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Mystery Explored: Passage to the Maya Underworld
Expedition Dates: June 4 – 19, 2004

Summary:

The Maya of Central America were perhaps the greatest pyramid builders of the ancient world. The Egyptians built close to 100 pyramids—the Maya built thousands. But what was the significance of these towering structures? Determined to find out, I embarked on a journey from the great Maya cities of Southern Mexico to the jungles of Guatemala, exploring ancient tombs and diving sacred cenotes. I even kayaked my way through Class IV rapids to reach a secret place in the high jungle of Guatemala where a mountain, a cave, and a river converge. It was here, according to the Maya, that the world was born, and it’s this mystical place upon which all Maya pyramids are modeled.


Sponsoring Institution: The History Channel

Experts involved:
Dr. Alfonso Morales, Archaeologist
Dr. Rafael Cobos, Archaeologist
Mr. Pablo Diaz, Cave Diving Instructor
Mr. Gonzalo Arcila, Akumal Dive Shop
Mr. Vinicio Pena, Guide
Dr. Arthur Demarest, Archaeologist

Locations Visited:
Palenque, Chiapas, Mexico
Chichén Itzá, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Akumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Chichicastenango, Guatemala
Santa Cruz del Quiche Ruins of Utatlan, Guatemala
Lanquin, Guatemala
Chisec, Guatemala
Cancuen, Guatemala
Tikal, Peten, Guatemala


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