Mystery of the Maya

It is night. You are standing on the flat top of a stone pyramid. Men dressed in long green robes crowd around you. They chant and sing in a language you don’t understand.

You look into the misty light for your friend Tom. Suddenly, you see him - struggling for his life. He is strapped to an altar, his arms and legs tied down. Tom’s terrified eyes meet yours and you see him mouth the words, “Help me. Please!”

A man in robes steps forward and begins to slide a knife across Tom’s throat.

“Noooooo!” you scream, reaching out.

You lunge forward. But the only thing you clasp is the lamp next to your bed. You jerk awake and sit up, looking around. You are home in your own room. There’s no altar. No singing men. You take some deep breaths. It was just a bad dream.

Three days ago, your best friend Tom disappeared on assignment in Mexico. He was doing a piece for cable TV on the ancient Mayan temples at Chichen Itza. His assistant Amanda called to tell you the news.

“Tom was onto a hot story. But he wouldn’t say what on the phone. After he was reported missing, the police found fresh blood on the altar used for human sacrifice by the Mayans. No one has seen him since,” Amanda tells you.

“Who called to tell you?” you ask.

“Tom’s guide Manuel. Tom said that if anything happened to him, I should call you right away,” she replies. “Do you think you could go down there to look for him? I’m really worried.”



I put on my robe and wizard hat.

hook hand door on the maya car pyramid

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Book flights on Skyscanner pronto!

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Tom is your oldest friend. You have known each other since kindergarten. You have no choice: you must go to Mexico to find him.

“Of course I will go,” you tell Amanda.

That was three days ago. You look at the packed bag next to your bed and then at your watch. Even though it’s still dark, it’s almost time to get up anyway. A few short hours later, you are flying at 35,000 feet, en route to Merida, the capital of the Yucatan. Several books on the Mayans are spread out in front of you.

At one time, the Mayans controlled huge ceremonial, agricultural and trading centers throughout the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. Their kingdom stretched from Tulum, on the edge of the Caribbean Sea, to Tikal deep in the south, and on to Chichen Itza and Uxmal farther inland. Then, simply and mysteriously, the great Mayan cities faded into nothing. They became ghost towns and ruins. Mayan culture disappeared overnight. Today, vines and jungle brush cover everything.

I fully soil my wizard robe at 35,000 feet.

Press assistance button and order bloody mary

This is a very simplistic view of late-period mesoamerican culture.


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Tom flew into Merida. Your plan is to go there first and try to retrace Tom’s steps. Amanda has arranged for Manuel, Tom’s guide, to meet you at the airport.

“Manuel is a well-known guide for those who seek the mysteries of the Mayans,” Amanda tells you. “And he has good connections at Merida University, where the best Mayan scholars work. But Manuel also has a reputation for being unusual. Tom suspected that he might be the reincarnation of an ancient Mayan shaman,” she warns.

Your guidebooks say shamans were extremely powerful, priest-like magicians or spellbinders. The Mayans believed shamans represented the link between heaven and earth. They were the human link to Mayan gods, such as the dreaded Plumed Serpent or the enormously powerful Jaguar.

You are curious to meet this Manuel!

That’s why we brought you on this trip.

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Manuel and his Mayan mates.

Billy Bullshit more like.

Now what is it that she wants? Tell me what is it that she needs?

Several hours later, you land at Merida and pass through Customs. Suddenly, as if appearing out of nowhere, a man is by your side.

“Hello, my name is Manuel. I am to be your guide. Welcome to Mexico.” He shakes your hand, and smiles. Manuel reminds you of the ancient Mayan paintings and stone carvings in the books that you studied on the plane. Suddenly you realise that Manuel himself must have descended from the Mayan people. The civilisation, many say, collapsed 800 years ago, but its people live on to this day.

“I tried to help Tom,” Manuel says, grabbing your heaviest suitcase. “But… unfortunately, he did not always take my advice. Maybe together we can find him?”

“Where do you think we should start, Manuel?” you ask.

“Perhaps at the university? Dr Lopez might help. He is a leading expert on Mayan sacrifice. Or maybe we should go stright to Chichen Itza, the last place Tom was seen alive?”

  • Visit Dr Lopez
  • Go right to Chichen Itza

0 voters

Thought I was on the music board and that this was a new psychill band I’d not heard of.

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What a dickish thing to say. I don’t trust this guy at all.

Who knows what mysteries await with Manuel? I’ll close the poll in about 15 minutes then our adventure will continue.

I’m certainly not fooled by the rocks that he’s got.

Dr Lopez on the other hand…

I don’t think the Maya used ice knives much due to the climate. Maybe it was a maize knife?

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