Have a look– Lawrence G Desmond | Harvard University – Academia.edu

Materials are organized in the following categories:

  1. Close Range Photogrammetry.
  2. Ground Penetrating Radar.
  3. Alice Dixon and Augustus Le Plongeon.
  4. Biographies: Alice Dixon and Augustus Le Plongeon.
  5. Mexico ethnographic and archaeology studies.
  6. Mexico photographic studies.
  7. Desmond autobiographical books.
  8. Moses Mesoamerican Archive and Research Project.
  9. Miscellaneous papers.
Luther Wilson (Feb 2, 1944-August 5, 2021) at the Moses Mesoamerican Archive and Research Project office, University of Colorado-Boulder.
Photo by: Lawrence G. Desmond. 1991.

A short, but heart felt remembrance from Desmond of my friend Luther–

“Luther was my friend and I’ll never forget how he stood with me through the rough times, but Luther was there in the good times too and we had plenty of laughs — he was the kind of a wild man you really like, and a real professional with a great sense of humor.” L. G. Desmond, August 15, 2021.

In memory of Luther, Professor Davíd Carrasco, a friend and colleague of Luther’s for many years, and now at Harvard University’s Divinity School gave this eulogy as a memorial in Luther’s honor–



Obituary for Luther Wilson Jr. published in Brighton, Colorado

WILSON Jr, Luther of Brighton, CO passed away on August 5, 2021 at the age of 77. He was a husband to Judy Wilson for 41 years. A Father to Eric T. Wilson. Step Father to Chris Barry (Brian), Jay Dickinson, Stacie Root and Erik Dickinson (Kendra); Also, a Grandfather to many grand children and great grandchildren, and a Brother to Wayne (Sandy) Wilson. He is preceded in death by both parents; Luther and Lillian Wilson. Along by his brothers and sister, Lane, Paul and Carol Wilson. 

Luther graduated from Michigan State University at Oakland (now Oakland University) with a degrees Russian Literature and a minor in Mathematics. Luther worked in the book publishing world for forty years. He loved working with authors, being involved in AA, reading books and fishing. [Tabor Funeral Home]


In honor of my old friend Luther who supported the work of so many authors over more than 40 years as a press director and publisher I would like to share a few of my photos of him, and his close friends. Images of him will keep him alive in my memory.

Luther holding his February 2, 1944 birthday sign represented by Aztec glyphs. Denver Museum of Natural History, during the exhibit of art and artifacts from the Aztec Templo Mayor in Mexico City. Photo by: Lawrence G. Desmond.1992.
Luther having fun with his friends Lawrence Desmond (L), and Professor Russell J. McGoodwin, Boulder, Colorado, 1991.
Photographer unknown.
Luther heading to buy more drinks for his friends Lawrence Desmond (L), and Professor Russell J. McGoodwin,
Boulder, Colorado, 1991. Photographer unknown.
MMARP symposium members. Luther standing 2nd from far right next to Prof. Edward Calnek. CU-Boulder.
Photo by Lawrence Desmond using self timer on Leicaflex SL camera. 1991
Leonardo López Lújan, Eduardo Matos Moctezuma, unidentified, and Scott Sessions. Princeton University. MMARP symposium members.
Photo by Lawrence G. Desmond. 1994.
Reiko Sono, unidentified, Scott Sessions, Leonardo López Lújan, and Eduardo Matos Moctezuma. Princeton University. MMARP symposium members. Photo by Lawrence G. Desmond. 1994.
Luther at breakfast with Prof. Phyllis M. Messenger, and Prof. Henry Nicholson during MMARP organized symposium at the Templo Mayor Museum. Hotel Majestic, Mexico City. Pnoto by Lawrence G. Desmond. 1989.
“Scholars in Dark Glasses.” Members of the MMARP organized symposium at the Templo Mayor Museum, Mexico City. Polaroid glass were worn in order to view the 3D stereo photos made by Alice Dixon and Augustus Le Plongeon in the 1870s at the Maya archaeological sites of Uxmal and Chichén Itzá presented that day by this writer. Note Luther is sitting in the back row center (arrow), Eduardo Matos Moctezume is on the far left and Davîd Carrasco on the far right. For full information about this photo, and others in this memorial please refer to my book “Scholars in Dark Glasses: Photos of MMARP symposia, 1982 to 1994.” San Francisco: Blurb, 2014. Full panoramic photo taken,
and assembled by Lawrence G. Desmond. 1989.
Prof. Davíd Carrasco and Luther Wilson.
Thirty-one years ago in the Moses Mesoamerican Archive and Research Project office, University of Colorado-Boulder.
I was so lucky to have snapped this photo at just the right moment to capture the strength of Davíd and Luther’s friendship. Luther was looking straight at me with his knowing smile– wish I knew what he was thinking. Probably wished he was out fishing.
Photo: Lawrence G. Desmond. 1990.
Merle Greene Robertson. Dos Pilas, Petén, Guatemala. Stela 16. About 1967.
Photo source: Merle Greene Robertson, Never in Fear (San Francisco: Pre-Columbian Art Research Institute, 2006)

Authored for us by Merle Greene Robertson. (August 30, 1913 – April 22, 2011)

A paper presented by Dra. Lorena Careaga Viliesid in honor of her induction into la Sociedad Mexicana de Geografia y Estadistica.

