David Freidel, co-director of the Waka' project, is a university distinguished professor at SMU. He specializes in the functional analysis of Maya monumental architecture, iconography, and Maya material symbol systems generally. He co-authored A Forest of Kings with Linda Schele, and Maya Cosmos with Linda Schele and Joy Parker. He is currently completing a book on Maya warfare.
Lia Tsesmeli, Ph.D. candidate in anthropology at Southern Methodist University, is one of the survey/topography supervisors and the database administrator for the Waka' project. She uses GIS to address research questions and developed integrated GIS/Database systems for the Isleta Pueblo at New Mexico, the Zeekoe Valley Survey in South Africa, and the BEAS Survey project in the Harappan Valley at Pakistan.
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