conferences.

By This Expert

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Exploring the Mayan World

Trailer

Mérida

01: Mérida

Start your adventures in the Maya world with a trip to Mérida: the capital of Yucatán and the cultural capital of the entire peninsula. You’ll visit a factory in a run-down hacienda where they’re reviving the industry that made the Yucatán so rich more than 100 years ago; explore the mega-mansions lining Merida’s Paseo de Mont; and go shopping for the perfect hammock and guayabera shirt.

25 min
Chichén Itzá

02: Chichén Itzá

First, travel to Izamal, the “yellow city” named after the Maya sky god. Here, you’ll tour the city’s rich history—including a hike up a pyramid as high as a 10-story building and a walk through the Convent of St. Anthony of Padua, designed as a Christian teaching tool for the Maya. Then, venture on to Chichén Itzá, where you’ll get up close and personal with magnificent achievements of Maya architecture, including an observatory, a ceremonial ball court, and a sacred cenote.

27 min
Ek’ Balam

03: Ek’ Balam

Join Dr. Barnhart for a trip to two of his favorite places in the Yucatán: Valladolid and Ek’ Balam. The first is a city established on the foundations of a Maya city called Zací and offers travelers a chance to see a traditional agave distillery and an all-female troop of competitive horseback riders. The second is the well-preserved ruins of what was once a Maya capital, and it’s where you’ll witness fantastic stucco facades and reenactors demonstrating musical instruments and the Maya ball game.

28 min
Tihosuco

04: Tihosuco

More fun in the Maya world awaits in this fascinating episode where you’ll accompany Dr. Barnhart as he writes his name in Maya hieroglyphs, talks to howler monkeys, plunges into a geological cathedral, and more. It’s all part of his journey to Tihosuco, home to perhaps the largest episode in world history of an oppressed people fighting for their independence. Sites you’ll visit include the Cenote Suytun, Punta Laguna National Park, the Caste War Museum, and the Iglesia de Santo Niño Jesus.

25 min
Mayapán

05: Mayapán

Around 1250, Mayapán replaced Chichén Itzá as the new capital of the Yucatán—and one founded on a league of representational government. In this episode, you’ll get a chance to explore the rich history and culture of the site and its surrounding region. Learn about the infamous destruction of sacred Maya codices during public acts of faith held by the Spanish friar Diego de Landa, sample delicious dishes of grilled pork and ground pumpkin seeds, and spend some time looking over the shoulder of a ceramic artist working to keep Maya artistic traditions alive in the 21st century through reproductions of ancient pottery.

24 min
Uxmal

06: Uxmal

Discover what makes Uxmal such a marvel of Maya urban planning. Dr. Barnhart walks you through archaeological features, including the Pyramid of the Dwarf, the Palace of the Governors, and the Nunnery Quadrangle. Plus, spend some time exploring the Loltún Caves: a site that was once used for religious meditation and rituals, and where you’ll find handprints dating back 10,000 years. Cap off your adventure with a sampling of hot chocolate—made the traditional Maya way.

27 min
Celestún

07: Celestún

Your first stop in this episode is Kabáh, the second-largest ruin featuring the Puuc architectural style, where you’ll find over 200 faces of Chaac the rain god and a rare example of literate public art. Next, visit Bécal, famous for producing some of the best jipijapas (or, as tourists call them, panama hats) in the Yucatán. Finally, take a trip to the Celestún biosphere, a wetland reserve spanning some 150,000 acres that’s famous for the thousands of flamingos that flock there.

26 min
Labná

08: Labná

Labná, the last of the ancient sites you’ll hit on this trip, is an architectural wonder crowned by the three buildings everyone comes here to see: the Palacio, the El Mirador pyramid, and the Labná Arch. After decoding the cultural messages in these famous works, travel back to Mérida, where your journey began. Here, you’ll follow Dr. Barnhart through the Gran Museo del Mundo Maya, watch him sample modern takes on traditional Maya cuisine at a boutique hotel and spa, and catch an evening revival of a Maya ball game in Mérida’s central square.

24 min