Rio Bravo Archaeology Survey and Field School, Belize

COVID-19 NOTICE: Please be sure to reach out to the project contact to find out the status of their upcoming season. Many projects have altered fieldwork plans and the information below may not reflect that.

This listing expired on March 18, 2020. Please contact for any updated information.

Location: Unnamed Road, Belize

Season: May 24, 2020 to June 28, 2020

Session Dates: **Receive $100 Off if You Apply By February 15, 2020**

Application Deadline: April 15, 2020

Deadline Type: Rolling


Program Type:
Field School, Volunteer

RPA Certified:

University of Texas at Austin, Community College of Philadelphia

Project Director:
Stanley L. Walling, Ph.D., R.P.A.

Project Description:

*2020 Season Cancelled Due to Covid-19 Pandemic*

The Rio Bravo Archaeological Field School provides college-level instruction in archaeological field methodology within a state-of-the-art research project at an ancient Maya commoner site in northwestern Belize.

In 2020, teams of veterans, students, and volunteers will rotate between excavation, digital survey mapping, and laboratory activities as they investigate the densely distributed, forest-covered remains of household structures, residential terraces, relic water-control systems, and one of the only known Late Classic-period (A.D. 600-850) commoner ballcourts. The settlement– mostly consisting of covered mounds under 2m tall– extends for a kilometer along a sloping surface of the 200-foot escarpment.

Come help us explore the complexity and sophistication of Maya commoner life at the close of the Classic period. An optional 3, 6, or 9 academic credits are offered through the University of Texas at Austin. Non-credit volunteers are welcome.

Visit our website for more!

Period(s) of Occupation: Maya Late Classic Period (A.D. 700 - 850)

RBAS is based at a tropical research station in a protected rainforest of Belize, Central America where the last human residents were the ancient Maya 1200 years ago. Our project focuses on a Maya commoner village, Chawak But'o'ob, in the hinterlands between several mid-size Maya cities. The RBAS fieldschool includes traditional excavation, survey, and laboratory training, with an emphasis on geoarchaeological techniques. The 2020 season (May 24- June 28) continues our research on Maya commoner settlement patterns, ceremonialism, and water management by excavation at an unusual commoner ballcourt, a complex system of house structures along a terraced hillside, and reconnaissance survey in an unexplored area east and south of the site. **Receive $100 Off if You Apply By February 15, 2020**

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 2 weeks (4 recommended)

Minimum Age: 18

Experience Required: None

Room and Board Arrangements:
Accommodations consist of dormitory space and covered tent stations (tents provided) in the Richard E.W. Adams Research Facility of the Programme for Belize Regional Archaeology Project. Camp will be shared by researchers and students from several universities. Full-time cooks prepare three meals per day and laundry is done by hired laundresses off-site once a week. Cost: $2350 for the four-week program ($2250 if apply before 2/15/20). This figure covers food, housing, transportation to/from the airport (3 hrs each way), field equipment, and daily transportation within the research area for the length of your stay. Additional costs include airfare, misc personal expenses, inoculations, and travel medical insurance. Minimum of two weeks stay required ($1500 for two-weeks). Note that students taking the field school for less than four weeks will miss important parts of the program and will not be qualified to work as a contract archaeologist in the US.

Academic Credit:
3 to 9 credits credits offered by University of Texas at Austin, or Community College of Philadelphia. Tuition is Not required, but if desired, tuition depends on which school (CCP or UT-Austin) and in-state/out-of-state residency. The Info Packet has some estimated tuition costs, but email us for more information..

Contact Information:

Stanely Walling

Director, Rio Bravo Archaeological Survey




United States

Phone: 215-751-8848/973-349-4647


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