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archaeoastronomy in cinema: Apocalypto (released 8 December 2006)

©2006 Touchstone Pictures

©2006 Touchstone Pictures. Mayan pyramid at Edzna (House of Grimaces) Campeche, western shore of
Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. For more images of this site, see anthroarcheart.org


©2006 Touchstone Pictures
Mel Gibson's production company, Icon Distribution, Inc., describes Apocalypto as "a heart-stopping mythic action-adventure set against the turbulent end-times of the once-great Mayan civilzation." Starring Rudy Youngblood, a Comanche and Cree Indian from Texas, as hero Jaguar Paw, and Mexican Dalia Hernandez as his wife Seven, Apocalypto depicts human sacrifice and the power of celestial events over daily life in what was the most advanced civilization in the western hemisphere prior to the New World's colonization by Europeans more than five centuries later. Spoken dialogue is entirely Mayan Yucatec, a modern derivative of the ancient Maya dialect. The filming location is on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, not regarded as the true Mayan homeland by most archaeologists. And, some are critical of the film for suggesting the Maya practiced mass human sacrifice. The Aztec are believed to have done so, but most scholars say the Maya limited their sacrifices to chosen members, one at a time. See our updates page for more on the controversies and some news links. Watch online trailer.
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TransVision, the host of this web site, believes the contextual usage of the images shown above from the teaser/trailer for the copyrighted motion picture "Apocalypto" qualifies as Fair Use under United States copyright law. These images are reproduced as web resolution screenshots for critical commentary in the depiction of archaeoastronomy within dramatic film. TransVision, headquartered in metropolitan Denver, Colorado, USA, is not affiliated with Touchstone Pictures, Icon Distribution, Inc., and/or director Mel Gibson, but fully respects their copyrighted intellectual and creative property. We have limited our usage to only three pertinent images of substantially lower resolution than the original film to illustrate a recurring thematic element found occasionally in popular cinema across several decades. Other indiscriminate usage of these images may constitute copyright infringement.