Mystery of the Maya

1995 ,    »  -   34 Comments
Ratings: 6.08/10 from 83 users.

Mystery of the MayaIt's hard to believe that while the European continent was entrenched in the horrors of the Dark Ages, the Mayan culture was thriving. Not only did the Mayans create a complicated written language, they had far exceeded the Europeans in their study and mapping of the stars and planets, mathematics, and architecture. What happened to the Mayan people? How did they come to be? Why was this isolated culture so advanced? These questions and many others are explored in The Mystery of Maya.

Originally shot in the IMAX format, this film was intended to make the viewer feel as if they were actually creeping through the jungles of Mexico and Guatemala until finally coming upon the great Mayan ruins. Directors Brian Howells and Robert Rochin Naya take their cameras and crew to several of the major Mayan ruin sites to investigate and see what clues and insights can be found.

Actress Susan Glover narrates this adventure documentary, giving needed commentary on the locales and practical purposes of the structures that are seen. Larry Crosley and Dario Domingues provide the musical score.

34 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Tyler

    Pretty cool, though not nearly as informational as I thought it would be.

  2. aron
  3. aron

    why is it hard to believe that there are many other cultures who have been more advanced and thrived before europeans.

  4. ronatola
  5. ronatola

    awesome - going there in august.

  6. mnganga
  7. mnganga

    Are the europeans to be precise white people,are they the yardstick of human civilization?

  8. Amir Bengali
  9. Amir Bengali

    Good Doc...
    Inspiring Beautiful

  10. brandon
  11. brandon

    "the archiologists use the latest technological advances to assemble the jigsaw puzzle of the ancient civilization"

  12. Aura
  13. Aura

    What would had happened if Alexander the Great knew about the Maya?

  14. Luke Wilson
  15. Luke Wilson

    Is it me or were the maya and incas abit of a paradox. Clever sophisticated people and yet dangerously stupid all at the same time! I mean cmon it only took a handful of men(The Spanish) like acouple of years to whipe out there whole culture and pretty much bring there population down to zero. HOW STUPID MUST THEY HAVE BEEN???? Very sad, easy celebrating how awesome they were when the people doing the celebrating are the ones who gained from there ultimate destruction. Despicable.
    So @Aura: I think alexander would have gone there and brought the place to its knees!!

  16. aestar101
  17. aestar101

    I agree with Aron

  18. Danny
  19. Danny

    @luke wilson
    it was the WHITE MANS small pox and other disgusting diseases that killed the people of this land

  20. EricJ
  21. EricJ

    @Luke Wilson:

    What you posted was very ignorant. As Danny said, the foreign diseases with which they have had no exposure to completely devastated their population and civilization before the Spanish finally came and took over. The one thing we can learn from them (probably) is that they were guilty of over-using their environment to the point that they could nolonger support large populations by the end of the late-classic Maya. Alot of this was down to the burning of trees to make plaster which they used to adorn their amazing settlements. To this end they were very smart by creating a system of aquaducts and raised fields in some areas to raise productivity.

    The Maya were an amazing people, but it should also be remembered that they were "The Maya" only in the sense that they shared a common culture. The Maya were never one country ruled by one leader or group of leaders; rather, The Maya were a cultural group divided into constantly waring factions. Therefore, it may have been harder to form a unified resistance than some might conventionally assume.

  22. Carl Hendershot
  23. Carl Hendershot

    That close to the ocean. Maybey there were wiped out by a tidal wave. Very amazing the building skills they had.

  24. Joaco
  25. Joaco

    @Luke Wilson. The Mayans were not a strong civilization when the Spanish arrived. As the documentary said, and you probably didn't listen, they had their peak at around 900 or 1000, about five hundred years before the Spanish. And if you knew a bit of history about how the Spanish used to conquer, you would realize it wasn't really just the Spanish showing up and killing all the Indians, like other European groups did. The Spanish made a lot of alliances and took down the groups that were oppressing the other natives, namely the Aztecs, which were. Did you ever wonder why "Hispanics" look different from "Spanish"? Yep, Hispanics are half native Americans, half European. And their culture didn't die, only transformed.

  26. Coyote03
  27. Coyote03

    I enjoy any and all documentaries on the Maya, there really doesn't seem to be all that many out there, at least as far as I've seen :( Another interesting one is BBC's 'Secrets of the Mayan Underworld', it's two scuba-divers exploring the vast underwater world of the jungle cenotes in the Yucatan, really quite amazing!

    Great posts Joaco and EricJ!

  28. Dodgy
  29. Dodgy

    Liked it. Something fascinating about ancient cultures. Sure, they shoved beer up their butts as enemas when they were drunk but they also did some massive calculations. Good with the bad.

  30. cyrus
  31. cyrus

    mayans are the missing link for our salvation........

  32. david
  33. david

    "It’s hard to believe that while the European continent was entrenched in the horrors of the Dark Ages, the Mayan culture was thriving."
    Well why is that??
    I'll have to watch the video to delve deeper into the eurocentricism!

    I'm obviously not happy with the way the description was written but i will give it a try. Seriously, do have to do that in the first line?!