The Akab Dzib Project, Chichén Izá, Yucatán, Mexico- 1977, 1978, 1980 (2020)

The Akab Dzib was constructed of stone by the ancient Maya in late AD 800, and located about 120 meters southeast of the Caracol (Observatory) at Chichén Itzá, Yucatán, Mexico.

This book is a report about research in 1977, fieldwork in 1978, and excavation of what is called the core of the Akab Dzib in 1980 to determine how it was constructed, and its purpose. A second goal was to detect any buried chambers or rooms within the core.
Excavation determined that the core was constructed by the Maya with large limestone slabs from a nearby quarry as a foundation for additional structures, but those structures were never built. And, no additional architectural features were detected within the core, but they may exist because only 21 cubic meters of the core’s 1,700 cubic meters was investigated.
Now, forty years after excavation of the core, the next generation of archaeologists has the opportunity to increase our knowledge of the core’s purpose by exploring every cubic meter of it with digital imaging generated by a newly developed technology– Electronic Resistivity Tomography (ERT-3D).

A comparative study of 1870s and 1980s photographs of Maya architecture at Chichén Itzá and Uxmal, Yucatán, Mexico by Lawrence G. Desmond | Blurb Books. (2020)

After evaluating Alice Dixon and Augustus Le Plongeon’s 1870s photos of ancient Maya architecture at Chichén Itzá and Uxmal it seemed imperative to initiate a project to compare them to my 1980s photos, and in that way make them available to historians of architecture, art historians, archaeologists, conservators, and anyone with an interest in the ancient Maya.
To take comparative photos of the architecture required that photographic prints of the Le Plongeon photos at Chichén Itzá and Uxmal from archives be assembled, and brought to the sites for replication by photographing from the same distance, direction, and elevation.

This book compares 26 photos of Chichén Itzá and 18 photos of Uxmal in Yucatán, Mexico taken by Alice Dixon and Augustus Le Plongeon in the 1870s to photos taken by Desmond of the same architectural subjects in 1980.

1993 GPR Chichen field crewB.jpg

Field crew Chichén Itzá GPR Project 1993.  L to R: John Muehlhausen, James Callaghan, Lawrence Desmond, William Sauck, and Kristen Zschomler.


2020 will be the  23rd and 27thyear anniversaries of  the Yucatán Geophysical Archaeological Survey Project at the Maya archaeological sites of: Chichén Itzá (1993 and 1997), Balankanche Cave (1997), Kinich Kakmo Pyramid, Izamal (1997), and Dzibilchaltún (1997).

The 1993 and 1997 Yucatán Geophysical Archaeological Survey Projects are dedicated to Alfredo Barrera Rubio, and in memory of Norberto Gonzalez Crespo, and Peter Schmidt.

A summary of each geophysical survey has been published as a PDF, and can be viewed on your browser by clicking the following link: Geophysical archaeological surveys at Chichen, and other siites in Yucatan 1993, 1997

The posted PDF project summary is to honor and thank those who worked with us in the field or otherwise supported our work in many special ways, and to bring the use of geophysical technology designed for archaeological applications to the attention of our archaeologist colleagues.

The principal investigators for the project were William A. Sauck, Professor of Geophysics, Institute for Water Sciences, Western Michigan University-Kalamazoo, and Lawrence G. Desmond, Assistant professor of anthropology/archaeology, University of Minnesota-Morris. The academic positions were as of 1993.

The Project Summary PDF for 1993 and 1997 includes the following:

