Rio Bravo Archaeology Field School

2019 Season Closed; Next Season TBD

The Rio Bravo Archaeological Survey (RBAS) is a summer Maya archaeology field school that trains students in archaeological field methods within the context of a state-of-the-art research project. The program is situated in an unexplored, tropical rainforest in northern Belize, Central America, and can be taken for 3 or 6 college credits through the University of Texas at Austin.*

Non-credit volunteers are also welcome!

Students who are interested in joining us for the 2019 season should review the information provided, including the 2019 Info Sheet, and contact us via email or by submitting an application.

To sign up, please fill out an application.

*RBAS operates in Belize under a permit issued from the Institute of Archaeology to Dr. Fred Valdez, Director of the Programme for Belize Archaeological Project (PfBAP). Academic credit from the Community College of Philadelphia is not available for the 2019 season.

Photo -Day trip to Lamanai (2015)


The Programme for Belize Archaeological Project (PfBAP)

The umbrella project for RBAS, headed by Dr. Fred Valdez at the University of Texas at Austin

The Programme for Belize (PfB)

Organization that administers and protects the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area (RBCMA)

Academically Speaking

Photos and information about the 2012 RBAS FIeld Season


Great starting point for information on ancient Mesoamerica

Out of the Past

Excellent video series on PBS during the early '90s, emphasizing broad issues in Mesoamerican archaeology; available free online (just click the "VoD" image to the right of each chapter)

Maya Engineering

Some information and links on Ohio State's website about the built landscape of the Ancient Maya

Recommended Books:

Incoming students are required to read at least one of the following overview texts before arriving in Belize:

The Maya by Michael Coe (now 8th edition, Thames and Hudson, New York, 2011)

The Fall of the Ancient Maya: Solving the Mystery of the Maya Collapse by David Webster (Thames & Hudson, New York, 2002)

The Ancient Maya: New Perspectives by Heather McKillop (W.W. Norton, New York, 2004/2006 paperback)

Highlights From the Three Rivers Region:

Ancient Maya Commoners by Jon Lohse and Fred Valdez (University of Texas Press, Austin, 2004)

Heterarchy, Political economy, and the Ancient Maya: The Three Rivers Region of the East-Xentral Yucatán Peninsula by Vernon Scarborough; Fred Valdez and Nicholas Dunning; (U. Arizona Press, Tuscon 2003)