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  • Locations: San Ignacio, Belize
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Costs: Summer
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Program Type:
Faculty-led GPA Requirement: 2.5
Education Abroad Advisor: Eric Deschamps
Language Prerequisite:
Fields of Study:
Program Description:

Field Methods in Archaeology: Investigating Maya Civilization

NAU Department of Anthropology

Xunantunich visit - Awe

Belize, Central America



Gain training in archaeological field and laboratory techniques, and immerse yourself in Belizean culture! In addition to the program's NAU affiliation, the course will also operate under the auspices of the Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance (BVAR) Project (see The BVAR project has been conducting archaeological research in Belize since 1988, with particular focus on the large ancient Maya cities of Cahal Pech, Baking Pot, Lower Dover and Xunantunich. Just as students in the past, you will have an opportunity to continue working at these large Maya sites in 2017.  Our investigations will include extensive excavations of large palaces and temples, the mapping and testing of prehistoric features and settlements, and the analyses of diverse cultural remains.

Working with several professional archaeologists from NAU, Baylor University, Penn State, and UNM, you will receive extensive training in excavation techniques, survey methods, and the recording/mapping of monumental and residential architecture. Regular laboratory work will include the processing, inventorying and the classifying of cultural remains recovered by our investigations. Additionally, you will receive some training on the analyses of ceramic and stone artifacts, as well as human and animal remains. Evening lectures will present an overview of ancient Maya civilization, and other special topics such as artifact analysis, archaeological survey methods, human osteology, and Maya ritual and religion.

NOTE * The program is divided into two sessions. The first session extends from May 29 to June 23rd.  Session 2 commences on July 3rd and ends on July 28th.  Students who decide to remain during the first week of July will have an opportunity to attend the 13th Annual Belize Archaeology Symposium. At this international conference, students will have a special opportunity to listen to world famous Maya archaeologists present on their most recent discoveries, and to place our own research within the context of ancient Maya civilization in Belize.

Belize Awe - Lithic Workshop


2.5 GPA


Getting Credit for Studies Abroad

Students can register for up to 4 units of ANT 408 fieldwork course.

Graduate students may enroll in 4 units of ANT 511: Introduction to Anthropological Fieldwork; a course fee that goes to the Anthropology Department is required for this class – graduate students will have to write a research report that describes the purpose, methods and results of their fieldwork.

Students who wish to receive academic credit (aside from general elective and liberal studies credit) must have their courses pre-approved by the appropriate department. Once you apply through our website, you will be able to enter the classes you wish to take electronically. These classes can be reviewed and approved directly by faculty once entered. If you would like courses abroad to count for general elective credit or liberal studies credit only, you can simply ask your study abroad advisor to do that for you.

Benque Site 3 Baking Pot Lab 2



Session 1: May 29 - June 25
Session 2: July 3 - July 30



Students will stay in shared accommodations for the duration of the program. You will likely be sharing a room, bathroom, and kitchen area with one or two fellow students. Internet service is likely but not guaranteed. The cost of housing (for either option) is already included in the fee for this program.

Dinner Better


To view the costs for this program, click the "costs" link at the top of this page. This will direct you to a line-item breakdown of how much the program costs and what is included in those costs.


To apply to this program, all you need to do is hit the "Apply Now" button found at the top of this page. Once applied, you will have your own personal study abroad page, with a checklist of items needed in order to complete your application.

Questions can be directed to Eric Deschamps,

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.