  • A list the personnel associated with the 1993 and 1997 projects: 1) Project Field Personnel, 2) Centro INAH Yucatán Personnel, and 3) Friends of the Project.
  • Historical background: The 15 years of development and planning prior to 1990s fieldwork including analysis of limestone samples from Yucatán to determine their level radar attenuation by Stanford Research International in the late 1970s. And, fieldwork and newly developed geophysical methodology for archaeology during the 1990s.
  • Ground Penetrating Radar and Electrical Resistivity surveys, and survey results at Chichén Itzá in 1993.
  • Ground Penetrating Radar surveys and their results at Chichén Itzá, Balankanche Cave, Kinich Kakmo Pyramid at Izamal, and Dzibilchaltún in 1997.
  • Project presentations, video documentation, web postings, and bibliography:
    • The plan for the 1997 geophysical survey projects was presented atthe Institute of Anthropological Investigations at UNAM prior to fieldwork.
    • Presentations of the results of the 1993 and 1997 projects were made at Centro INAH Yucatán at the completion of fieldwork.
    • Professional video documentation of the 1993 Chichén Itzá project.
    • Internet postings of project papers and reports in 1999: The 1993 and 1997 unpublished GPR and resistivity reports to INAH along with published papers, maps, selected photos, and illustrations generated by the projects were posted to the web site ArchaeoPlanet Blog and Archive hosted by WordPress.
    • The 1993 and 1997 Yucatán Geophysical Survey Project materials are archived by the Middle American Research Institute (MARI), Tulane University.
    • Bibliography- Reports to INAH, and archaeology and geophysics journal publications.


Santo Tomas Jalieza WordP book cover.jpg

Santo Tomás Jalieza, Oaxaca, Mexico: An ethnographic study. 2019. San Francisco: Blurb, Inc. [Click on title above, and view the entire book by clicking on Preview.

120 pages, 83 photos. Includes maps, plans, and tables. Portrait: 10×8 inches. Available from Blurb, Inc. in paperback, hardback, and image wrap.

For this edition, the thesis manuscript in the library of the Universidad de las Américas has been edited, but the original findings have not been changed, photos were digitized, and current maps and illustrations updated. Photos selected for this book are from the Desmond Collection in the photo archive of the Peabody Museum, Harvard University.


It was during my second year of graduate studies in anthropology at the Universidad de las Américas in Cholula, Mexico that I began to plan fieldwork for my master’s thesis. I had come to the university in 1970 to study the ancient civilizations of Mesoamerica and learn archaeology, but the chairman of the department of anthropology was a cultural anthropologist, and he had other ideas for my thesis.

His plan was that I should carry out an ethnographic study of a small farming community in one of the valleys south of Oaxaca City rather than an archaeological study. So, in 1973 research began with the help of my family and the welcoming people of Santo Tomás that lasted around four months, and resulted in this ethnographic study.

The ethnography includes an accumulation of considerable descriptive material useful for gaining a basic understanding of village life, but the most important finding was that after decades of debate and compromise a weaving cooperative was established in the village. The process of founding the cooperative led to the practice of resolving social and economic conflict by discussion, debate, and compromise rather than by the violence that is said to have been endemic in the area until around the mid-20th century.

BIM illustration

BIM for Heritage:
Developing a Historic Building Information Model

  • Authors: Sofia Antonopoulou, Dipl-Ing Arch, MSc Arch Cons, and Paul Bryan BSc, FRICS.
  • Published by Historic England July 2017.
  • THE BOOK SUMMARY quoted from the book–

This publication on Building Information Modelling for heritage (Historic BIM) offers guidance for owners, end-users and professionals in the fields of heritage and construction. By raising awareness of the potential advantages of a BIM approach, this guidance will help users successfully implement BIM in heritage projects.

Historic BIM is, by definition, a multi-disciplinary process that requires the input and collaboration of professionals with very different skillsets. It is also a fast-developing field in terms of research, official guidance, standards and professional practice. This publication addresses the issues surrounding the production and use of BIM for historic buildings, and provides information about guidance and standards available elsewhere for managing a building’s entire life cycle effectively.

The following is a link for a free download of this book–Developing a Historic Building Information Model (BIM) | Historic England

The New York Public Library’s Photographer’s Identities Catalog (PIC) website PIC – Photographers’ Identities Catalog states:

“Photographers’ Identities Catalog is an experimental interface to a collection of biographical data describing photographers, studios, manufacturers, and others involved in the production of photographic images. Consisting of names, nationalities, dates, locations and more, PIC is a vast and growing resource for the historian, student, genealogist, or any lover of photography’s history. The information has been culled from trusted biographical dictionaries, catalogs and databases, and from extensive original research by NYPL Photography Collection staff.”

Some problems with the PIC entry for Alice Dixon and Augustus Le Plongeon:

As stated, the PIC relies on “trusted” information from a number of published sources, but the source about Alice Dixon and Augustus Le Plongeon, The Union List of Artist’s Names (ULAN) published online by the J. Paul Getty Trust in Los Angeles, has a number of factual errors in need of correction, and lacks bibliographic entries of substance about their photography.

Alice Dixon Le Plongeon- ULAN Full Record Display (Getty Research)

Augustus Le Plongeon- ULAN Full Record Display (Getty Research)

The biographical “Note” in the ULAN entry is used for both Alice and Augustus Le Plongeon: “British, of French origins; later lived in America. Augustus worked with his wife Alice, photographing local people and archeological sites, including St.Thomas, Tiahuanaco, and Chichén Itzá.”

