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Aguateca On AssignmentArrows

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From Photographer

Kenneth Garret

Aguateca On Assignment

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From Author

Takeshi Inomata

In most cases these accounts are edited versions of a spoken interview. They have not been researched and may differ from the printed article.

Photographs by Kenneth Garrett



Field Notes From Photographer
Kenneth Garrett
Best Worst Quirkiest
    The Maya city of Aguateca was deserted and burned during a war attack. Residents from royalty to courtiers dropped everything and ran, and the excavation revealed the precise moment in history when that happened. It was exciting to essentially go back in time, capture that event, and discover what the materials from everyday houses could tell us about the people who lived near the king and ceremonial center.

     We went all the way to a site deep in the jungle to photograph the monument stela bearing the image and headdress of Tan Te' K'inich, the last ruler of Aguateca. It was a beautiful artifact measuring more than seven feet (two meters) tall. We managed to get the shot, but illegal loggers have since damaged it.

     We flew from Guatemala City to Flores, then rented a minivan to get to the river where we got on a boat to go to the site. We were riding along in this little taxi van when Takeshi Inomata, the lead archaeologist, handed NGM artist Chris Klein and me a can of bug spray. "Oh, I don't like to use bug spray," I protested. "It gets right into your skin, and it's terrible poison."
     Then I asked, "By the way, is there much malaria around here?"
    "All of my workers have malaria," Takeshi said.
    With that I said, "OK, give me the spray! The heck with poison!"

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