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Pictures | Thu Dec 20, 2012 | 4:45pm EST

Land of the Maya

<p>The ruins of the Maya temples of the ancient city of Tikal, December 14, 2012. 

REUTERS/Mike McDonald </p>

The ruins of the Maya temples of the ancient city of Tikal, December 14, 2012. REUTERS/Mike McDonald

The ruins of the Maya temples of the ancient city of Tikal, December 14, 2012. REUTERS/Mike McDonald

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<p>Mayan priests and priestesses during a ceremony at the Kaminaljuyu archaeological site in Guatemala City, December 29, 2011.

REUTERS/William Gularte </p>

Mayan priests and priestesses during a ceremony at the Kaminaljuyu archaeological site in Guatemala City, December 29, 2011. REUTERS/William Gularte

Mayan priests and priestesses during a ceremony at the Kaminaljuyu archaeological site in Guatemala City, December 29, 2011. REUTERS/William Gularte

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<p>A Ch'orti' woman and a baby, descendants of the ancient Maya civilization of Copan, in Carrizalon, Honduras, December 18, 2012.

REUTERS/Jorge Cabrera </p>

A Ch'orti' woman and a baby, descendants of the ancient Maya civilization of Copan, in Carrizalon, Honduras, December 18, 2012. REUTERS/Jorge Cabrera

A Ch'orti' woman and a baby, descendants of the ancient Maya civilization of Copan, in Carrizalon, Honduras, December 18, 2012. REUTERS/Jorge Cabrera

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<p>Tourists climb the Maya pyramid of Nohoch Mul at the archaeological site of Coba, Mexico, December 15, 2012. 

REUTERS/Victor Gerardo Ruiz Garcia</p>

Tourists climb the Maya pyramid of Nohoch Mul at the archaeological site of Coba, Mexico, December 15, 2012. REUTERS/Victor Gerardo Ruiz Garcia

Tourists climb the Maya pyramid of Nohoch Mul at the archaeological site of Coba, Mexico, December 15, 2012. REUTERS/Victor Gerardo Ruiz Garcia

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<p>Visitors tour the archaeological site of the Maya civilization of Copan, Honduras, December 19, 2012. 


REUTERS/Jorge Cabrera </p>

Visitors tour the archaeological site of the Maya civilization of Copan, Honduras, December 19, 2012. REUTERS/Jorge Cabrera

Visitors tour the archaeological site of the Maya civilization of Copan, Honduras, December 19, 2012. REUTERS/Jorge Cabrera

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<p>An indigenous Mayan prays during a ceremony to mark the start of the year 5,128 of the Tzolkin Maya calendar at the Iximche archaeological site, February 22, 2012. REUTERS/William Gularte </p>

An indigenous Mayan prays during a ceremony to mark the start of the year 5,128 of the Tzolkin Maya calendar at the Iximche archaeological site, February 22, 2012. REUTERS/William Gularte

An indigenous Mayan prays during a ceremony to mark the start of the year 5,128 of the Tzolkin Maya calendar at the Iximche archaeological site, February 22, 2012. REUTERS/William Gularte

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<p>A Ch'orti' girl, a descendant of the ancient Maya civilization of Copan, stands outside her home in Carrizalon, Honduras, December 18, 2012.
REUTERS/Jorge Cabrera </p>

A Ch'orti' girl, a descendant of the ancient Maya civilization of Copan, stands outside her home in Carrizalon, Honduras, December 18, 2012. REUTERS/Jorge Cabrera

A Ch'orti' girl, a descendant of the ancient Maya civilization of Copan, stands outside her home in Carrizalon, Honduras, December 18, 2012. REUTERS/Jorge Cabrera

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<p>A Mayan woman marches in a protest for indigenous rights in Guatemala City, March 31, 2009. 
 REUTERS/Daniel LeClair </p>

A Mayan woman marches in a protest for indigenous rights in Guatemala City, March 31, 2009. REUTERS/Daniel LeClair

A Mayan woman marches in a protest for indigenous rights in Guatemala City, March 31, 2009. REUTERS/Daniel LeClair

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<p>The Kukulkan pyramid stands at the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza in Mexico's Yucatan peninsula, July 7, 2007.  REUTERS/Victor Ruiz </p>

The Kukulkan pyramid stands at the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza in Mexico's Yucatan peninsula, July 7, 2007. REUTERS/Victor Ruiz

The Kukulkan pyramid stands at the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza in Mexico's Yucatan peninsula, July 7, 2007. REUTERS/Victor Ruiz

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<p>Workers restore artwork inside a Maya structure at the el Mirador archaeological site in the Peten jungle, Guatemala August 25, 2009. 

REUTERS/Daniel LeClair </p>

Workers restore artwork inside a Maya structure at the el Mirador archaeological site in the Peten jungle, Guatemala August 25, 2009. REUTERS/Daniel LeClair

Workers restore artwork inside a Maya structure at the el Mirador archaeological site in the Peten jungle, Guatemala August 25, 2009. REUTERS/Daniel LeClair

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<p>Archaeologist Richard Hanson holds an arrowhead found in the temple known as Tigre inside the el Mirador archaeological site in the Peten jungle, Guatemala, August 25, 2009. 

