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Three day Archaeology symposium held in San Ignacio Print E-mail
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Friday, 06 July 2018 00:00

The 16th installment of the Belize Archaeology Symposium started on Wednesday of last week at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. During the three day event, researchers in archaeology from both at home and abroad elucidated much about their important work.

This year’s symposium, under the theme, From the Early Formative to the Post-classic in Central Belize: Challenges to the Narratives of the Ancient Maya Civilization, has revealed that there has been significant innovations on research methods.

“We do the research and give information and updates on all these current events that are occurring in archaeology,  one of the main things that we are doing this years is to try to see how we re-think archaeology,” says Dr. Alan Moore, Associate Director of Education and Research within the Institute of Archaeology.

“We are living in a dynamic world, technology changes and so some of these new technology now are affecting how we do things in archaeology, the LIDER,  the surveying, all the techniques of dating and isotopes and everything, DNA’s (Deoxyiribonucleic Acid)  and everything is coming, how do we now put these into the science that we are doing, it has affected and have made it better for us, because we are coming up with more precise information,  now being able to look at some of the serious socio-political relationship between sites, we can name people now in Caracol and the dynamics they had in their societies.”

Such a trend was revealed by Dr. Adrian Chase from the Arizona State University, in which he shared findings on the Water Management Among the Ancient Maya. Using advanced scientific techniques, Dr. Chase has concluded that the Mayas constructed their largest cities in the Classic period away from standing bodies of water, and they did not tether their agricultural production to large-scale canal irrigation. Instead, the ancient Maya harnessed rainwater runoff in reservoirs and through agricultural terraces. Research that has been done in the past in Caracol has pointed to the importance of residential reservoirs for the availability of drinking water to the masses and, crucially, the lack of elite control over those precious household resources.

According to Ms. Sapna Budhrani, the Acting President of the National Institute of Culture and History, one of the sponsors of this year’s event, these and other findings provides critical knowledge for academia and for government with regards to legislating innovative and quality laws and policies.

Antonio Beardall, a Belizean archaeologist has shared with us gratitude for the corporate sponsorship that has assisted in making this year’s symposium possible. Some of those sponsors were Pook’s Hill, Chaa Creek, The Roe Group, Builders’ Hardware and Atlantic Bank. Other entities, which also assisted were Exploring Solutions, the University of Belize and the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture.