Dr. Christopher Powell
"Christopher Powell, 42, an archeologist sitting atop Pacal's tomb at sunrise this solstice morning, said the [Maya time] accuracy came from '1,000 years of sky-watching and record-keeping to make the most sophisticated astronomical system of any ancient culture.'"
-- NY Times Dec. 23, 2002 "Hailing the Solstice and Telling Time, Mayan Style"
Christopher Powell, PhD.
Archaeologist Dr. Christopher Powell has over 20 years experience conducting, supervising and directing excavations at the Pre-Columbian ceremonial centers of Cerros in Belize, Copan in Honduras, and Palenque in Chiapas Mexico. He has also conducted anthropological investigations in Yucatan, Honduras, Southern Mexico, and the Highlands of Guatemala.
From 1993 to 1996 he supervised tunnel excavations for the University of Pennsylvania Museum’s Early Acropolis Project at Copan, where he personally excavated and documented the founding tombs discovered there (featured in National Geographic Magazine, December 1997).
From 1996 to 2000 he directed excavations for the Projecto Grupo de las Cruces at Palenque including the excavation and restoration of Temple XIV where some of the most important finds in the last fifty years were discovered (marvelously preserved carved stone tablets, long and complete hieroglyphic texts, and modeled and painted stuccos). He also directed excavations at Temple XX where a royal tomb with murals painted on it’s walls, a polished stone door and rich in grave goods (jade and ceramic vessels etc.) was discovered at a depth of nearly five meters below the temple floor.
In 2001 he directed excavation and restoration efforts for the Instituto National de Anthropologic y Historian, also at Palenque in the Temple of the Inscriptions, Temples XII, Ixia, XIII, and the Temple of the Sun.
As part of his duties during these excavations, Dr. Powell also conducted special tours for Professors, students and graduate students, Presidents and ex presidents (most recently Mexican President Fox and British Prime Minister Tony Blair), Ambassadors, Senators, Governors and other Dignitaries.
Dr. Powell received his undergraduate training at the University of Arizona at Tucson, and his graduate training at the University of Texas at Austin under the direction of the late Dr Linda Schele. His masters thesis, “A New View on Maya Astronomy” investigated the deep underlying mathematical structure of Maya astronomical calculations.
His PhD. Thesis “The Shapes of Sacred Space: A Proposed System of Geometry Used to Lay Out and Design Maya Art and Architecture and Some Implications Concerning Maya Cosmology" presents, for the first time, the fundamental characteristics of a sophisticated system of geometry and proportion incorporated into the design of Maya art and architecture. He has published numerous professional papers and presented at many scholarly conferences on these and other subjects. He is also mentioned for his work in "The Code of Kings: The Language of Seven Sacred Maya Temples and Tombs" by Linda Schele, Peter Mathews, Justin Kerr (Photographer), MacDuff Everton (Photographer).