The entrance to Marco Gonzalez Maya Site has been greatly improved thanks to the hard work and dedication of Jan Brown and crew. "London Bridges" have been set up leading to the site, where, on our arrival, we observed students from both Wilmington, NC, and London, England packing up a recently recovered skeleton, uncovering another set of bones, clearing some of the area, and a few taking notes.
This perfectly intact bowl was recovered recently,
and is a great find for the students on this dig.
Great slabs of stone were discovered in a nearby wooded area.
The skull of one of the skeletal remains before it is fully packed for moving from the area.
Another skeleton was discovered, and students have begun unearthing it.
Dr. Scott and Liz Graham.
There are tons of broken pottery all around, on the way to the site, at the site, and in the surrounding areas. According to history, the Mayas ritually broke their pottery every year.
There is a lot to be done to prepare the site for visitors en masse, but each step is a thrill, and each new discovery brings the public closer to its history. For the moment, the site is open to archaeology students and experts as it is prepared for public viewing in the near future.
Lots of interesting stuff is taking place at the Marco Gonzalez Mayan Site, South Ambergris Caye, as current excavations are revealing very interesting findings. Very much exploited and damaged in the past, a new project is working on securing, preserving and bringing the Mayan Ruins back to life.
On Thursday, July 8, the board of Directors of the Marco Gonzalez Mayan Site Project hosted a reception for tourism and education stakeholders of San Pedro to view artifacts from the site and meet the visiting archaeologists.
Miss Nadia Glassup from the University College London, England, working on her Masterís thesis conducted a four day exhibition at the BYC conference room of Marco Gonzalez artifacts and their relevance to our islands history.
Dorianís Angels also made a special trip to the site to see the workings of the university students and visiting archeologists. Although the weather was not at its best, with rainy clouds above our heads, it did not dampen our spirits as we headed out to the site. Ms. Jan Brown led us through the wooden walkway which is about a quarter of a mile heading west into the island. While walking through the walkway you seem to forget you are in paradise far away from the beautiful beaches and instead believe you are in the jungle ready for an adventure to unfold.
As we reached the end of the walkway we can truly say that the adventure truly began as we headed towards the excavating area where we saw thousands of pieces of broken pottery Ė all shapes, sizes and colors. The pathway is through much live green foliage and the soil in which you walk on is rich black dirt.
Dr. Elizabeth Graham showed us around and the first thing she revealed to us was a beautiful ceramic pot still intact with rich earthly colors. To our surprise the students were working on unearthing a skeleton and I was much pleased to help out the girls and get my hands in this unbelievable findings.
As for Angel Delsie she was lucky too, as the team of students she was helping out, unearthed pieces of rocks which were believed to be a set of steps thatís when they found another set of skeleton remains. Angel Pearl she was much amused just for being there. She was busy here there and everywhere, either taking amazing pictures, helping out to unearth findings or just simply helping out the students to build their dirt castle LOL!!!
It was really nice to see the hard work and dedication exhibited by these students and their professors. This is a job that requires much love, dedication and patience to unearth the findings and then having to secure and preserve the Mayan site and artifacts. An interesting note that was pointed out to us by Dr. Graham was that there was a lot of obsidian (volcanic glass) which was used back in the days for sharp blades or arrowheads.
Marco Gonzalez was believed to be a principal port of trade for residents of Lamanai (Orange Walk District) hence the reason of having many artifacts that are believed to be from different areas of Central America and Mexico. A major trade at Marco Gonzalez was the trade of salt as there were many findings of pottery used for the making of salt in the area.
The students, along with Dr. Simmons and Dr. Graham, have been doing a fantastic job in their field work for a better understanding as to what truly went on at Marco Gonzalez, but unfortunately they will soon have to leave and all their hard work will remain at a stand still. Hopefully the Government of Belize through the Department of Archaeology can come up with some funding to help uncover and protect our beautiful Marco Gonzalez Mayan Site.
Much thanks to Ms. Jan Brown for having invited us to visit the site while these students and Doctors did their field work. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and an unforgettable one!!