Site URL: History.com/…Maya
Content: Here’s the History Channel’s go-to site for everything teachers and students would want to know about ancient Mayan Civilization.
Design: Part of the History Channel family of Web sites, the Mayan page looks and functions just as well as its siblings. Everything is easy to find, and the site avoids the clutter common to many history sites.
The media players are fluid and require little to no buffering. Visitors will encounter a bit of advertising, but this is a necessary evil and not overly distracting.
Review: As one of History Channel’s topics portal pages, there isn’t a ton of material here. Users will, however, find a thorough synopsis of Mayan Civilization as well as a video-clips library focusing on different aspects of the culture.
While many sites are trying to capitalize on the Mayan Long Count Calendar controversy and the supposed end of the world, this site goes out of its way to not mention it. Maya Empire does cover the Long Count Calendar, and some of the video clips reference the fact that the current Mayan cycle ends on December 12, 2012. The site also mentions that the Mayans recorded many future dates beyond what many have called “The Last Day.”
The brief history is a great starting point for learning about this civilization, and the video clips are all classroom-worthy. There is little here that couldn’t very easily supplement a social studies or history lesson.
Bottom Line: For a solid broad-brush of Mayan Civilization, this site can’t be beat.