A lively, eloquent guide, as entertaining today as when it was first published in 1843, Incidents of Travel in Yucatan recounts the explorations and discoveries of best selling travel writer John Lloyd Stephens. Stephens made two trips to the Maya region of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula between 1839 and 1842. During the first, he explored a handful of "lost" Maya cities, as recounted in his book Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas, and Yucatan (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1993). In 1841, accompanied by artist Frederick Catherwood and the young doctor and amateur ornithologist Samuel Cabot, Stephens returned to the Yucatan peninsula and surveyed forty-four previously unknown Maya sites, among them the world-renowned ruins of Chichen Itza, Uxmal, Kabah, and Tulum. Stephens' account of this journey established him as the founder of Maya archaeology and remains a classic of travel literature.
Now published in a new single volume edition, Incidents of Travel in Yucatan captures for the modern reader and traveler the excitement of archaeological exploration and discovery. This new edition focuses on the sites that Stephen documented most thoroughly and includes drawings from the original edition as well as eighty five photographs (including the work of Teobert Maler, Desire Charnay, Augustus Le Plongeon, and Edward H. Thompson) from the 1860s to the present.
"Perhaps the most interesting book of travel ever published."--Edgar Allan Poe "Through Stephens's eyes, readers see Yucatan villages of 150 years ago, when Indians used cacao beans instead of money in their marketplaces; a Catholic/indigenous hybrid funeral that seems no more barbaric than the crude medical treatments rendered by another of Stephens's travel companions, Dr. Cabot, on their Mayan guides. One of the first to acknowledge that indigenous Americans might have built the great American pyramids and temples, not Egyptians, Greeks or one of the lost tribes of Israel, Stephens voiced a rare, nonjudgmental viewpoint in a time when European cultural elitism was the unquestioned norm. Not just a curiosity for archeology buffs or cultural studies types, this is also an informative, intriguing guide for armchair travelers."--Publishers Weekly