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  Mesoamerican Archaeological Research Laboratory

The Programme for Belize Archaeological Project, Belize, Central America

About the PfBAP | Media Coverage | Volunteer Opportunities | Student Opportunities | Maya Pottery Research Workshop | Program Location | What Does it Look Like? | Further Details & Application |

About the Programme for Belize Archaeological Project (PfBAP)

  • Ancient Maya ceramics recovered by the PfBAP from a tombPfBAP is directed by Dr. Fred Valdez of the Department of Anthropology, University of Texas at Austin
  • Since 1992, with the permission of the Department of Archaeology, Government of Belize, the PfBAP has conducted original research concerning ancient Maya civilization
  • The project area of the PfBAP is in northwestern Belize on land owned by the Programme for Belize, a Belizean controlled non-profit organization established in 1988
  • PfBAP research focuses on the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area, a nature reserve that is over 250,000 acres in size
  • The PfBAP research area contains over 50 ancient Maya settlements
  • The research area is home to a great variety of neotropical wildlife, including many birds, cats, and monkeys
  • Researchers at PfBAP have authored many research reports and several dissertations and theses have been produced.
  • The field school program involves survey, excavation at several Maya sites, and laboratory experience working directly with excavated Maya artifacts. Field techniques, lectures on Maya culture history and instruction concerning artifact analysis are provided during each session.
  • The PfBAP offers archaeological fieldwork opportunities for volunteers of any age and experience level as well as opportunities for students to earn college credit.

Recent media coverage and events at the PfBAP back to top

Opportunities for Volunteers back to top

During the Spring of 2001, the PfBAP initiated a Volunteer Program. The Volunteer Program incorporates interested parties into the PfBAP research program.

  • The R. E. W. Adams Research FacilityVolunteers must commit to a minimum of one week and may stay with the project for up to 3 weeks during the field season. Longer stays may be available. Volunteers may participate in our "academic credit" sessions (see below), as payment of tuition and enrolment for credit are optional.
  • Costs
    • volunteer program fees are:
      • 1 week = US$720
      • 2 weeks = US$1120
      • 3 weeks = US$1460
      • Each Additional week = US$300
    • fee includes room and board and project-related travel while in Belize
    • fee does not include travel to and from Belize
    • fee does not include  an optional trips to Guatemala or the Belizean Cayes (if available). Refer to Travel in and Around Belize for details on these trips.
    • longer stays may be available for US$300 for each additional week after 3 weeks
  • Dates
    • Arrival is usually scheduled for a Sunday and departure is scheduled for a Saturday. Contact us for details.
  • volunteers may also participate in our summer session. Summer registration for academic credit is not required.

Opportunities for Academic Credit back to top

Academic credit may be obtained from the University of Texas at Austin, or your home institution.

Summer Session(s) 2010

Generally, students earn 6 - 9 credit hours during a summer session. Enrolment for credit and payment of UT tuition, however, is optional. Non-student volunteers are welcome to attend.

  • PfBAP staff and students reassemble a broken altarThe courses that are scheduled for university credit are

    • Archaeological Field Techniques, 6 hours

    • Conference Course in Anthropology, 3 hours

  • Costs
    • Project fees are estimated to be US$1,735 or $2,935 for both summer sessions
      • fee includes room and board and project related travel within Belize
      • fee does not include roundtrip airfare to Belize
      • fee does not include tuition and fees payable to the University of Texas at Austin
        • an estimated Fee Information is available from UT
        • payment of tuition and enrolment for credit are optional
      • fee does not include optional travel to Guatemala and/or the Belizean Cayes at the end of each session. See Travel in and Around Belize for details
  • Deadlines for Non-Texas Residents
    • March 1st: non-texas residents need to apply by March 1st, if you wish to be considered for financial aid consideration from CGEO (UT study abroad department).
    • March 15th: non-texas residents need to apply by March 15th, if you intend to enroll for tuiton credit at the University of Texas at Austin (If you enroll for tuition at your own university, then this does not apply).
  • Funding Oppurtunities
    • CGEO has an IEFS scholarship application due on March 1st, see their website for more details.
    • CGEO also has a listing of other funding oppurtunities:
  • Dates
    • Summer Sessions:
      1. May 24 - June 21, 2010
      2. June 17 - July 15, 2010
      3. May 24 - July 15, 2010 (Both sessions)

Maya Pottery Research Workshop back to top

PfBAP, in cooperation with master potter Clint Swink, offers a unique pottery workshop focusing on research through replication of Lowland Maya pottery using ancient techniques.

  • One 9-day session was available in the spring of 2003.
  • For more information on this workshop, including fees and application forms, visit Clint Swink's Web site

Program Location back to top

  • The R. E. W. Adams Research Facility is in the rain forestWhere is Belize? A map is available from the Belize Tourism Board.
  • We are based in the Orange Walk District, in northwestern Belize, near the Mexican and Guatemalan borders.
  • Our map of the Programme for Belize land shows some of the archaeological sites and  our research area.

What Does it Look Like? back to top

Further Details and Application back to top


October 27, 2009
Mesoamerican Archaeological Research Laboratory at UT Austin
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