REUTERS/Daniel LeClair </p>

Archaeologist Richard Hanson holds an arrowhead found in the temple known as Tigre inside the el Mirador archaeological site in the Peten jungle, Guatemala, August 25, 2009. REUTERS/Daniel LeClair

Archaeologist Richard Hanson holds an arrowhead found in the temple known as Tigre inside the el Mirador archaeological site in the Peten jungle, Guatemala, August 25, 2009. REUTERS/Daniel LeClair

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<p>A Maya woman smokes during the Oxlajuj Batz ceremony to celebrate the end of the Maya calendar in the ceremonial center of Kaminal Juyu in Guatemala City, December 12, 2012.

REUTERS/William Gularte </p>

A Maya woman smokes during the Oxlajuj Batz ceremony to celebrate the end of the Maya calendar in the ceremonial center of Kaminal Juyu in Guatemala City, December 12, 2012. REUTERS/William Gularte

A Maya woman smokes during the Oxlajuj Batz ceremony to celebrate the end of the Maya calendar in the ceremonial center of Kaminal Juyu in Guatemala City, December 12, 2012. REUTERS/William Gularte

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<p>Archaeologist Federico Castaneda holds a cup with religious carvings found in the royal tomb of the Mayan Queen Kalomt'e K'abel, wife of the King Wak, K'inich Bahlam II, October 5, 2012. The tomb is located in the archaeological site El Peru in Laguna del Tigre National Park in Peten, north of Guatemala City. REUTERS/Jorge Dan Lopez </p>

Archaeologist Federico Castaneda holds a cup with religious carvings found in the royal tomb of the Mayan Queen Kalomt'e K'abel, wife of the King Wak, K'inich Bahlam II, October 5, 2012. The tomb is located in the archaeological site El Peru in...more

Archaeologist Federico Castaneda holds a cup with religious carvings found in the royal tomb of the Mayan Queen Kalomt'e K'abel, wife of the King Wak, K'inich Bahlam II, October 5, 2012. The tomb is located in the archaeological site El Peru in Laguna del Tigre National Park in Peten, north of Guatemala City. REUTERS/Jorge Dan Lopez

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<p>People of Maya descent are seen in the village of Xul, Mexico, December 16, 2012. 
REUTERS/Victor Gerardo Ruiz Garcia </p>

People of Maya descent are seen in the village of Xul, Mexico, December 16, 2012. REUTERS/Victor Gerardo Ruiz Garcia

People of Maya descent are seen in the village of Xul, Mexico, December 16, 2012. REUTERS/Victor Gerardo Ruiz Garcia

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<p>A view of a Maya temple at the el Mirador archaeological site in the Peten jungle, Guatemala, August 24, 2009. 

REUTERS/Daniel LeClair </p>

A view of a Maya temple at the el Mirador archaeological site in the Peten jungle, Guatemala, August 24, 2009. REUTERS/Daniel LeClair

A view of a Maya temple at the el Mirador archaeological site in the Peten jungle, Guatemala, August 24, 2009. REUTERS/Daniel LeClair

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<p>A Ch'orti' woman, a descendant of the ancient Maya civilization of Copan, sorts beans at her home in Carrizalon, Honduras, December 18, 2012. 

REUTERS/Jorge Cabrera</p>

A Ch'orti' woman, a descendant of the ancient Maya civilization of Copan, sorts beans at her home in Carrizalon, Honduras, December 18, 2012. REUTERS/Jorge Cabrera

A Ch'orti' woman, a descendant of the ancient Maya civilization of Copan, sorts beans at her home in Carrizalon, Honduras, December 18, 2012. REUTERS/Jorge Cabrera

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<p>A tourist walks on Maya ruins at the archaeological site of Coba, Mexico, December 15, 2012. 

REUTERS/Victor Gerardo Ruiz Garcia</p>

A tourist walks on Maya ruins at the archaeological site of Coba, Mexico, December 15, 2012. REUTERS/Victor Gerardo Ruiz Garcia

A tourist walks on Maya ruins at the archaeological site of Coba, Mexico, December 15, 2012. REUTERS/Victor Gerardo Ruiz Garcia

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<p>A Mayan priestess kneels next to a ceremonial fire at the Kaminaljuyu archaeological site in Guatemala City, December 29, 2011.

REUTERS/William Gularte </p>

A Mayan priestess kneels next to a ceremonial fire at the Kaminaljuyu archaeological site in Guatemala City, December 29, 2011. REUTERS/William Gularte

A Mayan priestess kneels next to a ceremonial fire at the Kaminaljuyu archaeological site in Guatemala City, December 29, 2011. REUTERS/William Gularte

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<p>The ruins of the Maya temples of the ancient city of Tikal, Guatemala, December 14, 2012. 

REUTERS/Mike McDonald </p>

The ruins of the Maya temples of the ancient city of Tikal, Guatemala, December 14, 2012. REUTERS/Mike McDonald

The ruins of the Maya temples of the ancient city of Tikal, Guatemala, December 14, 2012. REUTERS/Mike McDonald

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<p>A woman raises her arms to receive energy from the sun at the Mayan pyramid El Castillo, in Chichen Itza, in the southern Mexican state of Yucatan, March 21, 2009. 

REUTERS/Argely Salazar</p>

A woman raises her arms to receive energy from the sun at the Mayan pyramid El Castillo, in Chichen Itza, in the southern Mexican state of Yucatan, March 21, 2009. REUTERS/Argely Salazar

A woman raises her arms to receive energy from the sun at the Mayan pyramid El Castillo, in Chichen Itza, in the southern Mexican state of Yucatan, March 21, 2009. REUTERS/Argely Salazar

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