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Exploring the Lost Maya

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Although many people think that American sports fans are too obsessed with winning, consider this: When the ancient Maya played games, the losing team was often sacrificed. While this nugget can be found on Exploring the Lost Maya, as an overview of the Mesoamerican culture, the disc drops the ball. It includes an interactive time line and maps; striking photos and detailed descriptions of such major sites as Chichen Itza and Palenque; a section on the 19th-century exploration of ruins; and QuickTime videos on Mayan calendars and ritual life. But it fails to address fully too many substantive issues: How did Mayan civilization evolve and why did it collapse? Without more context, this intellectual excavation is quickly overgrown by a jungle of unrelated facts. C+

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