Chapter 1

The Maya Research Program (MRP) would like to thank Thomas and Wes and Indy in the Classroom for the opportunity to share our research again this year! MRP is a 501c3 corporation that sponsors ethnographic and archaeological research in Middle America ( MRP’s flagship project is the Blue Creek Archaeological Project and 2012 marks our 21st field season working in Northwestern Belize. The Blue Creek Archaeological Project is an archaeological field school that has been certified by the Register of Professional Archaeologistsand this summer 120 students and volunteers will participate. In addition, we have many talented graduate students from multiple universities (for instance: University College London, Australia National University, Southern Methodist University, Georgetown University, George Mason University, etc) engaged in fieldwork for their theses or dissertations. MRP’s mission statement is firmly grounded in public outreach and education and we strongly adhere to the Archaeological Institute of America’s motto of “excavate, educate, advocate!”

MRP is the “umbrella” under which many talented researchers operate. Dr. Thomas Guderjan is the President of MRP and the Primary Investigator and permit holder for the Blue Creek Archaeological Project (please see The Nature of an Ancient Maya City: Resources, Interaction and Power at Blue Creek, Belize. *). While the project spent many years excavating the site of Blue Creek and it’s settlement zone, MRP’s current research design is now focused on two medium sized Maya sites called Xnoha and Nojol Nah (Figures 1 to 3 – attached). The project will spend many years investigating the monumental and residential structures associated with these sites. In addition, MRP has purchased the Maya site of Grey Fox from the local Mennonite community (please see Ancient Maya Center Saved from Destruction." Popular Archaeology) and will continue survey work there in 2012 and begin excavations in 2013.

In addition, to these operations, Dr. Timothy Beach and Dr. Sheryl Luzzader-Beach are also working under MRP’s permit and 2012 marks their 12thfield season investigating the wetland features within MRP’s permit area (please see Wetlandfields as mirrors of drought and the Maya abandonment. and Kax and Kol: Collapse and resilience in Lowland Maya Civilization. ). (Also see Figure 4.)

Dr. Holly Moyes will also work under MRP’s permit this summer to locate, document and investigate the cave features within the project’s permit area. Her major focus this summer will be “Alvin’s Cave.” This feature was discovered by MRP is 2011 and Bob Warden, of the Center of Heritage Conservation, Texas A&M University, produced a 3D map of this feature last season (Figure 5 – attached). 2012 will be the forth season Bob Warden and his team have spent recoding the major architecture and artifacts recovered by the project, as well as other sites in the area such as Lamanai.

We are looking forward to sharing the results of our efforts this summer with Indy in the Classroom!

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Chapter 1