Topic ID #41956 - posted 1/13/2020 5:44 PM

ARCHAEOLOGY OF MAYA COMMONERS in Unexplored Rainforest, Belize (June 2020)


"Commoners": The 99%

Come learn about the non-elite in Ancient Maya society and archaeological methods at a tropical research station in an unexplored, subtropical rainforest in Belize, Central America!

For over 25 years, RBAS has been providing invaluable insight into the lives of common Maya during the Late Classic period in northwestern Belize. The site of Chawak but'o'ob is a hinterland settlement deep in the forests of the Programme for Belize-- no structures are over 2 meters tall. Indeed, most structures are "invisible" until peeling back the humic layer. The nearest temple is 3km as the crow flies.

Our focus remains commoner settlement patterns, but we have shifted recently towards commoner ritual, ceremonialism, and water management. Our archaeological methods emphasize a geoarchaeological and environmental orientation (e.g. soils and ancient botanical remains), including a botanical study of the flora surrounding a number of settlements. The 2020 season will include investigation of an unusual ritual ballcourt (the largest structure at the site!), built by and for Maya commoners, and the rubble remains of a small house where a conch shell cache and burial were discovered last season. 

STUDENTS NEEDED for the June 2020 season. *Cost for the 4-week Program is $2350 (including food, housing, transportation).

Apply online at:


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