Frederick Catherwood’s Cities of the Maya


Catherwood 1844:Plate XXIV, "Temple, at Tuloom." Note the man with the hat, yellow coat and measuring tape. This may be Catherwood`s self portrait, and if so, the only image we have of him today. The explorers measure and record the temple area while local assistants labour to clear the site area.

Frederick Catherwood, English architect, illustrator, and adventurer, accompanied John Lloyd Stephens across Central America to explore and document Maya ruins (1839-1840 and 1841-1842). In this exhibit we revisit some of his works and compare them to images from our archives. Note the site changes over time from excavations, reconstruction, and tourism; and see the influence of Catherwood’s ideas and methodologies in modern archaeology.