The attitudes and beliefs that archaeologists bring to their profession can have important impacts upon the manner in which they approach their work; therefore, studying an archaeologist’s life can shed light on archaeological history. An investigation of the early life of the Mexican archaeologist Alberto Ruz Lhuillier provides fascinating evidence of just how life experiences can have an impact on attitudes and theoretical approaches. Ruz was the archaeologist who, in 1952, discovered the magnificent tomb of the Classic Maya King of Palenque, Mexico, K’inich Janaab’ Pakal I. Research into Ruz’s early life sheds light on why he had negative opinions about the United States (US), and highlights the experiences that caused them, and explains how they changed. When Ruz moved to Cuba in the 1930s, and learned about the impact of American interference in Cuban affairs, he became deeply involved in the socialist revolution to oust Cuba’s US puppet dictators and to free his country from ‘yanqui’ imperialism. In addition, these early student life experiences exposed him to other students who espoused the theories and ideas of Karl Marx. Later Ruz would use some of these theories to explain the development and fall of ancient Maya civilization.