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Jan 22, 2008

Belizean Studies publishes special Archaeology issue

Story PictureFor thirty years, St. John’s College has been publishing the journal Belizean Studies. This morning at SJC’s Princess Margaret Drive campus, the editors released a special issue on Archaeology in Belize. The publication features seven articles, some of which were penned by two of the country’s premier archaeologists: Doctors Jaime Awe and John Morris. For Awe, the book is a treasure trove of information for anyone interested in Belize’s history.

Dr. Jaime Awe, Director, Institute of Archaeology
“This new issue of the journal of Belizean Studies is excellent because of its coverage geographically as well as topically. Geographically it has articles on Toledo, one on Pusilha; very few Belizeans even know where Pusilha is. This article puts Pusilha on the map as one of the biggest sites in southern Belize. It also has an article by Heather McKillop who has been doing a lot of the research in the coastal zone of Toledo, especially with salt production. She was the person who discovered the wooden paddle. It has an article by Dr. Fred Valdes on the research being done in the Orange Walk district, an article by myself and John Lohse on the first Belizeans that came to Belize, the earliest colonizers, if you want, of the country of Belize and then there is also an article by John Morris and myself that talks about the post-classic, who were here after the fall of mass civilization, the Maya were still here.”

According to Awe, in the last twenty-five years, Belize has gone from hosting only four archaeological projects a year, to averaging around twenty. This interest in ancient civilization has given Belize the title of the number one producer of information on the Maya, which is good news for researchers.

Dr. John Morris, Dir. Of Research and Ed., Institute of Archaeology
“Being able to produce knowledge right here in Belize and publish it, I think is the bonus for us. The students don’t have to go that far to find the articles, to find the information. In the past, I think a lot of Maya archaeology information was lying on dusty shelves in museums around the world. Today you can come to St. John’s College and find a book that will tell us something about the ancient Maya and I think that is the most important thing that we have done today.”

Dr. Jaime Awe
“We have articles in here that have information, to give you an example that was only discovered a few months ago. So in that sense this is stuff that hasn’t even hit the lets say, North American audience, the scholarly audience like universities and the same is true for Europe, which for us is really good for us because for the first time now Belize is having information about Belize published first in Belize and then subsequently outside.”

Charles Gibson, Chair, Belizean Studies Editorial Board
“To my mind, the articles in the journal, serves primarily to deepening the understanding of Belize’s history and Belize’s culture. “

Belizean Studies sells for thirty dollars at major book outlets. According to the editorial board, the next topic will be governance.


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