2024 Maya Archaeology Field School in Belize

This listing expired on May 1, 2024. Please contact for any updated information.

Location: Blue Creek, Belize

Season: May 19, 2024 to June 12, 2024

Application Deadline: March 1, 2024

Deadline Type: Exact Date


Program Type:
Field School, Volunteer

RPA Certified:

Western Colorado University

Project Director:
David M. Hyde

Project Description:

The Medicinal Trail Hinterland Communities Archaeological Project (MTHCAP) is located within the Programme for Belize conservation area, a 260,000-acre nature reserve in northwestern Belize. The research area is home to over 80 known ancient Maya sites, many rare birds, two species of monkeys, jaguars, and other fauna and flora of the tropics.

This is a 6 credit-hour course designed to introduce students to the methods used to collect and analyze archaeological data in a hands-on field setting. The course will take place over the span of 4 weeks at a remote archaeological field camp in Belize, Central America. Students will receive instruction in archaeological excavations, making technical drawings, survey and instrument mapping, and basic field laboratory procedures at the Medicinal Trail Site. In addition, students will have the opportunity to learn about the Prehispanic Maya through lectures and field trips.

During this unique program you will spend four weeks living and working in a professional archaeological camp in northwestern Belize. This is an intense program, during which you will spend 6 days/week excavating and participating in related activities at the ancient Maya community of Medicinal Trail. The program is an experience you will remember for years as it provides not only a tremendous learning experience but also an opportunity for personal growth and exposure to the culture of the Latin American/Caribbean area.

Through hands on experience, you will learn the general aspects of field archaeology: excavation, survey, mapping, artifact processing, and artifact analysis.

Education is through a hands-on practical course that will require strenuous physical activity and manual dexterity. Field and lab training will be supplemented by occasional lectures, but most of the course is practical. All project participants will have the opportunity to participate in various aspects of archaeological fieldwork.

MTHCAP operates under a permit issued through the Institute of Archaeology to Dr. Fred Valdez, Director of the Programme for Belize Archaeology Project (PfBAP).

The field school dates are May 19 to June 12, 2024.

For more information, contact:
Dr. David M. Hyde

Period(s) of Occupation: Preclassic and Classic Maya

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Age: 18

Experience Required: None

Room and Board Arrangements:
Program fees cover the cost of room and board, and the group will be staying in the R.E.W. Adams Research Station. We will be sharing the camp with field schools from across the United States providing participants the opportunity to meet and interact with students and researchers from a wide range of backgrounds. The Adams Research Station includes a lab, kitchen & dining hall, dorm building and platforms for tents. Students will have the option of sharing a tent with one person, or a dorm room with 3 other individuals. The cost of the program is $2400 which includes: • Room and board while in camp. • Project-related ground transportation • Laundry service once per week • Use of necessary field equipment and supplies • Operational and administrative costs and fees • Weekend field trips to archaeological sites

Academic Credit:
6-Credit course offered through Western Colorado University. Course Offered: ANTH 497

Contact Information:

Dr. David M. Hyde

1 Western Way, Western Colorado University




Phone: (970) 943-2222

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