Richard D. Hansen

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Richard Hansen on 2017

Richard D. Hansen is a distinguished American archaeologist and currently Adjunct Professor of Anthropology at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. He previously has been an Affiliate Research Professor and Senior Scientist at the Institute for Mesoamerican Research in the Department of Anthropology at Idaho State University and an Associate Scientist (Level IV) at the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics at UCLA. Hansen is a specialist on the ancient Maya civilization and also a director of the Mirador Basin Project, which investigates the mainly unexplored territory in the northern Petén Basin of Guatemala.[1][2]


He had worked in the Mesoamerican region and early Maya civilization. In 1989, discoveries by Hansen and his colleagues established the idea that ancient Maya societies had centralized governments far earlier than once supposed, building several massive centers as early as 1000-600 B.C. Hansen also identified data for an extensive collapse of the Preclassic Maya about 150 A.D. The Classic Maya cultural history lasted for another 600 years, ending around 850 A.D., with the collapse of the use of ceremonial centers in what are now parts of Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico. In March 2017, Hansen received the prestigious Order of the Quetzal[3] from Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales and Minister of Culture Jose Luis Chea in a national ceremony in the National Palace of Guatemala. He had previously received (in 2005) the National Order of Cultural Heritage from Guatemalan President Oscar Berger at the National Palace. He has received numerous additional national and international awards for his work in northern Guatemala [4]


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