Text Naachtun: lost city of the Maya

TLF ID M011226

This resource is about the Mayan city of Naachtun rediscovered by archaeologists in 1922. It provides background material on the archaeological visits to the Mayan site from 1922 through to 2002, and describes the remnants of the structures and artefacts of the city, including stone monuments carved with hieroglyphic inscriptions known as stelae. It describes how archaeologists learned about the history of the city and its ancient name Masuul through the stelae. It includes text with images, illustrations and quotation boxes.

Educational details

Educational value
  • This resource is useful for addressing the Australian Curriculum: History content description in year 8 referring to pre-Columbian life in the Americas, including social organisation, city life and beliefs. It provides some evidence about life in the ancient Mayan city of Naachtun such as: the existence of grand public buildings; inscriptions on stelae showing funerary rites; the depiction of a heavily ornamented important woman; and the defensive fortifications discovered in 2002.
  • This resource shows the strategic but vulnerable geographical position of Naachtun located directly between the two rival and warring cities of Calakmul and Tikal and the effect this had on the lives of the people. Evidence from the architectural style of the buildings indicates that Naachtun was linked politically to both cities at different times and a participant in their wars, which were a frequent occurrence. Warfare became a constant for Naachtun.
  • The resource supports the development of historical skills. Students compile a range of questions for a historical investigation into the daily life of the Mayan people of Naachtun. These could be based upon an examination of the existing evidence, including the contents of the stelae, the stones used in the defensive fortifications and the size of the public buildings.
Year level


Learning area
  • History

Other details

  • Copyright Holder
  • Name: British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
  • Organization: British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
  • URL: http://www.bbc.co.uk
  • Publisher
  • Name: British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
  • Organization: British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
  • Description: Publisher
  • URL: http://www.bbc.co.uk
  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • URL: www.esa.edu.au
Access profile
  • Generic
Learning Resource Type
  • Text
  • Image
  • Resource: BBC © 2012, except where indicated otherwise. You may download, copy and communicate this material for free, and use it in digital and hardcopy format for non-commercial educational use in Australian schools and TAFE institutions, provided you retain all acknowledgements associated with the material. 'Interactive' image: © Education Services Australia Limited 2012. You may copy, communicate and adapt this image for non-commercial educational purposes provided you retain all acknowledgements associated with the image.