5 Ways in Which I Identify with Indiana Jones

In my career I have been constantly compared to Indiana Jones — most notably by PBS, The LA Times, and New Scientist. I’ve always chuckled at this comparison, but I do understand why and how this is an unending theme of my work. In colloquial terms: my job is to dig up lost cities in the thick of the jungle while negotiating with armed and dangerous drug lords. This is what I do for a living, plain and simple.

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Exploring the Royal Palace – VIDEO

Royal Palace

Due to its strategic economic position as the transfer point between the ancient highland world and the lowland cities, Cancuen became incredibly rich with the largest workshops of the Maya in both jade and obsidian, and one of the largest Classic Maya royal palaces. Follow along while I continue our tour through Cancuen!

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Cave Excavation and the Popol Vuh

Cave Excavation and the Popol Vuh

Here we are, as deep as I’m willing to go (for fear of getting completely lost) into the caves of the Raxruja Viejo project – a deep cave excavation in collaboration with, and under the direction of, my co-director Chloe Andrieu (CNRS) and assistant co-director, Julien Sion (Sorbonne).

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Deep Cave Subproject Exploration – Video

In my last blog post, Colossal Cave Excavation, I shared a short video of my supervisory visit to the cave subproject, the Raxruja Viejo project, in collaboration with, and under the direction of, my co-director Chloe Andrieu (CNRS) and assistant co-director, Julien Sion (Sorbonne).

Are you ready for more? Below you can see Julien Sion and I entering the cave to give a tour at the bottom of the main entrance. Listen closely as we share updates about our ongoing progress.

In the next video, Don Amilcar takes us deep into the cave subproject to show off the grand, natural wonders as I discuss Mayan rituals practiced in this very location. As you can see, even with many flashlights, it’s difficult to find your way to the underground river below. Can you imagine the ancient Maya doing this journey in almost complete darkness? 

This cave acted not only as a ritual space, but also as a gigantic tomb and cathedral. For more, follow along below. 

 

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What Doomed the Maya? Maybe Warfare Run Amok

Arthur excavating the famous tomb of the warrior king, Itzamanaaj K’awiil (aka Ruler 2). 1991. Deep within one of the temples of his capitol city, Dos Pilas.

 

Written By: JOHN NOBLE WILFORD

Source: The New York Times

NASHVILLE— After hacking through tropical jungles in Central America and turning up stones of magnificent temples and tombs, archeologists over the years built up in their minds an idealized image of the Maya people who once flourished where now only wilderness thrives.

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