National Geographic : 1989 Oct
On Assignment TURN ABOUT is fair play, as Editor BILL GARRETT tries to focus on a Guate malan subject that became interested in him. Born in the wild, this orphaned jaguar-one of a threatened species in the Maya region-is being raised for release in a forest reserve. Once a symbol of royalty to the Maya, the jaguar is a living link between the pomp and power of cities long abandoned and the modern Maya that Garrett has met during years of travel to the countries that now embrace their ancient homeland. La Ruta Maya sent photog rapher KEN GARRETT off in his father's footsteps, "racing around trying to cover moun tains, forests, beaches, reefs, animals, and people. One min ute I was a news photographer at a festival, the next I was doing scenics. It was fun, but it took a lot of planning." A degree in anthropology and experience photographing Mexico City's spectacular Templo Mayor, excavated a decade ago, provided good background for Ken (right, with a spider monkey at Copan). "While the Maya Route cov ered diverse aspects of a wide region, my work at Copan was literally in depth. During the opening of the royal tomb we were down at the end of a long tunnel, hot, humid, and miser able. I had to bring my cameras in an hour ahead because they'd fog up." While scientists reconstruct the lives of the ancient Maya from buried clues, the exposed art and architecture take a beat ing in the tropical air. Thirty PHOTOGRAPHSBY DAVIDALANHARVEY(TOP); JACK KOTZ (LEFT); KENNETHGARRETT years ago staff archaeologist GEORGE STUART heard of a col lection of Copan photographs taken in 1946-47. It didn't mean much at the time, but recent concern about the deterioration of the monuments there jogged his memory. When he contacted the photographer, Mexican archaeologist Raul Pav6n Abreu, "he still had the nega tives in their original boxes." Last June the National Geo graphic Society donated a set of the photographs to the Hondu ran Institute of Anthropology and History for use at Copan's research center. Stuart (above, at right) and Victor Cruz Reyes, director of the institute, look over the more than 1,300 im ages. "It's just amazing what's in there," says Stuart. "Not only photographs of all the hieroglyphs in good light but beautiful pictures of the site and splendid panoramas too. It's a real treasure." NATIONALGEOGRAPHIC(ISSN 0027-9358) IS PUBLISHEDMONTHLYBY THENATIONALGEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY,17THAND M STS. N.W., WASHINGTON,D. C. 20036. $21.00 A YEAR,$2.65 A COPY. SECOND-CLASSPOSTAGEPAID AT WASHINGTON,D. C., AND ELSEWHERE.POSTMASTER:SENDADDRESSCHANGESTO NATIONALGEOGRAPHIC,P. 0. BOX 2174, WASHINGTON,D. C . 20013.