George Stuart and Mayan Archaeology

George E. Stuart is a member of the Board of Trustees at Warren Wilson College.He is the president of the Center for Maya Research, a not-for profit organization which he founded in 1984 to promote and direct research related to archaeology, art, and culture of the Maya. He is also editor of the Center's journal, Research Reports on Ancient Maya Writing, a series devoted to current progress in the decipherment of the hieroglyphic writing system used by the Maya before the Spanish conquests of the sixteenth century.

Stuart has a BS is geology from the University of South Carolina (1956), an MA and PhD in anthropology, respectively, from George Washington University (1970) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1975).
Between 1952 and 1958, Stuart participated in field excavations at the archaeological sites of Mulberry, South Carolina, and Etowah, Georgia. Since 1958, he has worked at various Maya ruins in Yucatan and Quintina Roo, Mexico, including Dzibilchaltun, Balankanche, and Coba, where he helped supervise the mapping of the ruins. He has taught at George Washington University, Catholic University, and Duke University. Stuart began working at National Geographic Society in 1960, where he wrote numerous National Geographic magazine books, articles, and scholarly journal papers. As a cartographer and designer, he also conceived and helped design many of the Society's special-purpose supplement maps, including Archaeology of Middle America: Land of the Feathered Serpent (1968); North America Before Columbus (1972), and Land of the Maya (1989).

Stuart recently retired after 38 years at the Society. There he was Vice President for Research and Exploration; Chairman of the Society's Committee for Research and Exploration; and Senior Assistant Editor for the magazine. He continues as a member of the Committee.

Staurt has lectured on Mesoamerican and Maya archaeology, hieroglyphic writing, art history, and North American archaeology. His main interests lie in the history of the investigation of research dealing with the ancienct Maya, and in the archaeology of the North American Southeast. In 1993, his general book on Maya culture, Lost Kingdoms of the Maya,written with his late wife Gene S. Stuart, was published. His latest projects include recent article of the ancient Maya city of Copan, Honduras (published in the December 1997 National Geographic); being the gueat curator of the exhibition Maya: Portraits of People, on view in 1998 and early 1999 at the Frank McClung Museum at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; and was also a guest curator at the Explorers Hall of the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C.

George Stuart and his wife Melinda, a museums and cultural history consultant, live in Barnardsville, North Carolina, where they are building a study center devoted to American archaeology and cultural geography of the Western North Carolina area of the Southern Appalachians. They have also, in conjunction with David Moore's Archaeology of World Culture's class at WWC, been working on the construction of a megalith circle on their land (see links to Megalith Saturday in the box on the right). We are continually grateful to the Stuarts for their support and interest in our work at WWC.

  In the Swannanoa Valley of the Blue Ridge Mountains