Professor Edwin Barnhart, Ph.D.

Professor Edwin Barnhart
  • Maya Exploration Center
  • University of Texas, Austin
In my own experience as an explorer, it’s almost always the case that the locals knew where lost places were all along. The discoverer is just the first person to ask the right questions.

Dr. Edwin Barnhart is director of the Maya Exploration Center. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin and has over 20 years of experience in North, Central, and South America as an archaeologist, explorer, and instructor. In 1994, Professor Barnhart discovered the ancient city of Maax Na (Spider-Monkey House), a major center of the Classic Maya period in northwestern Belize. In 1998 he was invited by the Mexican government to direct the Palenque Mapping Project, a three-year effort to survey and map the unknown sections of Palenque's ruins. The resultant map has been celebrated as one of the most detailed and accurate ever made of a Maya ruin. In 2003, he became the director of Maya Exploration Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the study of ancient Maya civilization. The center leads study-abroad courses for college students and tours for the general public in the ruins of the ancient Americas, among its other research and educational activities. Professor Barnhart has taught archaeology and anthropology at Southwest Texas State University, and currently teaches University of Texas travel courses for college professors on ancient Andean and Mesoamerican astronomy, mathematics, and culture. Over the last 10 years, he has appeared multiple times on the History Channel, the Discovery Channel, and Japanese NHK Public Television. He has published over a dozen papers and given presentations at eight international conferences.

Testimonials

"Professor Barnhart is obviously very knowledgeable and passionate about the subject, and delivers a series of lectures that simultaneously paint with broad and detailed strokes a history that spans from over 30,000 ago right up to last year."


"Dr. Barnhart's unique expertise and obvious delight in teaching makes these courses a joy. They are rich in content, and importantly illustrate what is known and what is unknown about these extraordinary cultures."

40 Courses and Sets

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40 Courses and Sets

  1. Ancient Civilizations of North America

    Ancient Civilizations of North America

    Edwin Barnhart
    4.8 out of 5
    94% of reviewers would recommend this product
    (173)
    Starting at $149.95 Starting at $149.95 $269.95 $149.95$269.95
    Most of what we’ve been taught about the native cultures of North America came from reports authored by the conquerors and colonizers who destroyed them. Now, in Ancient Civilizations of North America, Professor Edwin Barnhart, Director of the Maya Exploration Center, reveals the astounding true accomplishments of these ancient cultures—vibrant cities, agriculture, art, large-scale earthen pyramids, astronomical...
  2. Lost Worlds of South America Sale

    Lost Worlds of South America

    Edwin Barnhart
    4.7 out of 5
    91% of reviewers would recommend this product
    (183)
    Save up to $195.00 Starting at $24.95 $254.95 $24.95$254.95
    As one of only six places on earth where civilization arose spontaneously, South America offers a fresh and revelatory look at how human societies formed, from the earliest organized communities to cultures of huge complexity. They paralleled, yet were absolutely different from, the ancient cultures of Greece, Egypt, and others that we know so much better. In these sites you witness the unfolding of one of the true...
  3. Maya to Aztec: Ancient Mesoamerica Revealed

    Maya to Aztec: Ancient Mesoamerica Revealed

    Edwin Barnhart
    4.7 out of 5
    86% of reviewers would recommend this product
    (122)
    Starting at $439.95 Starting at $439.95 $519.95 $439.95$519.95
    Uncover the fascinating rise and fall of the Maya and Aztec civilizations—spectacular empires with complex cultures that ruled vast stretches of pre-Columbian America. In this comprehensive course taught by the Director of the Maya Exploration Center, you’ll witness the enthralling history of these sophisticated societies as you explore their religions, governments, social organizations, arts, engineering, and...
  4. Special Collection - 36 Big Ideas Collection

    Special Collection - 36 Big Ideas

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    2.8 out of 5
    28% of reviewers would recommend this product
    (14)
    Starting at $199.95 Starting at $199.95 $199.95 $199.95$199.95
    The Great Courses has introduced millions of lifelong learners to some of the biggest ideas out there. Enjoy a collection of 36 lectures specially curated from some of our most popular courses and get a fresh learning experience in a wide range of disciplines. Religious writings that may have been forged; a universal template of world myths; the science of tasting colors—Join us for an intriguing tour of big ideas!
  5. Special Collection - The Joy of Ancient History Collection

    Special Collection - The Joy of Ancient History

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    3.9 out of 5
    62% of reviewers would recommend this product
    (8)
    Starting at $199.95 Starting at $199.95 $199.95 $199.95$199.95
    For years, The Great Courses has taken you on stirring explorations of our ancient roots. The Joy of Ancient History is an insightful collection of 36 lectures curated from our most popular ancient history courses. Guided by our highly rated professors, hopscotch around the world to experience the fascinating variety that ancient history offers: from great heroes and epic battles to lost civilizations and beyond.
  6. (Set)  30 Masterpieces of Ancient World & Lost Worlds of South Set

    (Set) 30 Masterpieces of Ancient World & Lost Worlds of South

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $534.90 Starting at $534.90 $629.90 $534.90$629.90
  7. (Set) Lost Worlds of South America & History of the Ancient World: A Global Perspective  Set

    (Set) Lost Worlds of South America & History of the Ancient World: A Global Perspective

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $654.90 Starting at $654.90 $774.90 $654.90$774.90
    The first of this set's courses, Lost Worlds of South America leads you on an adventurous trek of discovery through the emerging finds and archaeological knowledge of more than 12 seminal civilizations. Then, in The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World, you'll go beyond the abstract dates and figures, kings and queens, and battles and wars that make up so many historical accounts to study history...
  8. (Set) Lost Worlds of South America & Conquest of the Americas  Set

