December 20, 2013
BOSTON—December 20, 2013—The Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) awarded its most recent Site Preservation Grant to a conservation and outreach project at the Early Classic Maya site of Tulix Mul, Belize, directed by Dr. Thomas Guderjan of the Maya Research Program. The grant will protect fragile and rare Maya murals found at the site and establish a permanent outreach program that will involve the local community in the site’s history and preservation.
Tulix Mul is home to one of the few known murals produced by the ancient Maya. These murals, though few and far between, have provided scholars with a wealth of information regarding Maya art, religious concepts, trade, and interaction with neighboring peoples. Located in the middle of a functioning cattle ranch, Tulix Mul is threatened by looting and damage at the hands of casual visitors to the site who do not fully understand the fragile nature of the paintings. Guderjan’s project aims to preserve the site through digital recording and the construction of a protective door that will seal off the site from disturbance and limit damage caused by environmental degradation.
In addition to direct preservation, the project at Tulix Mul will also establish a permanent and focused outreach program to encourage the local community to get involved in the long-term preservation of the site. The program will work with local school groups, church groups, landowners, and others to promote the research and preservation at the site. Public programs will include lectures, community workshops, a tour guide training program, and open lab days.
About AIA Site Preservation Program and Grants
The AIA Site Preservation Program emphasizes outreach, education, and the spread of best practices in site preservation. The Program supports projects in Belize, Cambodia, Chile, Crete, Cyprus, Guatemala, Israel, Ireland, Kenya, Jordan, Mexico, Montserrat, Peru, Syria, Turkey, and the United States. In addition to awards and grants, the program includes advocacy to stop the destruction of archaeological sites; informs U.S. Troops of cultural materials they may encounter while deployed; presents outreach activities for children; maintains online resources for the public and professionals; and hosts workshops. All aspects of the program, including the awarding of grants, are made possible through donations to the AIA Site Preservation Program. To learn more, please visit archaeological.org/sitepreservation.
About Archaeological Institute of America (AIA)
Founded in 1879, The Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) is North America’s oldest and largest archaeological organization. Today, the AIA has nearly 250,000 members and 110 local societies in the United States, Canada, and overseas. The AIA exists to promote archaeological inquiry and public understanding of the material record of the human past worldwide by promoting research; advocating for preservation of the world’s archaeological heritage; and educating people of all ages.
For more information and images please contact:
Kelly Lindberg, AIA Site Preservation Program Administrator—firstname.lastname@example.org 617-358-6098
Ben Thomas, AIA Director of Programs—email@example.com
To learn more about Tulix Mul and the Site Preservation Grant at work there, visit: http://www.archaeological.org/projects/tulixmulbelize