Erik Boot worked at a liquor store full time to support his Maya research!
The People of One Fire will establish an annual award in Erik Boot’s honor for the independent researcher, who has contributed significantly to the understanding of the Indigenous Southeast’s past. This person may be from any ethnic background, but cannot be employed full time in this research (such as myself). Erik Boot eventually held a PhD in Anthropology from a prestigious Dutch university and he was a frequently published member of FAMSI (Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies, Inc.) but he was rarely paid for his research work. While most Europeans headed to the Mediterranean Sea for their annual vacations, Boot repeatedly went back to Chichen Itza!
Here is another and very poignant story by a person, who knew Dr. Erik Boot.
A Eulogy to Erik Boot
Below a few paragraphs from that deleted chapter. One of the themes of the book is the politics of archaeology, specifically at Chichén Itzá. There is still a lot that made it into the book, but most of the research related to modern day didn’t. Underdogs have always held great appeal, and I saw Erik as one of those in the field of Maya translation. He was not among the shining stars but one of the many foot soldiers who continued to plug away despite not receiving the recognition accorded others. The field of Maya studies is filled with individuals just like him and they have made many of the great discoveries. He did it for the love of the subject and I admired that. RIP Erik.
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