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  • Newspaper article gives background and description of an exhibit at the San Diego Museum of Man entitled "Path to the Lost Cities: In the Footsteps of the Maya Explorers." The exhibit concerns Central American explorations undertaken in two different centuries: journeys made from 1839 to 1842 by John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwood, who became the first Westerners to discover several lost cities of the Maya culture, and the retracing of those journeys by San Diegoan Payne Johnson during six visits the retired photographer and writer made between 1990 and 1995. The exhibit features comparisons of Maya ruin sketches made by Catherwood versus photographs taken by Johnson of such areas as Palenque and Uxmal in Mexico; Johnson states that the ruins have essentially remained as discovered by Stephens and Catherwood.
  • Some objects from the 19th Century explorations are included in the exhibit; although not mentioned in the article, a few objects from those journeys had been donated to the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History.


  • Johnson, Payne
  • Stephens, John Lloyd 1805-1852
  • Catherwood, Frederick
  • San Diego Museum of Man
  • National Museum of Natural History (U.S.)
  • Path to the Lost Cities: In the Footsteps of the Maya Explorers (1998 San Diego Museum of Man)


Smithsonian Institution History Bibliography


Article contains 3 sets of Mayan ruin pictorial comparatives and a map.

Contained within

The San Diego Union-Tribune (Newspaper)

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


Wednesday, August 26, 1998


  • Photographers
  • Scientific expeditions
  • Archaeology
  • Exhibitions
  • Mayas
  • Indians of Central America


  • Central America
  • Mexico

Physical description

Science in Pictures Section, pgs. E-1 and E-3

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