Electronic Atlas of Ancient Maya Sites


EAAMS, the Electronic Atlas of Ancient Maya Sites

The Maya Area
Visiting Maya Sites
Using a GIS system
Maps of the Maya Area
Google Earth data
May we help you?
Send us data
Principal Investigators

The Electronic Atlas
of Ancient Maya Sites:
a Geographic Information System (GIS)

Atlas Electrónico
de Sitios de los Mayas Antiguos:
un Sistema de Información Geográfica (SIG)

May we help you?

[SEE downloadable maps/mapas HERE]

[Get Google Earth data HERE]

Dr. Clifford T. Brown,
Florida Atlantic University,
a Maya archaeologist

Dr. Walter R. T. Witschey, 
Longwood University,
a Maya archaeologist

Science requires collecting and analyzing data, often in fresh ways. Dr. Walter R. T. Witschey and Dr. Clifford T. Brown jointly manage a project to study the settlement patterns of the ancient Maya, who occupied eastern Mexico (the Yucatan Peninsula), Guatemala, Belize and the western portions of Honduras and El Salvador. 

Their research involves constructing a Geographic Information System database of Maya archaeological sites. Thus far, they have registered over 6,000 sites, some of which you can visit easily..

There are several research questions to be answered by the GIS. For example, in recent years several mathematical models of settlement patterns have been proposed. These include central place theory, Thiessen polygons, fractals and others. With an accurate database of actual Maya cities, towns, and hamlets, these theories can be tested for validity.

Maya political organization is reflected not only in architecture but in the assignment of formal place names in the ancient Maya script (Emblem Glyphs). Mapping the occurrence of Emblem Glyphs aids in the study of the size and location of Maya city-states.

In some areas of the Maya territory there are very few settlements. A modern GIS helps to analyze whether the terrain is unsuitable for habitation or, conversely, whether the terrain is hospitable, but researchers have not yet entered the area and recorded sites. The GIS can tell us where to look for undiscovered sites.


Key words: ancient Maya, Yucatan, archaeology, GIS, settlement patterns, sites, zones, sacbes, fractal, sitios, arqueología, asentamiento, Maya antiguo,

  © Copyright 2001, 2002, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010 Walter R. T. Witschey and Clifford T. Brown, The Electronic Atlas of Ancient Maya Sites   Updated 01/31/2010