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Richard D. Hansen is an American archaeologist and currently Adjunct Professor of Anthropology at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. He previously has been an Affiliate Research Professor and Senior Scientist at the Institute for Mesoamerican Research in the Department of Anthropology at Idaho State University and an Associate Scientist (Level IV) at the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics at UCLA. Hansen is a specialist on the ancient Maya civilization and also a director of the Mirador Basin Project, which investigates the mainly unexplored territory in the northern Peten, Guatemala.[1][2]


He has worked in the Mesoamerican region and early Maya civilization. In 1989, discoveries by Hansen and his colleagues established the idea that ancient Maya societies had centralized governments far earlier than once supposed, building several massive centers as early as 1000-600 B.C. Hansen also identified data for an extensive collapse of the Preclassic Maya about A.D. 150. The Classic Maya cultural history lasted for another 600 years, ending around A.D. 850, with the collapse of the use of ceremonial centers in what are now parts of Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.[3]


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