National Geographic Expert

Fabio Amador

Fabio Esteban Amador is an archaeologist and explorer and a host of the National Geographic Mundo television series Mysteries of the Underworld. Originally from El Salvador, Fabio Esteban studied fine arts at the Art Student League of New York and the School of Visual Arts. Following his dream to become an expedition artist, he then studied archaeology at Rutgers University and went on to earn Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Mesoamerican archaeology at the State University of New York, Buffalo. His doctoral research involved excavating and mapping ancient Maya settlements in the Yalahau region of the Northern Yucatan peninsula, seeking clues into how these early societies expressed their identity through art and iconography. Most of his subsequent research has focused on the Maya regions of El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and the Mexican states of Quintana Roo and Yucatan, along with Cuba and Puerto Rico. .

Fabio Esteban’s main interests are in the recording and documentation of Maya art and iconography found in artifacts, architecture, rock shelters, and caves. During his tenure as a science officer for the National Geographic Society, he began merging state-of-the-art visualization technologies that allowed him to capture complex, sacred landscapes and hone his skills as a scientific storyteller. His recent publications in National Geographic magazine’s Latin American edition include an essay and seven images of one of his favorite cave systems, known as Secret River, in the Yucatan Peninsula.

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