Ian Graham

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This article is about the British Mayanist researcher and epigrapher. For other uses, see Ian Graham (disambiguation).

Ian James Alastair Graham (born 12 November 1923)[1] is a British Mayanist whose explorations of Maya ruins in the jungles of Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize helped establish the Corpus of Maya Hieroglyphic Inscriptions published by the Peabody Museum of Harvard University. Among his related works is a biography of an early predecessor, the 19th-century British Maya explorer Alfred Maudslay.

Early life and studies[edit]

Ian Graham was born 1923 in Campsea Ashe,[2] a village in the East Anglia county of Suffolk, England.[3] His father was Lord Alastair Graham, the youngest son of Douglas Graham, 5th Duke of Montrose. He went to Trinity College, Oxford in 1942 as an undergraduate in physics, but his studies were put on hold the following year when he left to enlist in the Royal Navy in which he served for the remainder of World War II. After the war his studies were resumed at Trinity College, Dublin from where he completed his bachelor's degree in 1951.[4] He then took up a three year research position, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, in the small Scientific Department of The National Gallery in London, the objective of which was to study the effects of solvents on paint films. On completing this in 1954 he took up photography semi-professionally and embarked on extensive travels. These activities led eventually to two books illustrated with his photographs. A visit to Mexico in 1958 initiated his long involvement with Mayan archaeology.

Published works[edit]

  • Graham, Ian, Alfred Maudslay and the Maya: A Biography. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press 2003.
  • Graham, Ian, The Road to Ruins. University of New Mexico Press 2010.
  • Wheeler, Sir Mortimer and Graham, Ian, Spledours of the East, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London 1965. Re-issued as Splendors of the East. Temples, Tombs, Palaces and Fortresses of Asia, Spring Books 1970.
  • Nicolson, Nigel and Graham, Ian, Great Houses, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London 1968. Also as Great Houses of the Western World, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York 1968.


  1. ^ date and full name information sourced from Library of Congress Authorities data, via corresponding WorldCat Identities linked authority file (LAF) .
  2. ^ Alternative spelling: Campsey Ash
  3. ^ Dorfman & Slayman 1997: 50
  4. ^ Dorfman & Slayman 1997: 50–51


Dorfman, John; Andrew L. Slayman (Summer 1997). "Maverick Mayanist" (online abstract). Archaeology (New York: Archaeological Institute of America) 50 (5): 50–60. ISSN 0003-8113. OCLC 86456041. 
Museo Popol Vuh (n.d.). "Sr. Ian Graham: Orden del Pop 2001". Orden del Pop. Guatemala City: Museo Popol Vuh, Universidad Francisco Marroquín. Retrieved 14 December 2009. 

External links[edit]