Daniel Finamore and Stephen D. Houston, THE LONDON TIMES, April 16, 2010

The Yucat&n Peninsula sticks out like a thumb into the Caribbean Sea from the Central American mainland. Ranging from flat and arid in the north to hilly and well-watered in the tropical forests of lowland Chiapas, the Peten and Belize further south, it was and is home to the Maya, creators two millennia ago of one of the most astonishing civilizations of pre-Hispanic America. The adjacent highlands of Guatemala and Chiapas, sloping south to the Pacific shore, were probably the birthplace of the Mayan languages and culture.