Fieldwork in Belize--please post (fwd)

Hugh W. Jarvis (hjarvis@ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU)
Tue, 30 Jan 1996 12:36:32 -0500

Please don't reply to me on this. Note the address enclosed.

...tis better to be silent and thought a fool
than to reply and remove all doubt... (oops)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 29 Jan 1996 22:58:58 -0500
To: hjarvis@acsu.Buffalo.EDU
Subject: Fieldwork in Belize--please post

Announcing Two Fieldwork Opportunities
in Belize, Central America, 1996!


The Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance Project out of Trent
University, Ontario has been in Belize for the past 8 years. The director of
the field school will be Dr. Jaime Awe of Trent University and the project
offers an opportunity for students and archaeology/anthropology enthusiasts
to gain field and laboratory
experience on an ancient Maya site in Central America. The four-week
programs provide an intensive introduction to the practice of archaeology,
providing training in a variety of techniques including data recording, site
survey, excavation, and laboratory skills. Lectures will highlight the
archaeology of the Maya and modern archaeological research within Belize.

The site chosen for the 1996 field school season is the ancient ceremonial
center of Baking Pot, which has evidence of late Formative and Classic Maya
occupation. The investigations will concentrate upon survey and
reconnaissance of neighboring sites and widespread mapping of the area, as
well as excavation of pyramids and other features within the site groups. In
addition to the fieldwork, volunteers will have the opportunity to take
educational excursions to other Maya sites in the
area and travel through the beautiful countryside that Belize has to offer.
Participants will also have ample free time to learn about and enjoy modern
Belize and its people.

Two four-week sessions are available in 1996:

Session 1: 3 June to 28 June
Session 2: 1 July to 26 July

Volunteers must be in good physical condition, and at least 18 years of age.
Experience is preferred, but not required. Registration fees for
participation in one session are $1200 U.S., and include lodging, weekday
meals, and transportation to and from the site. Travel to and from Belize
and incidental expenses are the responsibility of the participant.

The project is a cooperative effort of the Belize Valley Archaeological
Reconnaissance Project, archaeologists from Canada, Belize, the United
States, and the United Kingdom and will include a wide variety of visiting
specialists and guest lecturers.


Actun Tunichil Mucnal translates to "Cave of the Crystal Skeleton" in the
Mayan language and the project will focus upon discovering the role of caves
in ancient culture. Dr. Jaime Awe will be heading up the archaeological
investigations in this cave, which will include extensive exploration of the
cave site, survey, mapping of rooms and artifacts, typing of pottery,
artifact tabulation, and data recording. Dr. Awe was the first archaeologist
to explore Actun Tunichil Mucnal, and archaeological work has yet to be
conducted in the cave. The preliminary exploration of Actun Tunichil Mucnal
was featured in a National Geographic Explorer documentary in 1993 titled,
"Journey Through the Underworld."

Actun Tunichil Mucnal is known to have carved monuments, burials, and
numerous cultural remains. Field work will also include laboratory efforts
where students will learn ceramic and lithic analyses and preliminary
analysis of human remains. Lectures will be held weekly and will provide an
overview of Maya civilization with a particular focus on ideology and
cosmology relating to the use of caves by prehistoric Maya.

This Field Research opportunity will run for one session:

15 May to 30 May, 1996

Registration fees for the project are $600 U.S. which includes lodging,
weekday meals, and transportation to and from the site. Travel to and from
Belize and incidental expenses are the responsibility of the participant.

Both projects have provisions for university credit. To be considered for a
project, send and e-mail message indicating which project(s) you would like
to attend. Application materials will follow such inquiries.

All interested parties should respond via e-mail to Cameron Griffith at:


Cameron Griffith
Assistant Director, Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance Field School
Co-Director, Actun Tunichil Mucnal Archaeological Project