Mayan civilisation

Where can I find facts and information about the Mayans?

Senior Primary

(Years 5-8)

Colour photo of El Castillo, an ancient limestone pyramid built by the Mayans in Mexico. Staircases on each side lead to a temple at the top.

Image: El Castillo by Jimmy Baum on Unsplash.

Entry last updated: 26/05/22


The Mayans are an ancient people that lived in South America thousands of years ago. They had a calendar more complicated than everyone else, and were amazing mathematicians. No one knows what happened to the Mayans - one day they mysteriously disappeared. This entry will give you information about where to find information about the Mayans, Mayan culture and religion, and their disappearance.

The Mayans

Civilisations are vast and complex. There are many things you need to look at eg the culture, arts, history etc, if you want to understand them. These websites provide general information about the Mayans.

Britannica School

A great place to search for information about the Mayans is EPIC. EPIC is a collection of reliable databases covering lots of different topics. It’s put together especially for New Zealand school students and helps to answer questions like this.

  • Select the primary level.

  • Enter the keywords 'Maya' into the search bar at the top of the page.

  • Select the article called Maya (Native American people).

Tips: Search words, or keywords, are the most important words in our question. Usually it’s better to leave out small words like ‘the’, ‘a’ and ‘of’ and just choose the main ones, e.g [Maya]. We can always change our keywords or add more if we need to.

Elementary (Gale In Context)

This is another of the EPIC resources. It has easy to read information on lots of topics, including the Mayans.

  • Select the topic Social Studies.

  • Next select World History.

  • Then choose Mayas.

  • Different resources are grouped by type eg book articles or pictures.

  • Choose Keep Reading or More to see more information.

  • We like the book article Mayas or Maya Daily Life.

Tips: To get to the EPIC resources you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or you can chat with one of our AnyQuestions librarians between 1 and 6 pm Monday to Friday and they will help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.

BBC Schools Primary History

Part of the Bitesize section of the official website of the British Broadcasting Corporation. Bitesize supports primary students in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

  • Look down the page to the topic World History.

  • Select Maya Civilisation.

  • Check out the different articles to see who the Maya were, what life was like for them, and what happened to them.

Tips: Some of the articles have videos which may not play as only people who are in the United Kingdom can watch them.

Mayan Culture and Religion

Mayan religion and their relationship with their gods was an important part of their culture. Bloodletting and sacrifices made to their gods were a common thing among the Mayan people.Their belief system was a major factor in how they lived their lives.


This education site is easy to read and interesting. It's section on history includes myths, mythology and legends from different civilisations.

  • Select History from the home page and look under Ancient History.

  • Go to Aztec, Maya, Inca.

  • There are links under the heading Maya to learn about Daily Life, Gods and Mythology, Art and more.

  • Or look further down the page for a brief description of the Maya.

Tips: Websites that have .com or .co in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About Us link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the company’s mission and values are.


One of the greater mysteries of the world is how the Maya civilisation collapsed. Even now there are many competing theories about how and why they disappeared.


This site has fun facts and answers on lots of different topics. It's by a non-profit organisation that exists to help children learn. It has an article about the Maya disappearance.


There are many books that have been written about the Mayan civilisation - check out your local public or school library to see what they have.

Here are some recommended titles:

SCIS no: 1860964

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