Location: Banana Bank Lodge, Belmopan, Belize
Have you ever wanted to explore ancient ruins in the jungle? Join us in the summer of 2014 in Belize and become trained as an archaeologist! For those interested in applying to the Archaeological Field School in Belize, an application and more information can be found at the UNH COLA Center for Study Abroad: http://cola.unh.edu/study-abroad/program/belize-field-school.
This is an intensive, 8-credit-hour course designed to introduce students to the methods used to collect and analyze archaeological data in a hands-on field setting. Students will receive instruction in field excavations, survey and mapping of archaeological sites, and laboratory processing and analyses of recovered artifacts. The course consists of field work during the day and lectures 2-3 nights/week on a variety of topics related to ancient Maya civilization, as well as lecture and class discussion on a range of topics concerning archaeological field and laboratory techniques. Evening labs will also include hands-on artifact analyses with one-on-one training from Program staff, all of who are trained professional archaeologists. The goals of the Archaeological Field School are to: a) provide students with an overview of ancient Maya history, from Pre-Hispanic to Colonial times (ca. 900 B.C. – A.D. 1900), and b) offer students a thorough understanding and hands-on working knowledge of how archaeological research is conducted in both the field and the lab.
The Archaeological Field School in Belize is part of Dr. Harrison-Buck’s ongoing Belize River East Archaeology (BREA) research project. For the latest information on the BREA project and to learn more about the sites we have investigated previously, please visit: http://www.breaproject.org. The Field School program offers college students the opportunity to be active participants in the archaeological investigations of ancient Maya sites in the BREA study area--a 6000 km2 area in the eastern Belize River watershed. The field school is limited to no more than 12 students. In addition to the Director, the BREA project includes a group of staff members trained in Maya archaeology, including five with PhDs. Because we keep the field school small, the program offers an incredible staff to student ratio, with intensive, one-on-one instruction in archaeological field and laboratory methods from staff who all have years of field experience and can share their various areas of expertise in Maya archaeology.
Field school activities will range from archaeological excavation to survey and mapping of Maya archaeological sites in and around the area. Project vehicles will transport students to and from the archaeological sites and occasionally sites will be accessed via canoe. Students will have the opportunity to learn how to excavate, how to draw profiles and plan maps of their excavations, how to record archaeological data, how to process and analyze artifacts in the lab, and how to survey and map previously unrecorded archaeological sites. Students will receive training in not only fieldwork but also lab methods (artifact cleaning and analysis). Course work will include hands-on field and lab work, a field journal, a written exam based on reading and evening lectures, and a final written report based on original field and lab research. The program also includes several site tours of nearby Maya ruins, including the large sites of Xunantunich and Cahal Pech, as well as optional trips during free weekends.
Period(s) of Occupation: Ancient Maya civilization
Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 4 weeks
Room and Board Arrangements
Students will be housed in the cabanas at Banana Bank Lodge, a jungle resort on the Belize River. The area is rural, consisting of dirt roads and fields, surrounded by jungle but is within a 15 minute drive of the capital. More information about the lodge is available on the Banana Bank web site: http://www.bananabank.com/. The lodge has a restaurant, bar, swimming pool, wireless internet, 24-hour electricity, and cell phone coverage. There is no TV at the lodge. The program includes three meals per day while at the lodge. Students will be able to use the swimming pool and walking trails. Other activities, including horseback riding, guided tours, tubing, canoeing, etc. can be arranged through the lodge, but are not included in the cost of the program.