Hangout in an Ancient Maya Cave

Did you miss our Hangout with underwater archaeologist Guillermo de Anda? Watch it here!

On January 13th, to mark the 125th anniversary of the founding of the National Geographic Society, we gathered together explorers on all 7 continents for a live group video chat via Google+ Hangout.

Now we’re taking you right into the action, as NG Explorer and underwater archaeologist Guillermo de Anda leads us from the jungle into a vast cavern to reveal remnants of ancient Maya civilization. Also joining the conversation will be geo-archaeologist Beverly Goodman, who studies the interaction of people and the sea, and paleontologist Jørn Hurum, who’s uncovered ancient sea monsters and the most complete early primate fossil ever found.

Homun, Mexico – Guillermo de Anda enters cenote San Antonio. The cenotes are considered a very holy place as the entrance to the underworld. (Photo by NGT)

And getting into the cave is only the start of the story. From there, Guillermo’s team-members will suit-up and dive into the waters of hidden cenotes, flooded caves that contain bones and artifacts stretching back thousands of years.

What did ancient people do in these caves? How did they make their art, and what did the caves mean to them? How much of this world remains to be explored?

Join us for the adventure LIVE Friday February 8, at 1pm EST here on this blog post, or on National Geographic on Google+.

Pisté, Mexico – Ropes team work hard under the rain and flood at Cenote Holtun. The team has been trying to find out more about the modern apocalypse by diving to the bottom of the deep and dangerous Cenote Holtun. (Photo by NGT)
Pisté, Mexico – Inside view from cenote Holtun. The openings to the cenote are believed to be thousands of years old, created at the hands of the Maya. (Photo by NGT)


In the meantime, catch up on Guillermo’s greatest discoveries, and post your questions for him below!

Skull in Underwater Cave May Be Earliest Trace of First Americans

Portal to Maya Underworld Found in Mexico?

[List of participants updated 2/7/2013.]


Learn More

Guillermo de Anda Bio

National Geographic on Google+

Watch Previous National Geographic Hangouts

See More Photos From “Maya Underworld” on Nat Geo Channel



Meet the Author
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.