NatGeo in Mesa: Fast facts with an archaeologist - East Valley Tribune: Events

NatGeo in Mesa: Fast facts with an archaeologist

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Posted: Monday, February 3, 2014 12:35 pm | Updated: 7:34 am, Sun Feb 9, 2014.

If you grew up idolizing Indiana Jones, this could be an evening both entertaining and out of the ordinary. Here’s why:

1 Archaeologist William Saturno will tell stories, show pictures and video, and generally be your tour guide through “New Light on the Ancient Maya” Feb. 5 at Mesa Arts Center. It’s part of the acclaimed National Geographic LIVE Arizona Speaker Series, and it’s kind of like going to a dinner party (minus the food) with a real-life explorer.

2 When explorers revealed to the world in the mid-1840s the wealth of Maya ruins found in Central American jungles, experts struggled with questions of who built the cities, who ruled them and how they fell into ruins.

3 Saturno has done excavations in Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras, searching for clues about the ancient mysteries of the Maya.

4 Two of his greatest finds: Unearthing the spectacular murals of San Bartolo and uncovering a house in Xultun whose walls are covered with glyphs representing calculations of the Maya calendar cycles. Saturno’s work offers proof that the Maya, contrary to popular belief, believed the world would continue well past 2012.

If you go

What: A National Geographic archaeologist reveals first-hand information from his work uncovering Mayan ruins.

When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5

Where: Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St.

Cost: $26-$40

Information: (480) 644-6500 or

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