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Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Click here for a definition of this term Program Type: Faculty-led GPA Requirement: 2.5
Education Abroad Advisor: Holly Wheeler Click here for a definition of this term Language Prerequisite: None
Language of Instruction: English Click here for a definition of this term Fields of Study: Anthropology
Program Description:


Field Methods in Archaeology: Investigating Maya Civilization

NAU Department of Anthropology

Dr. Jaime Awe
jaime.awe@nau.edu

 

Belize, Central America

Session II: July 4th, 2021 - July 31st, 2021
Winter Session:  Online December 18 - 23rd and in country December 26, 2021 - January 8, 2022

 
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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, University of Pittsburgh, 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 30th to June 26th, 2021.  Session 2 commences on July 4th and ends on July 31st, 2021.  Students who decide to remain during the first week of July will have an opportunity to attend the 14th 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. A winter break program has been added to this NAU Led opportunity!  More information to come. 

SESSION 1 PROGRAM BEGINS (see below for more detailed syllabus)
 
May 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.
 
May 31: 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 notebooks, and the protocols for recording archaeological field data/information.
           
June 1: 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 
Students divided into teams and assigned to excavation site and loci. Excavations, survey and lab work begin under the supervision of instructors/supervisors.
 
June 2-4: 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 5-6: Weekend & Non-Program time. Students free to visit other nearby sites & explore town.
 
June 7: Sunday dinner and evening lecture: The Early Prehistory of the Belize River Valley.
 
June 8-12:  Excavations, survey and lab work under the supervision of instructors/supervisors.
 
June 12: Students visit other sites where colleagues have been working.
            Evening lecture: The Classic Maya of the Belize Valley
 
June 13-14: Weekend & Non-Program time. Students free to visit other nearby sites & explore town.
 
June 14: Sunday dinner and evening lecture: The Terminal Classic and the Decline of Maya
Civilization.
 
June 15-19: Excavations, survey and lab work under the supervision of instructors/supervisors.
 
June 19: Evening lecture: The Terminal Classic and the Decline of Maya Civilization.
 
June 20-21: (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 21: Dinner and evening lecture: The Postclassic Maya of the Belize Valley.
 
June 22-26: Excavations, survey and lab work under the supervision of instructors/supervisors.
 
June 26: Evening lecture: How Archaeologists Interpret the Past. We also describe accomplishments of field work and farewell dinner.
 
June 27: Students depart San Ignacio by shuttle service to International Airport and return home.
 
July 26 - July 28: Belize Archaeology Symposium
 
SESSION 2 PROGRAM BEGINS

July 4: 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 5: 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 notebooks, and the protocols for recording archaeological field data/information.
           
July 6: 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
Students divided into teams and assigned to excavation site and loci. Excavations, survey and lab work begin under the supervision of instructors/supervisors.
 
July 7-9: 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 9-11: Weekend & Non-Program time. Students free to visit other nearby sites & explore town.
 
July 11: Sunday dinner and evening lecture: The Early Prehistory of the Belize River Valley.
 
July 12-16:  Excavations, survey and lab work under the supervision of instructors/supervisors.
 
July 16: Students visit other sites where colleagues have been working.
            Evening lecture: The Classic Maya of the Belize Valley
 
July 16-18: Weekend & Non-Program time. Students free to visit other nearby sites & explore
town.
 
July 18: Sunday dinner and evening lecture: The Terminal Classic and the Decline of Maya
Civilization.
 
July 19-22: Excavations, survey and lab work under the supervision of instructors/supervisors.
 
July 22: Evening lecture: The Terminal Classic and the Decline of Maya Civilization.
 
July 23-26: (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 26: Dinner and evening lecture: The Postclassic Maya of the Belize Valley.
 
July 27-30: Excavations, survey and lab work under the supervision of instructors/supervisors.
 
July 30: Evening lecture: How Archaeologists Interpret the Past. We also describe accomplishments of field work and farewell dinner.
 
July 31: Students depart San Ignacio by shuttle service to International Airport and return home.

 
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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 31 - June 26, 2021
Session 2: July 5 - August 1, 2021
Winter Break: Online December 18 - 23, and in country December 26, 2021 - January 8, 2022

 

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. Please note what is included in the program fee and what is not included in the budget before submitting your application.

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
Winter 2021-2022 10/15/2021 ** Rolling Admission 12/26/2021 01/08/2022

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