1. Education

Mesoamerican Digs

Archaeology digs are held in Mesoamerica each year, including university field schools both from colleges in Mesoamerica and in other countries.

Field schools listed below with dates older than the current year may indicate an ongoing project that has not yet established dates for this season.

Balenbouche Estate (West Indies)
Next season unconfirmed. University of Bristol. 18th century sugar plantation, a completely unexpected early 18th century coffee works, and the remains of Carib and Arawak activity.

Bankhus House Project (St. Thomas)
June 4-19, 2013. Maxwell School of Syracuse University. Students will be also be involved in the analysis of artifacts from the shoreline ruins of an early cotton estate located at Cinnamon Bay. The Cinnamon Bay project explores a small-scale cotton plantation, provisioning and maritime estate dating back to the to the late 17th century. This site was later part of a much larger 18th and 19th century sugar estate.

Belize Valley Archaeological Projects
June-August 2014. (two sessions). The Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance Project. BVAR will continue work at Baking Pot with the purpose understanding the nature and complexity of the polity's decline. Research will focus in the monumental center at the palace complex of Group B, clearing large sections of the palace's structures and courtyards, aiming to refine our understanding of the chronological processes of abandonment by the royal court.

Betty's Hope (Antigua)
June 15-July 13 2013. Institute for Advanced Interdisciplinary Caribbean Archaeology and California State University, Chico. Betty’s Hope operated from 1651 until its sale by the Codrington family in 1944; the plantation operated continuously for almost 300 years, pre- and post-emancipation, thus allowing for a long-term, albeit complex, historical continuity in one place. The site is also a tourist destination, so students can experience aspects of public archaeology at the site. The field school will comprise field archaeology, lectures on Antigua’s English colonial history and historical archaeology, as well as some weekend fieldtrips

Blue Creek Project (Belize)
The Maya Research Program is a U.S.-based non-profit organization (501C3) that sponsors archaeological and ethnographic research in Middle America. Each summer since 1992, we have sponsored archaeological fieldwork at the ancient Maya site of Blue Creek in northwestern Belize. In 2014 we again offer opportunities to participate in our field program and learn about the Maya of the past and today.

The Blue Creek project is open to student and non-student participants, regardless of experience. Participants will receive training in both excavation and laboratory techniques and receive a “crash course” on the Maya and archaeological methodology. The Blue Creek field school is certified by the Register of Professional Archaeologists.

Academic credit and scholarships are available.

We invite students and volunteers to participate in the Maya Research Program’s Blue Creek archaeological project in Belize.

2014 Field Season Dates:

  • Session 1: May 26-June 8
  • Session 2: June 9-June 22
  • Session 3: June 30-July 13
  • Session 4: July 14-July 27

For additional information please contact the Maya Research Program:

  • www.mayaresearchprogram.org
  • 1910 East Southeast Loop 323 #296
  • Tyler, Texas 75701
  • 817-831-9011
  • mrpinquiries@gmail.com

Ethohistorical Archaeology in Mexico
June 15-July 12, 2014. Institute for Field Research. Students will learn about the millennial indigenous cultures, the impact of European colonialism, and the contemporary lifestyles and issues, by the active exploration of archaeological and historical sites, museum collections, and indigenous communities, from bustling Mexico City to the scenic valleys and highlands of Oaxaca and Puebla.

Holmul (Guatemala)
May 8-June 5, 2007. Vanderbilt University. This field school focuses on the archaeology of the ancient Maya at the city of Holmul. Instruction will include fieldwork at Holmul and lectures during field trips to nearby Maya ruins, including Tikal, Yaxha, Xunantunich, and Caracol.

Institute for Field Research: Central America Projects
The Institute for Field Research conducts several Central American projects each year.

Ka'Kabish (Belize)
May 17-June 21, 2014. Trent University. Ka'Kabish is a medium-size centre in north-central Belize located approximately 10 km from the larger, and more famous, site of Lamanai. The core area of Ka'Kabish was separated roughly in half by the construction of a modern road that connects the village Indian Church to San Filipe.

La Milpa and the Medicinal Trail (Belize)
June 16 - July 10, 2013. University of Massachusetts at Boston. La Milpa is a large ceremonial center - third largest Maya site in Belize. Excavations conducted under the auspices of this regional project and through a research permit granted by the Institute of Archaeology and the Government of Belize have revealed a continuous prehistoric occupation from ca. 900 B.C. to 900 A.D.

Oaxaca (Mexico)
May 21-June 12, 2012. Indiana University. Three IU anthropology faculty members will offer their summer field program in Oaxaca, Mexico for the third time in 2012. The course, titled “Heritage and Cultural Diversity in Oaxaca, Mexico”, was first taught in May 2008 by professors Stacie King, Anya Royce, Dan Suslak, and Catherine Tucker. They designed the course to introduce students to a broad range of topics within anthropology, including cultural patrimony, linguistic change, cultural diversity, economic revitalization and human-environment interaction

Ometepe Archaeological Project (Nicaragua)
January 7-27, 2012. National Museum of Nicaragua. Field survey and mapping of rock art and archaeological sites on Ometepe Island, Nicaragua. The Ometepe Archaeological Project is located in Nicaragua on Ometepe Island, the largest island in Lake Cocibolca (Lake Nicaragua), one of the biggest freshwater lakes in this hemisphere. Ometepe is made up of two beautiful volcanoes--Madera and Concepción--and a low-lying corridor of land in between.

Roaton (Honduras)
May 27-July 1, 2012. University of South Florida. The USF Mesoamerican Archaeology Field School is a five-week summer research program that allows participants to explore the fascinating history of pirates and Puritans in the Caribbean through scientific excavation of 17th century English and indigenous Pech settlements at New Port Royal and Camp Bay Village, both located against a backdrop of beautiful tropical forests and pristine beaches on Roatán Island, Honduras. As one of the educational components of Project Roatán, an international collaborative between the University of South Florida and the Honduran Institute of Anthropology and History, the program introduces participants to the ways in which archaeology can answer questions about past lifeways and simultaneously contribute to understanding the current intersection of cultural heritage and global tourism.

San Bartolo (Guatemala)
mid-January-early May 2014. Boston University. The program provides students with an unparalleled experience in Maya archaeology, history, and culture through intensive language study in the beautiful colonial town of Antigua, and through archaeological field work at San Bartolo in northern Guatemala, one of the premier archaeological sites in the Maya world. This program is offered spring semester of even-numbered years

Sitio Drago (Panama)
July 6-August 9, 2014. Institute for Field Research (UCLA). The course will focus on archaeological field and laboratory methods geared towards developing a fuller understanding of the history and prehistory of the Bocas del Toro region.

Western Belize Regional Cave Project (Belize)
TBA 2014. Indiana University, the Belize Valley Archaeology Project. The sites chosen for the 2004 research season include the caves Actun Chapat (Cave of the Centipede), Actun Halal (Cave of the Dart), and other recently discovered caves that were utilized by the ancient Maya.

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