Department of Anthropology

Anthropology Field Schools


The Programme for Belize Archaeological Project (PfBAP) is directed by Dr. Fred Valdez. Since 1992, with the permission of the Institute of Archaeology of the Government of Belize, the PfBAP has conducted original research concerning the ancient Maya civilization. The project area of the PfBAP is in the Orange Walk District of northwestern Belize, near the Mexican and Guatemalan borders, on land owned by the Programme for Belize, a Belize-controlled non-profit organizaton established in 1988.

As a student or volunteer, you will have the chance to to obtain hands-on experience in general aspects of field archaeology, including excavation, survey mapping, artifact processing, and artifact analysis. Field techniques training will be supplemented by lectures. Subjects vary but generally cover excavation objectives, lithic analysis, ceramic analysis, osteological analysis, and Maya prehistory.

More information about the program can be found here: The Programme for Belize Archaeological Project

Contact: Dr. Fred Valdez or Megan McKay


The Bagunte Project is a summer archaeological program directed by Dr. Mariah Wade. The program is hosted by the Town of Vila do Conde and its Archaeology Department. This seaside town of white sandy beaches was an important Roman outpost, which evolved into a fully modern city while still preserving its historical monuments and buildings. It also was an important monastic center during the Middle Ages and a major shipbuilding and trade center during the Age of Discoveries in the 15th century.

The program curriculum alternates each summer. The Field Archaeology program gives students hands-on experience and contact with local artisans deeply involved in reviving ancient cultural traditions. The academic program will be complemented by lectures and guided excursions led by local academics and cultural experts.

Contact: Dr. Mariah Wade or Megan McKay


The Antioch Colony Field School in Buda, TX is directed by Dr. Maria Franklin. The research will focus on the archaeology of formerly enslaved African Americans, or “freedmen”, and their descendants. In the late 1860s, freedmen founded an all-black settlement in Buda that they named Antioch Colony, which still exists today. The site’s earliest settlers were families who purchased land adjacent to one another, and most of these households made their living as farmers. During the 1870s, the colonists built a church and school, and established a cemetery. Over the years, Antioch Colony’s close-knit community was successful in educating its children, strengthening social networks through marriage and church, and living off the land. There are still descendants of the original settlers living in Antioch Colony, and in 2011 the Texas Historical Commission acknowledged the significance of the community and its heritage by granting Antioch a Texas Historical Marker.

The program focuses on the survey and excavation of the settlement. Students will be instructed in basic field and lab methods, and will learn about local African American history.

Contact: Dr. Maria Franklin or Megan McKay