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Fact Sheet:
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Program Type: Faculty-led GPA Requirement: 2.5
Education Abroad Advisor: Mikaela Terry Language Prerequisite: None
Language of Instruction: English Fields of Study: Anthropology
Program Description:


Field Methods in Archaeology: Investigating Maya Civilization

NAU Department of Anthropology

Belize, Central America

 
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ABOUT THIS PROGRAM


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 www.BVAR.org). 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 2018.  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 26 to June 28, 2019.  Session 2 commences on June 30 and ends on July 28, 2019.  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.

May 26: Students arrive and are met by program staff at Belize International Airport. We then
travel for 2 hours on shuttles to San Ignacio. Following room and roommate assignment, students have dinner.  After dinner, we will have a Welcome Orientation to Belize and we will highlight the schedule for the following day.
 
May 27: Visit to Cahal Pech Visitors Center followed by tour of Cahal Pech site.
Afternoon Lecture: Identification of the material record in ancient Maya cultural context, followed by instruction on how to set up archaeological units, what types of information needs to be recorded in field note books, and the protocols for recording archaeological field data/information.
           
May 28: Site tour of Baking Pot and Xunantunich:  Presentation/lecture on problem oriented
research, project research objectives, and introduction to Maya archaeology (BVAR Research Overview); introduction to excavation and lab work
 
May 29-31: Students divided into teams and assigned to excavation site and loci. Excavations,
survey and lab work begin under the supervision of instructors/supervisors.
 
May 31: Daytime excavation and Evening Lecture after dinner. Lecture Topic: Settlement
Archaeology in the Maya Lowlands. The latter will include an Introduction to Archaeological Theory in Settlement Studies and will describe the Research Questions and Objectives of the Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance Project
 
June 1 -2: Weekend & Non-Program time. Students free to visit other nearby sites & explore town.
 
June 2: Sunday dinner and evening lecture: The Early Prehistory of the Belize River Valley.
 
June 3-7:  Excavations, survey and lab work under the supervision of instructors/supervisors.
 
June 7: Students visit other sites where colleagues have been working.
            Evening lecture: The Classic Maya of the Belize Valley
 
June 8-9: Weekend & Non-Program time. Students free to visit other nearby sites & explore town.
 
June 9: Sunday dinner and evening lecture: The Terminal Classic and the Decline of Maya
Civilization.
 
June 10-13: Excavations, survey and lab work under the supervision of instructors/supervisors.
 
June 13: Evening lecture: The Terminal Classic and the Decline of Maya Civilization.
 
June 14-17: (Friday morning to Monday afternoon) Non-Program Time & Long weekend.
Students free to visit offshore islands, other tourist destination, or stay in town assisting staff with various field/lab activities).
 
June 17: Dinner and evening lecture: The Postclassic Maya of the Belize Valley.
 
June 18-21: Excavations, survey and lab work under the supervision of instructors/supervisors.
 
June 21: Evening lecture: How Archaeologists Interpret the Past. We also describe            accomplishments of field work and farewell dinner.
 
June 22: Students depart San Ignacio by shuttle service to International Airport and return home.
 
June 26-June 28: Belize Archaeology Symposium

                        SESSION 2 PROGRAM BEGINS
June 30: Students arrive and are met by program staff at Belize International Airport.  We then
travel for 2 hours on shuttles to San Ignacio. Following room and roommate assignment, students have dinner.  After dinner, we will have a Welcome Orientation to Belize and we will highlight the schedule for the following day.
 
July 1: Visit to Cahal Pech Visitors Center followed by tour of Cahal Pech site.
Afternoon Lecture: Identification of the material record in ancient Maya cultural context, followed by instruction on how to set up archaeological units, what types of information needs to be recorded in field note books, and the protocols for recording archaeological field data/information.
           
July 2: Site tour of Baking Pot and Xunantunich:  Presentation/lecture on problem oriented
research, project research objectives, and introduction to Maya archaeology (BVAR Research Overview); introduction to excavation and lab work
 
July 3-5: Students divided into teams and assigned to excavation site and loci. Excavations,
survey and lab work begin under the supervision of instructors/supervisors.
 
July 5: Daytime excavation and Evening Lecture after dinner. Lecture Topic: Settlement
Archaeology in the Maya Lowlands. The latter will include an Introduction to Archaeological Theory in Settlement Studies and will describe the Research Questions and Objectives of the Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance Project
 
July 6 -7: Weekend & Non-Program time. Students free to visit other nearby sites & explore town.
 
July 7: Sunday dinner and evening lecture: The Early Prehistory of the Belize River Valley.
 
July 8-12:  Excavations, survey and lab work under the supervision of instructors/supervisors.
 
July 12: Students visit other sites where colleagues have been working.
            Evening lecture: The Classic Maya of the Belize Valley
 
July 13-14: Weekend & Non-Program time. Students free to visit other nearby sites & explore
town.
 
July 14: Sunday dinner and evening lecture: The Terminal Classic and the Decline of Maya
Civilization.
 
July 15-18: Excavations, survey and lab work under the supervision of instructors/supervisors.
 
July 18: Evening lecture: The Terminal Classic and the Decline of Maya Civilization.
 
July 19-22: (Friday morning to Monday afternoon) Non-Program Time & Long weekend.
Students free to visit offshore islands, other tourist destination, or stay in town assisting staff with various field/lab activities).
 
July 22: Dinner and evening lecture: The Postclassic Maya of the Belize Valley.
 
July 23-26: Excavations, survey and lab work under the supervision of instructors/supervisors.
 
July 26: Evening lecture: How Archaeologists Interpret the Past. We also describe            accomplishments of field work and farewell dinner.
 
July 27: Students depart San Ignacio by shuttle service to International Airport and return home.
 
July 28 - August 4: Wrap up, clean equipment, close off excavations, store cultural materials
recovered during excavations, close project, and depart to U.S.




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REQUIREMENTS


2.5 GPA

 

Getting Credit for Studies Abroad

This program offers 3 units of ANT 408 fieldwork course.

Graduate students will earn 3 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.


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PROGRAM DATES

 

Session 1: May 26- June 28, 2018
Session 2: June 30 - July 28, 2018

 

HOUSING

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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.

COSTS


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.
 

HOW TO APPLY


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.



Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2019 02/15/2019 ** Rolling Admission 05/26/2019 07/28/2019

**