i have always been fascinated by archaeology, and when i was at university i jumped at the chance to take ‘the maya’. i, like many other archaeologists/historians/nerds am both excited by and wary of apocalypto. i want to see it because i think maya culture is incredibly interesting, but i don’t want to support another mel gibson violence-porn. i want to see it because i think it will be entertaining, but i dread watching all kinds of inaccuracies unfold in front of me.

however, the movie has rekindled a lot of public interest in the maya, which i think is a good thing. the maya were incredibly advanced in a lot of scientific areas and, like the ancient egyptians (another great nu class), serve as a sobering reminder of how quickly a thriving culture can disintegrate, even after centuries of prosperity and “we’re #1”-ness. 3 quarks daily has posted a really cool article about the field of acoustical archaeology and the (theoretical) applications of advanced acoustical engineering in maya architecture.