December 8, 2006—Mel Gibson's new film Apocalypto,
released in theaters today, recounts the mysterious decline of the
Maya Empire through the eyes of an unfortunate youth selected for
mass ritual sacrifice.
But experts have pieced together much of what the Maya were like at the height of their influence—and anthropologists say it's a far cry from the depiction in the film. (Related photos: what the Maya Empire looked like.)
Watch clips from Apocalypto—then hear Maya expert Zachary Hruby explain how the movie's grisly take on Maya human sacrifice stretches far beyond the truth.