Richard D. Hansen, Ph.D.

Dr. Richard D. Hansen is a specialist on the early Maya and is the Director of the Mirador Basin Project in northern Guatemala. He is currently Affiliate Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Idaho State University. He is the founder and president of the Foundation for Anthropological Research and Environmental Studies (FARES), a non-profit scientific research institution, based in Idaho. He graduated with a Ph.D. in Archaeology from UCLA in January 1992. He previously held a double major B.S. degree in Spanish and Archaeology from Brigham Young University in 1978, and a M.S. degree in Anthropology in 1984. While a Ph.D. student at UCLA, he was selected by the U.S. Department of Education as a National Graduate Fellow and a Jacob Javits Fellow from all college and university students throughout the nation in the arts, humanities, and social sciences for five years. He was named the UCLA Distinguished Scholar in 1988, a Fulbright Scholar in 1990, the UCLA Outstanding Graduate Student in 1991, and the UCLA Chancellor's Marshall in 1992. He was awarded the National Order of the Cultural Patrimony of Guatemala by Guatemalan President Oscar Berger in the National Palace of Guatemala in December 2005. He has published 83 papers and book chapters in scientific and popular publications and has presented more than 168 professional papers in scientific symposia throughout the world. He has conducted and/or directed archaeological research in Israel, the U.S. Great Basin, the U.S. Southwest, and Central America. Some of his most recent publications include:

Hansen, Richard D., Beatriz Balcarcel, Edgar Suyuc, Hector E. Mejia, Enrique Hernandez, Gendry Valle, Stanley P. Guenter, and Shannon Novak

Investigaciones arqueológicas en el sitio Tintal, Peten. In XIX Simposio de Investigaciones Arqueológicas en Guatemala, edited by Juan Pedro Laporte, Barbara Arroyo, Hector E. Mejia, pp. 683-694. Ministerio de Cultura y Deportes, Instituto de Antropología e Historia, Asociación Tikal, Fundación Arqueológica del Nuevo Mundo.

Wahl, David, Roger Byrne, Thomas Schreiner, Richard Hansen
2006 Holocene vegetation change in the northern Peten and its implications for Maya prehistory. Quaternary Research, 65:380-389. University of Washington. (; Hansen, Richard D.

Perspectives on Olmec-Maya Interaction in the Middle Formative Period. In New Perspectives on Formative Mesoamerican Cultures, edited by T.G. Powis, pp. 51-72 BAR International Series 1377, Oxford, England.

2004 El Mirador, Guatemala: El Apogeo del Preclásico en el Área Maya. In Arqueología Mexicana, Vol. XI, No. 66, pp. 28-33. Hansen, Richard D., and Stanley P. Guenter 2005 Early Social Complexity and Kingship in the Mirador Basin. In Lords of Creation: The Origins of Sacred Maya Kingship, edited by Virginia M. Fields and Dorie Reents-Budet, pp. 60-61. Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Scala Publishers,.

Suyuc, Edgar and Richard D. Hansen
2003 Significado de la Cuenca Mirador. Arqueología Guatemalteca, Year (Año) 1, No. 1, pp. 33-41.

Velásquez, Juan Luis, Richard D. Hansen, and Beatriz Balcárcel
2003 Una Revisión al Protoclásico de la Cuenca Mirador. In XVI Simposio de Investigaciones Arqueológicas en Guatemala, 2002, edited by J.P. Laporte, B. Arroyo, H.L. Escobedo, H. E Mejía, pp. 585-597. Museo Nacional de Arqueología y Etnología, Ministerio de Cultura y Deportes, Instituto de Antropología e Historia, Asociación Tikal.

Hansen, Richard D., Steven Bozarth, John Jacob, David Wahl, and Thomas Schreiner 2002 Climatic and Environmental Variability in the Rise of Maya Civilization: A Preliminary Perspective from Northern Peten. Ancient Mesoamerica, 13 ( 2002): 273-295. Cambridge University Press.

Clark, John E., and Richard D. Hansen
2001 The Architecture of Early Kingship and the Origins of the Mesoamerican Royal Court. The Royal Courts of the Ancient Maya , Vol 2: Data and Case Studies, edited by Takeshi Inomata and Stephen D. Houston, pp. 1-45. Westview Press, Boulder, Colorado. Hansen, Richard D.

2001a Marvels of the Ancient Maya, Guatemala: The Past Engages the Future. Archaeology, September/October 2001, pp. 51-58.

2001b The First Cities- The Beginnings of Urbanization and State Formation in the Maya Lowlands. In Maya: Divine Kings of the Rain Forest, edited by Nikolai Grube, pp. 50-65. Konemann Press, Verlag, Germany.

2000 Ideología y Arquitectura: Poder y Dinámicas Culturales de los Mayas del Período Preclásico en las Tierras Bajas. Arquitectura e ideología de los antiguos mayas: Memoria de la Segunda Mesa Redonda de Palenque, edited by Silvia Trejo, pp. 73-108. Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Consejo Nacional Cultura y Artes. Mexico.

Continuity and Disjunction: The Preclassic Antecedents of Classic Architecture. Function and Meaning in Classic Maya Architecture, edited by S. Houston, pp. 49-122. Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C.

Dr. Hansen has conducted research in the remote rainforests of northern Guatemala since 1978 and is the director of the Mirador Basin Project- (formerly known as RAINPEG)which is a long-term, multi-disciplinary investigation of a vast unexplored area of the northern Peten. This on-going project represents one of the most comprehensive scientific studies of the ancient Maya in Guatemala, and currently involves scholars from 36 universities and research institutions from throughout the world. As a project, his team has currently published 192 papers and books. Hansen’s studies have identified some of the largest and earliest ancient cities in Central America, and his work has been an important contribution to the developmental history of Maya civilization. His work has recently been featured in film documentaries on the Learning Channel, the Discovery Channel, ABC's 20/20, 60 Minutes Australia, ABC’s Good Morning America, ABC’s Primetime Live, CNN Global Challenges, The History Channel, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) of London, and a National Geographic special entitled Dawn of the Maya. He was a consultant for CBS Survivor: Guatemala, and was a consultant for Icon Productions’ Apocalypto, a major motion picture about the Maya released December 8, 2006 ( He is currently involved in the investigation and conservation of a preserve system in northern Guatemala with the government of Guatemala, the U.S. Department of the Interior, Global Heritage Fund, Foundation for Free Expression, the Fundación Carlos F. Novella. Cementos Progreso of Guatemala, Fundación del Patrimonio Cultural y Natural Maya (PACUNAM), The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation, the Townshend Foundation, Paul Mitchell Systems, Friends of the Natural and Cultural Patrimony of Guatemala (APANAC), the Guatemalan Institute of Tourism (INGUAT), the Institute of Anthropology and History of Guatemala (IDAEH), the Ministry of Culture and Sports, and the National Council of Protected Areas (CONAP). He and his wife, Jody, live with their children in Idaho.