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Jul 14, 2014

Jaime Awe stepping down as Director of the Institute of Archaeology

Renowned Belizean archaeologist Doctor Jaime Awe is stepping down from his post as Director of the Institute of Archaeology, a distinguished title he has held for almost fifteen years.  As head of that department, Doctor Awe has been instrumental in the study of ancient cultures, becoming an authority particularly on the history of the Mayas.  While he has risen to prominence for his wealth of knowledge and contribution to Belizean history, Awe says he is returning to his beginnings in research and teaching.  News Five spoke by phone with the archaeologist earlier today from San Ignacio and he shared with us his reasons for tendering his letter of resignation to the National Institute of Culture and History.

 

Dr. Jaime Awe, Outgoing Director of Archaeology

Jaime Awe

“I felt that I wanted to spend the rest of my career doing what I really, really love and that is to continue doing more research and teaching.  You know, over the last few years as the Director of Archaeology a lot of my time obviously was expended on managerial responsibilities and while I tried to take on those responsibilities as best as I could and to continue championing the cause of archaeology and trying to improve our capacity to protect and preserve Belize’s archaeological heritage, I began to spend a lot less time doing field archaeology, doing research and teaching.  And so I thought, you know what, maybe it’s time to give somebody else who has new ideas et cetera, an opportunity to take on the torch and be the head of archaeology.  So it’s really for totally personal reasons.  I have had the incredible privilege to work with a bunch of very dedicated Belizeans at the Institute of Archaeology and even with the heads of NICH.  I served as director under two P.U.P. governments and now two U.D.P. governments.  My decision to resign had nothing to do with any personal issues, professional issues or political issues, none whatsoever and, you know I’ve enjoyed working thoroughly with Minister Heredia as I did with Mark Espat.  I want to assure everybody that I am not leaving Belize archaeology.  I will continue to work in archaeology in Belize.  There are a lot of things that I want to, you know, want to see, get and to do, you know, I am presently working at Cahal Pech and I will continue to look for grant money to further develop and try to conserve the site and I will always be around to support the Institute of Archaeology and to provide my expertise wherever it’s needed.”

 

While a decision is yet to be taken concerning Awe’s replacement, we understand that the Board of Directors is still coming to terms with his abrupt departure.

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