An update and corrections to the ULAN biographical note:

1) Alice Dixon Le Plongeon (1851-1910) was born in London, and had no French origins. Augustus Le Plongeon (1826-1908) was born on the Island of Jersey to French parents.

2) Both Augustus and Alice were trained photographers. Alice learned photography from her father Henry Dixon, a noted London photographer, and Augustus learned photography from the English photographer Fox Talbot. He began practicing photography in the 1850s in San Francisco, California.

3) Alice Dixon and Augustus Le Plongeon first met in London in 1871, and were married in New York City before leaving for Yucatán in 1873 to carry out archaeological and photographic projects. Alice did not accompany Augustus on photographic expeditions to the island of St. Thomas in the Caribbean or Tiahuanaco, Peru in the 1860s.

4) From 1873 to 1884, the Le Plongeons photographed Maya archaeological sites, ethnographic subjects, made portraits of native peoples and colonialists, landscapes, flora and fauna, and Colonial architecture in Yucatán, Mexico, and British Honduras (Belize).

5) Recently accessed archival materials indicate Alice was behind the camera as much as Augustus, if not more, and was responsible for the processing of their wet collodion glass negatives, and prints.

6) More than 2,500 negatives and prints made by the Le Plongeons are currently archived in public institutions, and private collections.

It should be noted about two years ago the administrator of Getty’s ULAN stated they planned to correct the entry for the Le Plongeons. It was to be based on the Getty Research Institute’s short biographical entry for Alice Dixon and Augustus Le Plongeon that can be found in its Finding Aid. The update has yet to be made to the web page, so it was thought prudent to publish this post until corrections are made.

In the meanwhile, for an excellent biographical summary of the Le Plongeons’ lives and work in archaeology and photography consult the Getty Research Institute’s Finding Aid for the Alice Dixon and Augustus Le Plongeon collection of photographs and other archival materials. Getty Research Institute: INVENTORY OF THE AUGUSTUS AND ALICE DIXON LE PLONGEON PAPERS, circa 1840-1937, bulk 1860-1910 Le Plongeon (Augustus and Alice Dixon) papers

Additionally, the Wikipedia entries for Alice Dixon and Augustus Le Plongeon are also an excellent summary.

Alice Dixon Le Plongeon – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Augustus Le Plongeon – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For addition background on the Le Plongeon just enter the ArchaeoPlanet Le Plongeon Archive by clicking on the sidebar.


Bart Anderson, journalist and computer specialist, saw the need for faster access to the data entries for the 1,037 photos in the Catalog of the 19th century photographs of Alice Dixon and Augustus Le Plongeon.

While the catalog was published as a book and PDF with an introduction that gives background about each collection, historical context, catalog organization, and other technical information Anderson noted considerable time was required to search the photo collections.

The catalog photo entries had been created as a Word document by Desmond. Anderson then took the Word file and converted it into a CSV file that is compatible with most spreadsheet and database programs, and then into an Excel file for use here. Unfortunately WordPress does not support CVS files. Email me, and I can send a copy of the file.

The Excel file is free for download, and while it retains the copyright of Lawrence G. Desmond, it is authorized for use for research purposes. The Excel file is about 300 Kb.

Catalog Organization and Materials Description

NOTE: For a complete introduction to the catalog of collections refer to the book:

A Catalog of the 19th Century Photographs of Alice Dixon and Augustus Le Plongeon

The catalog is subdivided into five collections. Each photographic item in a collection has been cataloged using a data entry card with the fields as listed below.


American Museum of Natural History (AM)

Donald Dixon Photo Album (DA)

Getty Research Institute (GRI)

Peabody Museum at Harvard University (PM)

Philosophical Research Society (PRS)

Other fields

Catalog number: # 17

Museum photo identification number: PM-P2500F


Archaeological Site






European exploration


Henry Dixon





Lantern slide

Print or Tracing




Collodio-chloride printing-out paper

Dry glass-plate

Gelatin glass-plate

Wet collodion glass-plate

Stereo:  Yes or No

Size:  4 x 8 Inches


Upper Temple of the Jaguars.

Entrance to inner temple, south pilaster, north façade, K-8, bas relief.  [Any recognizable person in a photo is identified]

Cross Reference:

X Ref: PM-P2500F


X Ref: PM-P2500F similar

The Cross Reference field gives the catalog numbers of identical or similar photos in other collections. Similar photos are defined as having the same subject matter, but they were taken at a slightly different angle or time of day from the same camera position. The differences between similar photos are often subtle and hardly noticeable at first viewing.

When the Cross Reference field does not list an identical photo in another collection that indicates that the photographic item is unique to that collection.

Note for Excel users: Under the column titled “Description” — the cell is to short to view the text for item numbers 34, 190, and 960. Excel has entered a string of ##### rather than the text. To view the texts simply double click within the cell.