Working on the stairway at Xunantunich
Articles on Belize Belizean Artists and paintings Banks of Belize The Belize Barrier Reef Birds and Birding in Belize Belize Blogs Boat Charters Bookstore Businesses in Belize Belizean Casinos Caving and Cave tubing in Belize Annual Costa Maya Festival Cruise Ships Belize Scuba Diving and Snorkeling Electronic greeting cards with a Belizean flavor Economics of Belize Ambergris Caye Field Guide Fishing in Belize tarpon bonefish Golf carts Belize History Knowledgebase for Belize and Ambergris Caye Hol Chan Marine Reserve Belizean Holidays Belize Resorts, lodging Belize Maps Tour Guides in Belize Belize Message Boards / Forums National Parks and Reserves in Belize Latest Belize News Ambergris Caye Telephonebook /Directory Photographs of Belize Belize Restaurants Real Estate and Realtors in Belize Shopping in Belize Sitemap Snorkeling in Belize Spa / Massage What to do in Belize Belize Tour Guides, Travel Agents Quick Travel Hints Video Volunteers and Volunteering in Belize Belize Weather Forecast and conditions Belize Weddings, Getting married in Belize What's New on the Website Artists in Belize, Belizean Art
Thursday April 7, 2016

Previous | Next | Archive |
Website of the Day
The National Institute of Culture and History was created by the Government of Belize in 2003 to bring together diverse government departments, which had historically worked to preserve and promote Belizean culture and to allow for the management of newer endeavors. We are committed to the preservation of Belize's ancient and historical era monuments and artifacts; the interpretation of Belize's documented, photographic and oral history; and the promotion of contemporary visual, literary and performing arts.
Click here for past
Websites of the Day
Working on the stairway at Xunantunich

The Institute of Archaeology upgraded the stairway to Xunantunich in November of 2015.

"In our efforts to improve access and safety at our archaeological reserves, the IA completed a new and improved access stairway to the main plaza at Xunantunich. Visit the site today and remember that it is also free for Belizean residents on Sunday!"

Photograph by Institute of Archaeology (NICH) Belize

NAU students dig into history and conserve archaeological sites in Belize

Northern Arizona University students are credited with preserving archaeological sites in Belize and supporting that country’s economy, where one in four jobs is related to tourism.

Eight undergraduates and two graduate students spent the summer months in Belize doing excavations, which included a structure at Xunantuknich, an ancient Maya site near the Guatemala border.

“This work not only conserves cultural heritage, but it also creates jobs, contributes to national identity and is educational,” said Jaime Awe, an assistant professor of archaeology.

In addition to the archaeological tenets of excavation, students learned about preservation. Maya built with lime plaster, a combination of sand, water and lime, which deteriorates when exposed to rain and algae.

“We make a fiberglass replica that surrounds the original structure, protecting it, and we fill in the gaps with dirt,” Awe said. “When you go to the sites, you cannot tell that you are looking at a replica.”

Another important aspect of the students’ applied archaeological experience was interacting and training Belizeans, who lead tour groups at the ancient Maya sites and share information with visitors about their ancestors’ lifestyles and activities.

“Many people working in archaeology tend to focus on one specific area,” said graduate student Hannah Zanotto, whose previous experience was in the southwestern United States. “Going to Belize and working on excavation, dissemination of information and conservation gave me a broad perspective of what it means to do archaeology and the research being done in different areas.”

Fellow graduate student Dagmar Galvan worked alongside Zanotto and also did research in Belizean caves, which is the focus of her thesis. “I’m studying reverse handprints, a type of rock art found only in Belize, created by blowing smoke over a hand placed on the cave wall,” Galvan said.

The Maya treated caves as sacred spaces and left offerings, especially during the drought period between A.D. 700 and 900, which eventually led to the collapse of the Maya civilization.

Click here to comment on this picture.

Belize Slideshow

Click here for a large selection of photographs and videos of Belize
Email us - Weyour photographs. Send us yours with a description!

Belize Belize Belize Belize History Belize Weather
Belize Lodging Tours & Recreation Diving & Snorkeling Fishing Travel Tips Real Estate Island Information Visitor Center Belize Business San Pedro Sun Belize Message Board Restaurants Things to do

Belize Picture of the Day

button Home button Island button Community button History button Visitor Center button Goods & Services button Search button Forum button Contact Us button

Copyright by Casado Internet Group, Belize