  34. david
  35. david

    pretty straight forward movie. Seemed kind of like an 'into to the maya' movie as far as info. it was cool how the reenactments were in the actual ruins. i have a book with a lot of the writings and more info on lord pacal. the top tombstone of his grave is very cryptic. interesting stuff!

  36. elchasto
  37. elchasto

    I am from Honduras. Most of what is in this video, we learned while in school. Numerology, Gods, precision techniques, arts, etc etc.
    But something else: WE ARE DYING 2012.

  38. Winston Smith
  39. Winston Smith

    actually it took many decades *read 'Ambivalent Conquests' for one of the best accounts. They had no horses of beasts of burden.. when they first encountered a man mounted on a horse some of them thought it was all one animal! Cortez also used the horses to trick the Indians but only at the beginning..the Indians soon realized the Spaniards for what they were; savages.

  40. Winston Smith
  41. Winston Smith

    'What happened to the Mayan people?'
    90% of the population, millions of people, perished because of a severe drought in 900CE.. There is an excellent more recent doc on TDF detailing the work of Richard Gil (who first postulated the theory no one believed because they were living in rain forests) and others that proves this to be the most likely explanation. Confirmation came from a variety of sources including a seed found at just the right point in a lake core that dated the 'worst drought in the last 7000 years' to have occurred at just the same time the Mayan cities of Tikal and Palenque were abandoned and deserted in the 9th century

  42. thirt13n
  43. thirt13n

    The reptilian feather god (bringer of Mayan astral advancement) may have been a good god host and simply invited Mayans to the confines of the inner earth. I'm no expert but, as many as there was- they could not have went up. You have to question a reptilian who has compassion for humans, their interest in those people may have be one of sacrificial cattle or, perhaps not, the Mayans went and further evolved without us. Maybe there is a group of reptiles who are- our companions, and are actively involved within certain private projects today.

  44. Chris Clyne
  45. Chris Clyne

    "Euro explorers who ride coat tails of the Maya" would be an apt title. The 1st 23 mins talk about explorers. Pacal is mentioned only 2 times. The mysterious Mayan evac ends the doc with no getting into why/how/what. Overall, Im left with more ?s than answers.

  46. AleksandarMakedonski
  47. AleksandarMakedonski

    He did know about the Maya. A few of his many ships landed there and assimilated with the Maya. There is one cave paintinig showing Alexanders soldiers fighting the Maya with their long macedonian spears in Chichen Itza.

  48. Terry Beaton
  49. Terry Beaton

    They thought the sun wouldn't come up if they didn't offer constant blood sacrifices to it. Is that an advanced kind of thing? Am I missing something here?

  50. Marcus Sifu Kruuse
  51. Marcus Sifu Kruuse

    having invented a monatary system where people go hungry and die of starvation while others are well feed does that sound like an advanced kind of thing? am i missing something here?

  52. Rajesh Kumar.
  53. Rajesh Kumar.

    Dont wish to be off topic, but Tamil (first language in human history) culture of south India is one of the oldest civilization in the planet. its influence reached to the middle east and to the eastern islands.

  54. Dilly
  55. Dilly

    While Tamil is an old language, and recognized as a classical language by the Indian government. It only dates back to about the 3rd century BCE. There are many other languages and written alphabets long before that time period. Sumerian was spoken and written thousands of years prior to Tamil's existence. Tamil, is however one of the oldest languages still spoken today, but it is far from the first.

  56. Lemonhead
  57. Lemonhead

    The Maya were not more advanced than Europeans - they were thousands of years behind and hadn't even reached the bronze age during Roman civ's dark age. When you consider that some of the ancient Gods of the Maya and Aztecs had beards on a beardless continent - it's likely their civilization and their astronomy was first created by early European mystics and explorers. They were likely well educated, exiled Egyptian priests that rode their snake boats into the land of the dead (the setting sun or the west according to the Egyptian book of the dead) and were received as Gods in the new world. The Aztec God Quetzalcoatl was said to have a full beard and arrived on a raft of snakes from out the eastern ocean. The ancient Egyptians were originally Europeans and no other people has explored and brought civilization to as much of the world as Europeans always have. Marxists sure love to degrade and defame western civ any chance they get.

  58. Mazarin
  59. Mazarin

    One cannot look separately to some achievements, but to the society as a whole. Pre-Columbian cultures were inferior to the European civilisation in many many aspects.

  60. Maria
  61. Maria

    Maria, The indians from Latinamerica beleives the bearded Spaniards to be GODS. Maybe if you saw GODS you would obey also. The Indians were smarter than we will ever be. Also American Indians were smarter than the English. We are the stupid ones , white ones, Spaniards and English that created colonies for their advantage and killed the Indians. I invite you to study some world history. Americans from the US do not know World history and do not care to teach it in their schools.

  62. Rona silk
  63. Rona silk

    How did they build a civilization without metal tools and wheel ??????.

  64. cazandra
  65. cazandra

    what is the name of the red city

  66. soumya
  67. soumya

    Good Doc...

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