An Important Reminder About Maya Archaeology

 

I recently watched The History Channel’s special “The Maya: Death Empire” in which Dr. Stephen Houston of Brown University was quoted very extensively throughout. One notable quote is found near the very end of the program:

“Maya archaeology is just beginning. There are innumerable cities, innumerable temples, innumerable settlements that we have not been able to study and excavate.”

Clearly, the deadline for discovering proof for the Book of Mormon has not passed.

After looking into his CV it appears that Dr. Houston taught for a number of years at BYU. According to LDS Mesoamerican archaeologist Brant Gardner, Dr. Houston is not LDS despite his history at BYU. When asked about Houston’s remarks, Gardner responded:

“I do not know him personally, but I do know that he is very well respected, and not LDS. He is one of Mark Wright’s advisors. As for the point that there is much that is yet to be discovered, I doubt that point would be in debate among any Mesoamericanist.”

21 July 2008 on MADB

Here is another quote, this time from Michael Coe:

“Nonetheless, our knowledge of ancient Maya thought must represent a tiny fraction of the whole picture. Much is lost, and images on painted ceramics imply how much has disappeared….Even more heartbreaking is the loss of thousands of books, in which the full extent of learning and ritual was recorded…Only four codices have survived to modern times (imagine if all that posterity knew of ourselves were to be based upon three prayer books and Pilgrim’s Progress).”
Michael D. Coe, The Maya, London: Thames and Hudson, 9th edition, 2015, Kindle file, location 3591 of 7733.

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7 comments on “An Important Reminder About Maya Archaeology

  1. Brant Gardner says:

    A technical note on your title. Mayan is reserved for the language. The people are Maya, therefore it is Maya archaeology, Mayan linguistics.

  2. James says:

    Thanks! I’ll make the change.

  3. her amun says:

    “[O]ur knowledge of ancient Maya thought must represent only a tiny fraction of the whole picture, for of the thousands of books in which the full extent of their learning and ritual was recorded, only four have survived to modern times (as though all that posterity knew of ourselves were to be based upon three prayer books and ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’).”

    (Michael D. Coe, The Maya, London: Thames and Hudson, 4th ed., 1987, p. 161.)

  4. James says:

    Great quote her amun, thanks alot. I’m going to move it into the main article!

  5. Tony says:

    Wow, I didn’t know that about Maya vs. Mayan. Interesting. For some more information about the ancient Maya, check out this web-book: http://mayans.particlebook.com

  6. […] evidence for the Lord of the Rings books than The Book of Mormon. Today I found a website called Lehi’s Library. It is here where the Swedish expression comes in. I quote again: “I recently watched The History […]

  7. Mike Bennion says:

    Check out this link:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20091030/sc_nm/us_guatemala_archaeology

    Divers Probe Mayan ruins submerged in Guatemala lake.

    Article says ruins may have been submerged by a volcano or earthquake about 250 AD.

    Possible 3rd Nephi 8 corellation.

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