In more recent years, teams of scientists have methodically explored the jungles and plains and have unearthed a wealth of information. But, unlike Egypt, Babylon, or Greece, where archaeologists have searched widely, the land of the Maya is still largely untouched in comparison. There are over five thousand ruins in Mexico alone, most of which have not been disturbed by the archaeologists’ spades. There are perhaps hundreds more ruins hidden in the forests, their fallen stones covering a thousand secrets.
The news of this little bit of gold was later to spur other greedy Spaniards on to further exploration and to the eventual conquest of three great American civilizations, the Incas, the Aztecs, and the Maya.
The Mayan people were short. The average height of a Mayan man was five feet one inch; that of a woman, four feet eight inches. Their hair was straight and black, while the colour of their skin was coppery or brown. Mayan men did not shave. What little hair they had on their faces, they pulled out. The men wore their hair in braids, wound around the top of their heads, with a queue hanging down the back. The women wore their hair long, and arranged it in various ways.