Location: Blue Creek, Orange Walk District, Belize
The Dos Hombres Archaeological Project (DHAP) Maya Archaeology Field School in Belize takes place in northwestern Belize, Central America and is an exciting and fun way to get involved with original, archaeological discovery and research. Students will have the opportunity to learn archaeological methods including mapping and excavation techniques, artifact analysis, and soils identification, as well as studying ancient Maya culture, Belizean culture, and tropical forest ecology. Students will also have the opportunity to visit a few of the nearby archaeological sites, including one that has been excavated and restored for tourism, one of the largest Maya sites in Belize, the site of Lamanai. The field school hosts students from across every discipline and from all over the world allowing for a diverse learning experience. Movie nights, lectures, and group meals add to the atmosphere of learning but also create an opportunity for fun and making new friends. **You may earn credit at your home institution if you choose.
Students will be participating in original archaeological field research with Dr. Trachman from Elon University at the site of Dos Hombres, Belize. The field school format ensures students will have the academic rigor of learning about archaeological field methods, and ancient Maya culture, along with the experience and excitement of real archaeological discovery.
DHAP students will stay in the R.E.W. Adams Research Facility (the archaeology camp) situated in a conservation and management area that is somewhat remote. The Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area (RBCMA) is located in northwestern Belize and is comprised of 250,000 acres of protected tropical forest. As a result, students have a very unique opportunity to experience life in a communal/cooperative camp setting. Water, electricity, and the usual comforts of home are limited at best and many of them, such as TV and internet, are not available in camp.
Period(s) of Occupation: Classic Period Maya
Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 3 1/2 weeks
Room and Board Arrangements
The archaeology camp is set up to be a communal living situation. All students will be expected to adjust accordingly and will be graded as to their cooperation and conservation. The living situation includes full time camping in either tents or the semi-permanent dorm structure. Electricity is generated by a 10,000 watt generator that runs approximately three hours in the morning to provide light for preparing our breakfast and three hours in the evening for reading and study. Additional light or electricity is sometimes available (on sunny days) from electricity generated by solar panels.
Local cooks are hired to prepare Belizean-style food for meals. Special diet needs are difficult to accommodate, and should not be expected. However, we have found that in general vegetarians diets work okay if you eat eggs and dairy.
Camp chores will be assigned to each student on a rotating weekly basis. Camp chores include camp clean up, kitchen cleaning duty, washing dinner dishes, sweeping dorm and lab, vehicle maintenance (supervised), recording water storage tank levels, and taking compostable trash to the eco-friendly biodegradable trash pit. Students are expected to be able to cooperate in the carrying out of their camp duties and will be graded accordingly.