Ray T. Matheny is a professor of anthropology at Brigham Young University (BYU).
Matheny was in the United States Air Force during World War II and spent some of this time as a prisoner of war of the Germans. After the war he was a mechanic for Western Air Lines and then joined the military again to serve in the Korean War. By the time he began his studies at BYU he was a 32-year-old freshman with a wife and four children.
He earned his BA degree at Brigham Young University in 1960 and a PhD degree in anthropology from the University of Oregon in 1968. He has been involved in many archaeological expeditions to Mayan cities. He has been closely connected with the New World Archaeology Foundation.
Matheny has also been involved in archaeological studies of the Southwestern United States, Utah, and Bronze Age Israel. He has also edited a volume on the rock art of the inter-mountain region of the United States.