Shrouded in fabric and surrounded by food and drink, a deceased Maya noble (at bottom left in this recent artist's conception) is well prepared to enter the afterlife, which was seen as a dark underworld ruled by sinister gods.<br> <br> Here, workers are seen stacking stones to seal the crypt while a priest in a feathered headdress and jaguar skins (above right) chants incantations. Behind him, a bound captive is sacrificed.<br> <br> The dead nobleman's widow, in white robes and jade, mourns alongside warriors and friends.
Shrouded in fabric and surrounded by food and drink, a deceased Maya noble (at bottom left in this recent artist's conception) is well prepared to enter the afterlife, which was seen as a dark underworld ruled by sinister gods.

Here, workers are seen stacking stones to seal the crypt while a priest in a feathered headdress and jaguar skins (above right) chants incantations. Behind him, a bound captive is sacrificed.

The dead nobleman's widow, in white robes and jade, mourns alongside warriors and friends.
Roy Anderson

Beyond "Apocalypto": What Maya Empire Looked Like

These artist renderings and illustrations capture what daily life was like for the Maya.

Read This Next

In Search of the Lost Empire of the Maya
This seventh-century Maya city was a glorious center of power
Who were the Maya? Decoding the ancient civilization's secrets

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet