Texas Tech University

Field School in Maya Archaeology




Program Website

Study Abroad at Chan Chich, Belize: 2019 Season

Welcome to the homepage for Texas Tech University's Field School in Maya Archaeology (FSMA) Study Abroad program. The FSMA is part of the Chan Chich Archaeological Project, under the direction of Dr. Brett A. Houk of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work at Texas Tech.

The Field School in Maya Archaeology (FSMA) is part of the Chan Chich Archaeological Project (CCAP), under the direction of Dr. Brett A. Houk of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work at Texas Tech. An archaeological field school is an intensive introduction to archaeological methods. Students learn how to excavate, how to draw maps and profiles, and how to record archaeological data. Students also learn how to process and analyze the artifacts found during excavations. Therefore, although students are learning by doing, they are also contributing directly to ongoing research on the ancient Maya.

Quick Links

Why Choose this Field School?

Frequently Asked Questions

Accommodations at Chan Chich

Information Packet

What is a Field School?

An archaeological field school is an intensive introduction to archaeological methods. Students learn how to excavate, how to draw maps and profiles, how to record archaeological data (using the CCAP's iPad-based digital data collection system), and how to process and analyze the artifacts found during excavations. Therefore, although students are learning by doing, they are also contributing directly to ongoing research on the ancient Maya.

The Facilities: Chan Chich Lodge

The field school is based at Chan Chich Lodge, which is located in the main plaza of the site. This makes getting to the field rather easy! Our project will be housed in cabanas at the lodge. The thatch-roofed cabanas will be fitted with bunk beds, and they have 24-hour electricity, ceiling fans, and private bathrooms with hot water. Up to 5 students will share a cabana; the exact number will depend on the numbers of men and women who are accepted to the program. We will be served our meals in the lodge's restaurant. The lodge has wireless internet in the restaurant and bar, cell phone coverage, and a screened-in swimming pool with hot tub.

Who Can Participate?

The field school is open to college students who have completed one year of course work and have at least a 2.5 GPA, regardless of major. Space is limited to 13 students. The slots will be assigned to the most qualified students, but applying early will improve your chances of being accepted to the program because applications will be processed in two batches. Getting your application in early helps your chances of getting a slot tremendously.

Students must be physically capable of excavating and hiking in order to participate on the field school. Excavating entails lifting up to 25 pounds, swinging a pick, and using a shovel, in addition to more detailed work using a trowel and paint brush.

About the Field School

The field school is 28-nights long. Students can earn up to 6 hours of academic credit by taking a 6-hour course called Field Archaeology (ANTH 4642). You may download the course syllabus here.

  • ANTH 4642 Field Archaeology (regular session)
  • ANTH 4000 Independent Study (mini-session)
  • Pre-requisite: One year of college-level coursework
    • Counts toward Anthropology major and minor
    • Taught by TTU faculty

Estimated Program Fees

Program Dates

  • May 23rd - June 20, 2019

Program Open To

  • The experience is open to students from Texas Tech and elsewhere.
  • Students must have completed one year of college-level coursework and have at least a 2.5 GPA, regardless of major. Space on the Belize program is limited to nine (9) students per session.
  • Applications are reviewed in batches at the end of each month. Applications are not considered complete (and thus reviewable) until your references have been received and, if you are a non-TTU student, your application fee has been received. Applying early greatly increases your chance of being accepted to the program.

Program Website

Program Fee Includes

  • Lodging at Chan Chich Lodge
  • 3 meals per day at the lodge (only dinner is included on arrival day and only breakfast is included on departure day)
  • Field trip to restored archaeological sites during regular session
  • Optional day trip to Actun Tunichil Muknal cave (both sessions)
  • Some readings
  • All local transportation

Program Fee Does Not Include

  • TTU tuition and fees (3 or 6 hours)
  • Airfare to/from Belize
  • Insurance ($2.57/day)
  • Education Abroad fee ($200)
  • Lunch on days of arrival and departure
  • Personal spending money

For more information:

Contact: Dr. Brett A. Houk

Start Application

To continue working on your application click the button below and log in with your eRaider credentials.

Continue Your Application (TTU students)      Continue Your Application (non-TTU students)