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."

38 Courses and Sets

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38 Courses and Sets

  1. Exploring the Mayan World Sale

    Exploring the Mayan World

    Edwin Barnhart
    4.3 out of 5
    81% of reviewers would recommend this product
    (64)
    Save up to $160.00 Starting at $29.95 $199.95 $29.95$199.95
    Visually compelling and unlike anything The Great Courses has produced before, Exploring the Mayan World feels like your favorite travel show. In eight immersive episodes, decode cultural messages hidden in ancient Maya sites; explore the legacy of Spanish interactions with the Maya as they are reflected in modern towns; chat with archaeologists, artisans, and other local experts; and witness the Maya legacy in...
  2. Special Collection - The Joy of Ancient History Collection

    Special Collection - The Joy of Ancient History

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    3.8 out of 5
    66% of reviewers would recommend this product
    (9)
    Save up to $189.95 Starting at $40.00 $229.95 $40.00$229.95
    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.
  3. Maya to Aztec: Ancient Mesoamerica Revealed Sale

    Maya to Aztec: Ancient Mesoamerica Revealed

    Edwin Barnhart
    4.7 out of 5
    88% of reviewers would recommend this product
    (134)
    Save up to $539.95 Starting at $40.00 $599.95 $40.00$599.95
    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)
    Save up to $189.95 Starting at $40.00 $229.95 $40.00$229.95
    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. Lost Worlds of South America Sale

    Lost Worlds of South America

    Edwin Barnhart
    4.7 out of 5
    90% of reviewers would recommend this product
    (191)
    Save up to $240.00 Starting at $24.95 $299.95 $24.95$299.95
    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...
  6. Ancient Civilizations of North America Sale

    Ancient Civilizations of North America

    Edwin Barnhart
    4.7 out of 5
    91% of reviewers would recommend this product
    (189)
    Save up to $239.95 Starting at $29.95 $299.95 $29.95$299.95
    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...
  7. (Set)  30 Masterpieces of Ancient World & Lost Worlds of South Set on sale

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

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Save up to $619.90 Starting at $75.00 $729.90 $75.00$729.90
  8. (Set) Lost Worlds of South America & History of the Ancient World: A Global Perspective  Set on sale

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

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Save up to $789.90 Starting at $75.00 $899.90 $75.00$899.90
    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...
  9. (Set) Lost Worlds of South America & Conquest of the Americas  Set on sale

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

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Save up to $489.90 Starting at $75.00 $599.90 $75.00$599.90
  10. (Set)  Lost Worlds of South America & Other Side of History Set on sale

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

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Save up to $789.90 Starting at $75.00 $899.90 $75.00$899.90
  11. (Set) Lost Worlds of South America & The Origins of Great Ancient Civilizations  Set on sale

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

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Save up to $419.90 Starting at $75.00 $529.90 $75.00$529.90
    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...
  12. (Set)  Lost Worlds of South America & The Persian Empire Set on sale

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

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Save up to $489.90 Starting at $75.00 $599.90 $75.00$599.90
  13. (Set) Lost Worlds of South America & History of Ancient Egypt  Set on sale

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

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Save up to $789.90 Starting at $75.00 $899.90 $75.00$899.90
    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...
  14. (Set) Maya to Aztec & Cities of the Ancient World Set on sale

    (Set) Maya to Aztec & Cities of the Ancient World

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Save up to $789.90 Starting at $75.00 $899.90 $75.00$899.90
    Be amazed by ancient cities with this set. First, in Maya to Aztec: Ancient Mesoamerica Revealed, marvel at the advanced civilizations that once shocked and baffled the world. Then, in Cities of the Ancient World, go around the globe to see how different societies structured and used their urban centers.
  15. (Set) Ancient Civilizations of North America & Origin of Civilization Set on sale

    (Set) Ancient Civilizations of North America & Origin of Civilization

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Save up to $789.90 Starting at $75.00 $899.90 $75.00$899.90
    This two-course set includes the following courses: Ancient Civilizations of North America & Origin of Civilization
  16. (Set) Maya to Aztec & History of the Ancient World Set on sale

    (Set) Maya to Aztec & History of the Ancient World

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Save up to $1,089.90 Starting at $75.00 $1,199.90 $75.00$1,199.90
    Delve into ancient history with this set. First, in Maya to Aztec: Ancient Mesoamerica Revealed, marvel at the advanced civilizations that once shocked and baffled the world. Then, explore ancient civilizations from around the globe with History of the Ancient World: A Global Perspective.
  17. (Set) Ancient Civilizations of North America & Archaeology Set on sale

    (Set) Ancient Civilizations of North America & Archaeology

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Save up to $489.90 Starting at $75.00 $599.90 $75.00$599.90
    Explore ancient history with masterful experts in this two-course set. Thousands of years of history has been revealed at last and you can dig into the latest discoveries with Ancient Civilizations of North America. Then, travel over 20 of the most significant and enthralling archaeological sites on the planet, providing both an in-depth look at the sites themselves and an insider’s view of the history, science,...
  18. (Set) History’s Greatest Voyages of Exploration & Lost Worlds of South America Set on sale

    (Set) History’s Greatest Voyages of Exploration & Lost Worlds of South America

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Save up to $489.90 Starting at $75.00 $599.90 $75.00$599.90
    Go on an epic adventure into the unknown with this set. First, follow the gripping stories of history's greatest explorers. Then, explore the fascinating world of South America.
  19. (Set) Ancient Civilizations of North America & Lost Worlds of South America Set on sale

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

    Edwin Barnhart
    Save up to $489.90 Starting at $48.90 $599.90 $48.90$599.90
    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.
  20. (Set) The Remarkable Science of Ancient Astronomy & Maya to Aztec Set on sale

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

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Save up to $789.90 Starting at $75.00 $899.90 $75.00$899.90
    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.