Dr Nicholas Hellmuth
Nicholas Hellmuth has been photographing Maya ruins since he traveled to the Maya site of Palenque in Mexico in 1961. In 1965 he discovered the 1200 year old Tomb of the Jade Jaguar at Tikal. He graduated from Harvard cum laude with a thesis filled with his photographs of the burial crypt and royal offerings at Tikal.
In 1969 he received a MA degree in anthropology from Brown University with a thesis on the art of the Teotihuacan empire of Mexico and its influence on Maya art of Guatemala and Honduras. This same year he formed the Foundation for Latin American Anthropological Research (FLAAR) as a tax exempt, non-profit research and educational institute to initiate a multi-year project to map the Classic period ruins of Yaxha, Peten, Guatemala. Dr Hellmuth has been the Director of FLAAR for over five decades and for FLAAR Mesoamérica since 2006.
In 1986 he finished his Ph.D. in art history at Karl-Franzens Universitaet, Graz, Austria, on the iconography of Early Classic Maya Surface of the Underwaterworld gods of Guatemala. Still today he and the FLAAR team are studying crocodiles, water lilies, waterbirds and more… all part of Maya cosmology.