The Maya Research Program is a U.S.-based non-profit organization (501C3) that sponsors archaeological and ethnographic research in Middle America. Each summer since 1992, we have sponsored archaeological fieldwork at the ancient Maya site of Blue Creek in northwestern Belize. In 2011 we again offer opportunities to participate in our field program and learn about the Maya of the past and today.
The site of Blue Creek islocated on the Rio Bravo escarpment in north-western Belize. Despite its modest size, the strategic location at the head of the Rio Hondo afforded its rulers substantial wealth, prestige, and authority. At its peak, from 200-600 AD, it was a successful city state supporting up to 20,000 inhabitants. Trade and agriculture formed the basis of wealth for Blue Creek leading to a relatively stable social system. However, by 800 AD a major decline is evident with building construction at the core area coming to a halt and termination deposits placed on major architectural features in the site core and surrounding elite residential areas. By 1100 AD the site was almost completely abandoned. (Please see http://www.pasthorizons.com/index.php/archives/03/2011/twenty-years-of-archaeology-at-blue-creekfor a brief summary of the work at Blue Creek.)
The 2011 season will focus on expanding our understanding of the abandonment and collapse of Blue Creek through excavations of elite residential areas adjacent to the site core of Blue Creek, monumental architecture at the nearby site of Nohol Nah, elite residences at the site of Bedrock, and wetlands agricultural systems.
The Blue Creek project is open to student and non-student participants, regardless of experience. The field school is certified by the Register of Professional Archaeologists and participants will receive training in archaeological field and laboratory techniques. (Please see our participant guide for additional information: http://www.mayaresearchprogram.org/web-content/helpdig_form.html)
Academic credit and scholarships are available.
We invite students and volunteers to participate in the Maya Research Program’s 20th year of our Blue Creek archaeological project in Belize.
2011 Field Season Dates:
Session 1: Monday May 23 - Sunday June 5;
Session 2: Monday June 6 - Sunday June 18 ;
Session 3: Monday June 27 - Sunday July 10;
Session 4: Monday July 11 - Sunday July 24
The donation for the Blue Creek Archaeological Project is $1750 for a single two week session. If more than one session is desired, the donation is $1200 for each additional session. A special first-session rate of $1500 is available to students currently enrolled in an accredited University or College. A deposit of $250 per session is required to hold your spot.
For additional information please contact the Maya Research Program: