Dr. Barnhart has worked in Mexico and Central America for the last 25 years as an archaeologist, an explorer and an instructor. During his four years as the student of Dr. Linda Schele (world renowned for finally breaking the Maya code of hieroglyphics in 1973) he developed a strong background in Maya hieroglyphics, iconography and archaeoastronomy. From 1998 to 2000 he was the Director of the Palenque Mapping Project, an archaeological survey that discovered over 1000 new structures in the Maya ruins of Palenque. He received his Ph.D. in Anthropology at The University of Texas at Austin in 2001 and is now the Director of the Maya Exploration Center, a non-profit research center based in Austin, Texas and Palenque, Chiapas, Mexico.

In 2013 his 24-lecture Great Courses series entitled “Lost Worlds of South America” was released and very well received. Based on its success, he returned to the Great Courses studios in 2014 to produce a 48-lecture series entitled ":Maya to Aztec: Ancient Mesoamerica Revealed". He is currently investigating archaeoastronomy and ancient geometry in the ruins of Central America, South America, and Southeast Asia. Visit for more information about Dr. Barnhart and the Maya Exploration Center.