    (Set) Lost Worlds of South America & Conquest of the Americas

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $259.90 Starting at $259.90 $509.90 $259.90$509.90
  9. (Set)  Lost Worlds of South America & Other Side of History Set

    (Set) Lost Worlds of South America & Other Side of History

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $654.90 Starting at $654.90 $774.90 $654.90$774.90
  10. (Set) Lost Worlds of South America & The Origins of Great Ancient Civilizations  Set

    (Set) Lost Worlds of South America & The Origins of Great Ancient Civilizations

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $219.90 Starting at $219.90 $454.90 $219.90$454.90
    Investigate the unfolding of the cradles of civilization that paralleled each other yet were very different in this intriguing course set. In Lost Worlds of South America, take an adventurous trek of discovery through the emerging finds and archaeological knowledge of more than 12 seminal civilizations in South America, one of only six places on earth where civilization arose spontaneously. And in Great Ancient...
  11. (Set)  Lost Worlds of South America & The Persian Empire Set

    (Set) Lost Worlds of South America & The Persian Empire

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $259.90 Starting at $259.90 $509.90 $259.90$509.90
  12. (Set) Lost Worlds of South America & History of Ancient Egypt  Set

    (Set) Lost Worlds of South America & History of Ancient Egypt

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $654.90 Starting at $654.90 $774.90 $654.90$774.90
    Take a look at how the seminal civilizations of South America and ancient Egypt paralleled each other, yet developed so differently, with this eye-opening course set. First, in Lost Worlds of South America, let Professor Edwin Barnhart lead you on an adventurous trek of discovery through the emerging finds and archaeological knowledge of more than 12 seminal civilizations, giving you rich insight into their creative...
  13. (Set) Ancient Civilizations of North America & Lost Worlds of South America Set

    (Set) Ancient Civilizations of North America & Lost Worlds of South America

    Edwin Barnhart
    Starting at $279.90 Starting at $279.90 $524.90 $279.90$524.90
    Reveal ancient worlds almost lost to us with this historical two course set. Explore the astounding accomplishments of the Ancient Civilizations of North America and embark on an adventurous trek of discovery through the wilds of South America to the great, mysterious Lost Worlds of South America.
  14. (Set) 36 Big Ideas & The Joy of Ancient History Set

    (Set) 36 Big Ideas & The Joy of Ancient History

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $399.90 Starting at $399.90 $399.90 $399.90$399.90
    Learn something new and exciting with this set of collections courses. Begin by exploring 36 ideas – philosophy, science and more – that have changed the face of civilization. Then, dive into ancient history and hopscotch around the world and across time to experience the fascinating variety of what the past has to offer.
  15. (Set) The Remarkable Science of Ancient Astronomy & Maya to Aztec Set

    (Set) The Remarkable Science of Ancient Astronomy & Maya to Aztec

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $674.90 Starting at $674.90 $789.90 $674.90$789.90
    Look at the nights and days of the ancient worlds with this two-course set. The Remarkable Science of Ancient Astronomy explores how skywatching gave birth to modern science. Cover the full scope of Mesoamerican history and culture in Maya to Aztec: Ancient Mesoamerica Revealed.
  16. (Set) The Joy of Ancient History & World Was Never the Same Set

    (Set) The Joy of Ancient History & World Was Never the Same

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $629.90 Starting at $629.90 $629.90 $629.90$629.90

    Out of stock

  17. (Set) Native Peoples of North America & Maya to Aztec Set

    (Set) Native Peoples of North America & Maya to Aztec

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $674.90 Starting at $674.90 $789.90 $674.90$789.90
    Trace the rise and fall of some of the most amazing civilizations of the Americas in this two-course set. Native Peoples of North America provides an in-depth review of the history of indigenous peoples, while Maya to Aztec: Ancient Mesoamerica Revealed immerses you in an epic story covering the full scope of Mesoamerican history and culture.
  18. (Set) Learning Spanish & Lost Worlds of South America Set

    (Set) Learning Spanish & Lost Worlds of South America

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $549.90 Starting at $549.90 $639.90 $549.90$639.90
    Ancient South America is full of mysteries. This two-course set allows you to delve deep into a fascinating historic culture. Start by gaining real conversational competence with Learning Spanish: How to Understand and Speak a New Language. Then explore the ancient remains of extraordinary, majestic civilizations in Lost Worlds of South America.
  19. (SET) The Great Tours & Lost Worlds of South America Set

    (SET) The Great Tours & Lost Worlds of South America

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $449.90 Starting at $449.90 $524.90 $449.90$524.90
    Experience the continents of Africa and South America like never before with these two courses that have the feel of immersive expeditions. Take an exhilarating voyage alongside an experienced safari guide who will show you the amazing natural beauty of the African continent in The Great Tours: African Safari. Then, in Lost Worlds of South America, enjoy an in-depth look at the emerging finds and archaeological...
  20. (Set) Maya to Aztec & Writing and Civilization Set

    (Set) Maya to Aztec & Writing and Civilization

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $654.90 Starting at $654.90 $774.90 $654.90$774.90
    Decipher ancient writings with this set. First, in Maya to Aztec: Ancient Mesoamerica Revealed, marvel at the advanced civilizations that once shocked and baffled the world. Then, follow the development of writing as it cropped up around the world in Writing and Civilization: From Ancient Worlds to Modernity.