CSU researcher Chris Fisher travels to Mexico and Honduras to study ancient ruins, including the "Lost City of the Monkey God."

Courtesy of Chris Fisher

Think Indiana Jones had it rough? Colorado State University archeologist Chris Fisher could give the Spielberg hero a run for his money (and hat).

Fisher studies ancient cities with names like the "Lost City of the Monkey God" in countries including Mexico and Honduras. After surviving choppy helicopter rides, he and his team then face deadly snakes, artifact-swiping vandals and sand flies carrying incurable diseases such as leishmaniasis (which Fisher has contracted).

He's also explored an ancient city that was even denser than Manhattan is now when it was built between 1,000 and 1,350 A.D.

He talked to Colorado Matters about his research, and what he's learned about ancient societies' traditions and behaviors.