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Old but not ancient Basel Lawrence Desmond

He's an expert on ancient Maya civilization, but Lawrence Desmond has come to Switzerland to reveal his Swiss roots.


After a career spanning more than 40 years investigating ancient and modern cultures of Mesoamerica, Lawrence is now scratching the surface of Basel with an iPhone. He’s looking at how the city has changed since his mother grew up there nearly a century ago, before emigrating to California.

Lawrence has conducted decades-long archaeological research in Mexico and Guatemala and has taught at the University of Minnesota at Morris and San Francisco State University. His books, ‘A Dream of Maya’ (1988) and ‘Yucatán through Her Eyes’ (2009), examine the photography and studies of the ancient Maya by Alice and Augustus Le Plongeon, who worked in Yucatán in the 1870s. Lawrence is a Senior Research Fellow in Archaeology with the Moses Mesoamerican Archive and Research Project at Harvard University.

Follow Lawrence on his archaeology blogexternal link.

Swiss Story Episode 1: Why am I here?

California native Lawrence Desmond is living in Basel for a few months. He finds a lot of similarities between his American home and temporary ...

Swiss Story Episode 8: Arriving in California

Lawrence looks back at his Swiss journey and returns to California. Follow Lawrence’s blog on archaeology here. (Lawrence Desmond for

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