Changing Planet

William Saturno, Maya Archaeologist: Ask Him Anything

Archaeologist Bill Saturno backed by a Mayan mural. Photo by Jaime Saturno.

The world is bracing itself… not necessarily for the End of Days, but more for the absurd amount of pseudo-science sure to fly around the Internet on Friday, when urban legend says that the ancient Maya said the end of the world would come.

But what did the ancient Maya themselves actually believe? And what else do we know about this famous civilization?

Find out this Thursday at 4:00pm EST when National Geographic Explorer and archaeologist William Saturno answers your questions live with a Reddit: IAmA.

Never been part of an IAmA before? Take a look at this recent one from another NG archaeologist, Fred Hiebert and see what it’s all about!

IAmA National Geographic archaeologist currently searching for a sunken palace in Central Asia. AMA


UPDATE 12/21/12 :

The world is still here, and so is Bill Saturno’s archived Reddit: IAmA from last night. Enjoy.


Learn More

The Truth About the Maya Doomsday Myth

Andrew Howley is a longtime contributor to the National Geographic blog, with a particular focus on archaeology and paleoanthropology generally, and ancient rock art in particular. In 2018 he became Communications Director at Adventure Scientists, founded by Nat Geo Explorer Gregg Treinish. Over 11 years at the National Geographic Society, Andrew worked in various ways to share the stories of NG explorers and grantees online. He also produced the Home Page of for several years, and helped manage the Society's Facebook page during its breakout year of 2010. He studied Anthropology with a focus on Archaeology from the College of William & Mary in Virginia. He has covered expeditions with NG Explorers-in-Residence Mike Fay, Enric Sala, and Lee Berger. His personal interests include painting, running, and reading about history. You can follow him on Twitter @anderhowl and on Instagram @andrewjhowley.
  • Jeff and Mateo Llewellyn

    My 7 year old son, Mateo and I will be at National Geographic Live, Monday May 20, 2013.

    Mateo would love to meet Mr Saturno before or after his presentation. Is there any chance that could happen? Mateo was adopted by me and wife Teresa from Guatemala City and is fascinated with the Mayan culture. We think he might be Mayan. Just watched NG’s “Dawn of the Maya” and loved Mr. Saturno’s mural discovery story. Hoping to hear more about it first-hand Monday!

    Jeff Llewellyn, 253-946-3965. May 18, 2013

  • Rachel Brooks

    Hi there i have “channelled” symbols, iv heard the words

    Scribe, prophetic, mayan, nubira, starchild, skull, dna

    I am angel_rachel
    Divine_angels_ guidance
    On facebook

  • william milligan

    Last year in the Yucatan while photographing the interior of cenotes, I came upon one that had a series of bizarre faces, where the cave wall intersects water, resulting in the walls reflection. Horizontally nothing unusual is seen, but when rotated vertically, a totem of faces were found. These can be found on my facebook, Bill Milligan (Wilmington, N.C.), under photos, them albums, then Faces in a Yucatan cenote, If interesting in discussing, you can reach me on facebook or my e-mail.

  • Glenn Tkachuk

    Were did Mayan dedication offerings in houshold floors come from? For example the digits in finger bowls? Were these from family members that passed away or were they from captives or slaves?

About the Blog

Researchers, conservationists, and others share stories, insights and ideas about Our Changing Planet, Wildlife & Wild Spaces, and The Human Journey. More than 50,000 comments have been added to 10,000 posts. Explore the list alongside to dive deeper into some of the most popular categories of the National Geographic Society’s conversation platform Voices.

Opinions are those of the blogger and/or the blogger’s organization, and not necessarily those of the National Geographic Society. Posters of blogs and comments are required to observe National Geographic’s community rules and other terms of service.

Voices director: David Braun (

Social Media