A National Geographic expert will accompany each departure to share insights and a rare behind-the-scenes perspective. Listed below are some of the experts and the departure date(s) they will be joining.
Boston University archaeologist William Saturno has received numerous National Geographic grants to support his excavation of ancient Maya murals and artifacts. His breakthrough discovery at San Bartolo of the oldest intact Maya murals yet found became the focus of the January 2006 National Geographic magazine article “The Dawn of Maya Gods and Kings," and the June 2012 issue described his recent unearthing of murals at Xultún. Bill has also served as Field Director of the Río Amarillo Archaeological Project in Western Honduras, examining the relationships of Maya cities around Copán.
Archaeologist and National Geographic grantee Francisco Estrada-Belli pioneered the use of satellite-based technology to locate archaeological sites. His recent research in northern Guatemala has resulted in the discovery of several sites including the lost city of Cival, one of the earliest centers in the Maya lowlands. He currently teaches archaeology and Geographic Information Systems at Tulane University, and previously taught archaeology and remote sensing at Harvard University and Vanderbilt University. He is also a member of the Facultad de Humanidades of Universidad San Carlos Guatemala, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, and a Research Associate of the American Museum of Natural History. In 2010 he founded the Maya Archaeology Initiative, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving Maya heritage through archaeology and education in Guatemalan schools. He continues to conduct yearly mapping and excavation campaigns in northern Guatemala.
Francisco will join each departure in Antigua on Day 6 for a behind-the-scenes tour of his archaeology lab, followed by a talk about his National Geographic–sponsored finds in Guatemala, including the discovery of the lost Maya city of Cival.