Central America

Bocas del Toro, Panama

Panama

Panama

Explore the history, culture and natural wonders of the Central American country

Construction workers stumbled on this Maya city while building an industrial park. 

Cool Finds

Construction Crew Stumbles on 1,400-Year-Old Ruins of Maya City

Researchers say the pre-Hispanic metropolis they call Xiol was once home to some 4,000 people

Researchers dated the skulls to between 900 and 1200 C.E.

Skulls Thought to Belong to Modern Murder Victims Actually Date to the Pre-Hispanic Period

Found in a cave in Mexico in 2012, the 10th- through 13th-century bones may have been displayed in a ritual tower of craniums

Archaeologists found the calendar fragment among a total of 249 pieces of painted plaster and painted masonry block. 

Cool Finds

Fragment of Oldest-Known Maya Calendar Discovered in Guatemalan Pyramid

A glyph representing "7 Deer" marks the earliest known use of the historical system—for now

Detail of a carpet of flowers and colored sawdust in Antigua, Guatemala

Good News

This Guatemalan City Rolls Out Colorful Sawdust Carpets for Holy Week

The longstanding tradition brings a dazzling display to the streets of Antigua each spring

New research shows that mass migration of ancient peoples from the south were essential to bringing maize cultivation to Maya communities in Central America. Scientists previously thought knowledge of farming techniques were shared by word of mouth between neighboring communities. 

New Research

New Study Finds Migrants Brought Maize to the Maya

DNA analysis of skeletal remains in Belize helps piece together how corn cultivation came to thrive in Central America

The bat falcon in Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge in Alamo, Texas

Bat Falcon Is Spotted for the First Time in the United States

Why the bird ventured so far north is a mystery, but the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service says the raptor's range seems to be expanding

Pancho Villa supposedly came to Columbus because he was enraged at the author's paternal grandfather, Sam Ravel, over an arms deal gone wrong. This photo album helped the author better understand Sam.

The Photo Album That Succeeded Where Pancho Villa Failed

The revolutionary may have tried to find the author's grandfather by raiding a New Mexico village—but a friend's camera truly captured her family patriarch

The Tuxtla statuette, discovered in Veracruz, Mexico, in 1902, now resides in the National Museum of Natural History.

What Secrets Does This 1,800-Year-Old Carved Stone Hold?

The Tuxtla Statuette illuminates an endangered Latin American culture

Construction of the pyramid, which stood 43 feet tall and roughly 130 feet wide, began within 5 to 30 years of the Tierra Blanca Joven eruption.

The Maya Built This Monumental Pyramid Out of Volcanic Rock

New research cites the colossal construction as evidence of the civilization's rapid recovery from a devastating eruption

This Aztec pictogram depicts warriors drowning as a temple burns in the background. New research links the scene to a 1507 earthquake.

Aztec Pictograms Are the First Written Records of Earthquakes in the Americas

New analysis of the 16th-century "Codex Telleriano-Remensis" reveals 12 references to the natural disasters

Archaeologists hope the flowers will shed new light on rituals conducted by the ancient residents of Teotihuacán.

Cool Finds

1,800-Year-Old Flower Bouquets Found in Tunnel Beneath Teotihuacán Pyramid

The well-preserved plants were likely used in a ritual ceremony

Alfredo Ramos Martínez, La Malinche (Young Girl of Yalala, Oaxaca), 1940

Was La Malinche, Indigenous Interpreter for Conquistador Hernán Cortés, a Traitor, Survivor or Icon?

A new exhibition at the Denver Art Museum explores the legacy of an enslaved woman who aided Spain's conquest of the Americas

Costa Rican Minister of Culture and Youth Sylvie Durán (right) examines some of the newly returned artifacts.

Brooklyn Museum Returns 1,305 Pre-Hispanic Artifacts to Costa Rica

The NYC cultural institution sent the objects to the Museo Nacional de Costa Rica as an "as an unrestricted gift"

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