Archaeology Under the Canopy
Imagine how Frederick Catherwood and John Lloyd Stephens must have felt upon seeing the vine-wrapped, overgrown, abandoned cities and temples of the ancient Maya in their expeditions of the 1830s and '40s.
El Pilar, discovered only 25 years ago on the border of Guatemala and Belize offers that same experience: monuments still embraced by the forest, showcasing the foliage as much as the ancient Maya city itself.
We call the style of presentation “Archeology Under the Canopy,” where ancient monuments are protected by the natural habitat from damaging wind, rain, and acid-producing bacteria.
Partial exposures offer glimpses of the monumental architecture, while a fully excavated house site, Tzunu’un, evokes everyday Maya life.
Web Sites on Catherwood
Ford, A. and M. Havrda (2006). "Archaeology Under the Canopy: Imagining the Maya of El Pilar." Tourism, Consumption and Representation: Narratives of Place and Self. K. Meethan, A. Anderson and S. Miles. Wallingford, UK CAB International: 67-93.
Larios, R. and A. Ford (1999). "Huellas Antiguas en la Selva Maya Contemporanea: Patrones de Asentamiento y medio ambiente en El Pilar." XIII Simposio de Investigaciones Arqueologicas en Guatemala. Guatemala, Museo Nacional de Arqueologia y Etnologia: 385-407.