John Lloyd Stephens (1805-1852) was an American politician, explorer and writer who is renowned for his pioneering research into the ancient Maya civilisation of Central America. In 1839 Stephens was appointed a Special Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Central America (modern Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador). First published in 1841, this two-volume work is an account of his travels in 1839 and 1840, visiting and recording ancient Mayan sites. Stephens describes Copan, Palenque and forty-two other ancient sites and includes over fifty illustrations drawn by his travelling companion Frederick Catherwood (1799-1854), a professional architect. Although earlier accounts of Mayan ruins had been published, Stephens' vivid descriptions and Catherwood's meticulous drawings were far more detailed and accurate than previous reports, and kindled Victorian interest in the ancient Maya civilisation. Volume 2 focuses on Palenque, Uxmal and other Mayan sites.
Publisher: Cambridge Library Collection