Archaeology Symposium digs into Belize’s ruins

Friday, 07 July 2006

By Angel Novelo

er a dozen doctors of Anthropology and Archaeology, scholars, students and those whose interest lies deep within the mysterious life of the Maya civilisation, gathered this week at the Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts for the 4th annual Archaeology Symposium.

Ov Jaime Awe, Ph.D., Director of Belize’s Institute of Archaeology, says the symposium is all about bringing people together from all over the world to discus and to share their knowledge and information on excavation done in Belize.

“It also provides us with an excellent opportunity to share this information and knowledge with the people of Belize,” says Awe.

He explained, for years archaeologist have been coming to Belize to do research and never really produce that knowledge to the Belizean population.

The symposium, says Awe, has changed that. “Since four years ago, more and more scientist from around the world, particularly the United States, Canada and Mexico have returned to Belize to share their wealth of knowledge.”

They also share their discoveries at the different archaeological sites around the country.

“Often they (the archaeologist) would go back and write up articles in journals that we don’t get here.

This year’s symposium focuses on the “Late to Terminal Classic Maya Culture in Belize” and according to Awe, the information gathered and discussed during the three days event will allow Belizeans to know more of the problems of the past so as not to repeat them.”

Some special areas of discussion include the anthropology and archaeology education in Belize, recent investigation in the Uxbenka Site Core, the middle formative ideological foundation of Kinship at Cahal Peach and recent excavation at San Estevan in the Orange Walk District.

A number of foreign students as well as local students from the different tertiary level schools are attending the three-day symposium which started on Wednesday, July 5 and ends today, Friday July 7.

Guest speaker at the opening ceremony was Culture Minister, Mark Espat, who praised the staff at the Institute of Archaeology for their work in making the symposium a reality.