John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwood

Pioneers of Mayan Archaeology


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About the Book

Daring exploits and astounding achievements were common for two 19th century adventurers—John Lloyd Stephens, a New York lawyer and best-selling author, and Frederick Catherwood, a London architect and renowned topographical artist. Separately, these explorers covered much of the same ground, touring Italy, Greece, Egypt, Arabia, and the Holy Land in search of ancient sites that were of historical significance. Jointly, these adventurers endured many life-threatening obstacles in a determined effort that led to the discovery of nearly fifty forgotten Mayan cities buried deep in the jungles of Central America and Mexico. The vivid accounts penned by Stephens coupled with the magnificent drawings of ruins by Catherwood brought back to life a vanished civilization that both considered equal to the greatness of ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. The story concludes with the premature and tragic deaths of the two.

About the Author(s)

After a long career in the banking industry, Peter O. Koch now runs a small online business. The author of several books, his research interests include American Indian cultures and the New World expeditions of the Spaniards. He lives in Bradenton, Florida.

Bibliographic Details

Peter O. Koch
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 301
Bibliographic Info: 13 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7107-2
eISBN: 978-0-7864-9274-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

 1. Career Choices 9

 2. A Budding Artist 18

 3. Travels in Europe 25

 4. Egypt and Beyond 31

 5. Incidents of Travel in Egypt 43

 6. Incidents of Travel in Arabia Petraea and the Holy Land 59

 7. The Forging of a Lasting Friendship 74

 8. On the Trail of the Maya 85

 9. The Journey to Belize 102

10. A Difficult Start 109

11. Treading Upon New Ground 119

12. A Less Rewarding Search 131

13. A Remarkable Discovery 151

14. The Last Leg 172

15. Another Story to Tell 179

16. Back to Yucatan 188

17. Newly Found Cities 204

18. Coming Full Circle 225

19. Another Tale to Be Told 241

20. A New Era of Transportation 251

21. Together Again 256

22. The Debt That All Men Pay 262

23. Mr. Catherwood Also Is Missing 270

Chapter Notes 275

Bibliography 283

Index 285

Book Reviews & Awards

“Koch follows the travels and explorations of John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwood who were among the most famous men of their era for their important discoveries”—Reference & Research Book News.