The Lost Cities of the Mayas: Religion, Politics, and Revolution in Central America

This lavishly illustrated volume recounts the adventurous life of Frederick Catherwood, the 19th-century English artist who discovered lost Mayan cities in the jungles of Central America and the Yucatan plateau. In 1839 Catherwood and his American companion, John Lloyd Stephans, were the first Westerners to view the immense terraces, fabulous temples, and elaborate palaces that had been inexplicably abandoned ten centuries earlier. Superbly illustrated by Catherwood, Stephen's lively travel diaries recounting their extraordinary archaeological discoveries were published in 1841 and 1843. Using these journals and his own extensive research, the author, Fabio Bourbon, has pieced together Catherwood's fascinating biography, which until now has been shrouded in mystery.Illustrating this handsome, large-format book are more than 200 engravings made from Catherwood's original drawings. Also reproduced is Catherwood's Views of Ancient Monuments in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan -- a rare color portfolio considered to be his best work. Catherwood's other adventures are also described -- his first trips to Europe and Egypt, his later expeditions to Central America, and finally his experiences in California. This intriguing book about an intrepid adventurer/artist will appeal to anyone interested in exploration, architecture, and archaeology.