In-depth Visual Documentation

This web publication honors the remarkable achievements of the archaeologists of the Yucatán.

Posted 29th March 2008.
Any significant additions will be dated.

Charles S. Rhyne
Professor Emeritus, Art History
Reed College

The main purpose of this web site is to make available more comprehensive visual documentation of these world famous Maya cities than has previously been available in print or on the web. I hope this will help viewers to explore these sites on their own, perhaps even to decide that this is one place on earth they absolutely must visit in person.

At Uxmal, Kabah, Sayil, and Labná, each major building is unique, many composed with exceptional refinement, the buildings and courts richly juxtaposed, creating distinctive urban spaces. Some buildings display a profusion of stone ornament, requiring hundreds of high quality photographs to see the complexity and beauty of these sites.

This web site includes 19th and early 20th century drawings, prints, and photographs, showing the appearance of these four cities before the extensive restoration campaigns of the twentieth century, and allowing us to see the variety of ways in which early explorers and scholars recorded these newly discovered wonders. In addition, there are over 1000 recent photographs, showing previously unpublished architectural and sculptural details, interior spaces, paint remains, current restoration, and approaches to the public presentation of these heavily visited sites.

Two or more photographs can be opened at the same time, allowing comparison of buildings before and after restoration, or different types of arches, and allowing one to juxtapose multiple views of the same sculpture, or to set photographs of complex mosaic facades side-by-side with diagrams of them.

There is an extensive annotated bibliography.