A popular question is, “how did the Maya actually engineer, design, and construct their impressive pyramids?”

This is precisely what Nicholas worked on, and now it’s all available in a PowerPoint presentation. Actually he draws most of it live, on a blackboard or whiteboard so you can see everything in detail.

Dr Hellmuth was studying architecture at Harvard when he began his investigations of Maya architecture. His first fieldwork was 12 months excavating pyramids, palaces, and temples at Tikal, Peten, Guatemala (working for the University of Pennsylvania project at Tikal).

Temples and Pyramid construction Lecture programs on Mayan architecture, pyramids, temples, palaces, Guatemala, Mexico, Belize, Honduras Maya Archaeology
Temples and Pyramid construction Lecture programs on Mayan architecture, pyramids, temples, palaces, Guatemala, Mexico, Belize, Honduras Maya Archaeology

Up show the proces of Maya Pyramid construction, this picture was taken out of book:
"Tikal Copan Travel Guide" by Nicholas M. Hellmuth.

Temples and Pyramid construction Lecture programs on Mayan architecture, pyramids, temples, palaces, Guatemala, Mexico, Belize, Honduras Maya Archaeology

Tomb of the Jade Jaguar: Royal Burial of the Ruler of Tikal, Guatemala

This educational lecture presents Nicholas Hellmuth’s first excavations, when, at the age of 19, while a student at Harvard, he discovered the Tomb of the Jade Jaguar under Str. 5D-73, next to Temple II at Tikal.

This lecture shows how the tomb was constructed in the 8th-9th century, and how the pyramid was built above it.

Jade Jaguar Tomb Tikal Str. 5D-73 Lecture programs on Mayan architecture, pyramids, temples, palaces, Guatemala, Mexico, Belize, Honduras Maya Archaeology

Tomb of the Jade Jaguar, Str. 5D-73 discovered by Nicholas Hellmuth,
Tikal Guatemala

Ballgames and Ballcourt Architecture of the Maya, Aztec, Mixtec, and Zapotec.

Dr Hellmuth has worked on ballgame (sports) and ballcourts (the enclosures where these unique games were played. This is the first lecture that reveals the actual designs of these ancient “stadiums” and documents that the main area of activity was not only the central “court” area itself but was actually the back, ends, and outsides of the ballcourt.

This popular lecture also covers the art and iconography of the sacred ballgame, and reveals the differences between yokes, ball deflectors, hachas, ballgame handstones, and other specialized gear.

Naturally this PowerPoint presentation discusses the question faced by all visitors to the ballcourt at Chichen Itza, Tikal, Copan, Palenque and other Maya sites: was the winner sacrificed because it was an honor to die in this manner? Or was the loser decapitated at the end of the game? Whose head was used as the ball in the next game? Plenty of documentary evidence is available from the 5th-9th centuries to answer this question clearly.

The ritual ballgames of the Maya and neighboring civilizations are something that every visitor to Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and Belize experiences. But there is a tremendous difference in popular misconceptions and archaeological facts. This presentation is by an archaeologist who has worked on the ballgames for decades. Indeed he has been on PBS documentary television programs about the ballgames of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica.

Ballcourt, ballgame, ulama, Tikal Guatemala Lecture programs on Mayan architecture, pyramids, temples, palaces, Guatemala, Mexico, Belize, Honduras Maya Archaeology
Ballcourt beside Temple I,Great Jaguar, Tikal, Guatemala.
Ballcourt, ballgame, ulama, Cancuen Guatemala Lecture programs on Mayan architecture, pyramids, temples, palaces, Guatemala, Mexico, Belize, Honduras Maya Archaeology
Cancuen Ballcourt, Guatemala.

Regional differences in Mayan architecture: Puuc, Rio Bec, Chenes.

The FLAAR Photo Archive has one of the largest collection of photographs of Puuc, Rio Bec, and Chenes architecture in the US or Europe. With Hasselblad and Leica cameras as well as adequate lighting for interior shots it was possible during years of field work to build up a photographic archive that rivals that of the Carnegie Institution of Washington photographic archive on these subjects.

FLAAR dedicated many years to studying, and photographing, throughout the Puuc, Rio Bec, and Chenes areas during the 1970’s-1990’s. For example, Dr Hellmuth was in charge of the thorough photography of the entire ruined Maya city of Santa Rosa Xtampak, as but one example.

FLAAR is currently seeking funding to scan and make these photographs available since many of these buildings have deteriorated in recent years and in some cases the FLAAR photographs are the only record that exists.

Puuc style Lecture programs on Mayan architecture, pyramids, temples, palaces, Guatemala, Mexico, Belize, Honduras Maya Archaeology
Puuc style, Labna Arch, Mexico
Chenes style Lecture programs on Mayan architecture, pyramids, temples, palaces, Guatemala, Mexico, Belize, Honduras Maya Archaeology
Chenes style Lecture programs on Mayan architecture, pyramids, temples, palaces, Guatemala, Mexico, Belize, Honduras Maya Archaeology
Chenes style, Mexico.

Banner lectures coming soon Nicholas Hellmuth Maya Archaeology

 

First posted February 2008.

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