Texas Tech University

Chan Chich Archaeological Project

 
 
 
DroneSpear PointBEASTSurvey

About the CCAP

The CCAP is an on-going research effort of Texas Tech University with a permit area covering over 144,000 acres in northwestern Belize. The project completed its tenth season of research at the ancient Maya city of Chan Chich and its fourth season of regional survey and excavation on Gallon Jug Ranch and Laguna Seca Ranch in 2016. See below for links to our available interim reports, articles, and maps.

In 2016, the CCAP conducted excavations at Chan Chich, investigated the rise of divine kingship during the Terminal Preclassic at the Upper Plaza and the abandonment of the site during the Terminal Classic at Norman's Temple. BEAST conducted the second season of excavations at the historic Maya village of Kaxil Uinic and surveyed over 14 square kilometers of cleared pasture with a drone. The 2016 season's interim report is now available for download.

In 2017, the CCAP continued excavations in the Upper Plaza at Chan Chich, exposing a buried early Late Preclassic building nicknamed Blanca and documenting a fascinating burial with indications that it may be a royal interment. The project also excavated a residential courtyard southeast of the Main Plaza, and investigated a stone tool workshop in the northeastern corner of the Main Plaza.

The project studies the rise of divine kingship, the distinct evolution of Maya urbanism in the eastern lowlands, the demise of the monumental centers in the Terminal Classic period (AD 810–900), and the resettlement of the lowlands by the Maya centuries later. Between 2016 and 2018, the project is slated to investigate essential components of the above overarching research foci including the development of the royal acropolis; craft production, distribution, and exchange in urban and suburban contexts; the possibility that one elite courtyard was built as a defensive enclave; and the nature of life at Kaxil Uinic. The project will also be conducting aerial survey and mapping using drones; mapping and testing previously recorded sites; and conducting other regional studies.

If you wish to support the CCAP through a financial contribution directly to Texas Tech University for the project, you can do so by clicking this link. Any contribution made to Texas Tech University is greatly appreciated and is tax deductible! Feel free to email Dr. Houk for more information about our plans for next season.

You can also keep up the CCAP on Facebook!

Thesis Research

Between 2012 and 2017, the CCAP has supported seven thesis research projects, six of which have been completed. Each of the completed theses listed below are available through the Texas Tech University Library.

Harris, Matthew C.
2013 A Short Walk from Paradise: Initial Excavations at Kaxil Uinic.

Kelley, Krystle
2014 Establishing the Acropolis: Two Seasons of Investigations in the Upper Plaza of Chan Chich, Belize.

Vazquez, Edgar
2015 In Service of the King: The Form, Function, and Chronology of Courtyard A-3 at Chan Chich, Belize.

Booher, Ashley M.
2016 Assessing the Form and Function of the Sacbeob and Associated Structures at Chan Chich, Belize.

Bonorden, Alyssa Brooke
2016 Comparing Colonial Experiences in Northwestern Belize: Archaeological Evidence from Qualm Hill Camp and Kaxil Uinic Village.

Sandrock, David
2017 BEAST Mode: Two Seasons of Archaeological Survey on the Gallon Jug-Laguna Seca Property in Northwestern Belize.

 
 
 
Burial CC-B14

Publications

Books

Data from the CCAP feature prominently in Ancient Maya Cities of the Eastern Lowlands, a book by Brett A. Houk published by University Press of Florida in 2015, and in Ritual, Violence, and the Fall of the Classic Maya Kings, edited by Gyles Iannone and colleagues (2016).

Journal Articles

Bonorden, Brooke, and Brett A. Houk
2016 Archaeological Investigations at Kaxil Uinic and Qualm Hill, Two Colonial Period Sites in Northwestern Belize. Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology 13:337–347.

Booher, Ashley, and Brett A. Houk
2016 Investigating Processional Architecture at Chan Chich, Belize. Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology 13:261–271.

Houk, Brett A., Hubert R. Robichaux, and Fred Valdez, Jr.
2010 An Early Royal Maya Tomb from Chan Chich, Belize. Ancient Mesoamerica 21:229–248.

Houk, Brett A.
2011 The Curious Case of Kaxil Uinic. Mono y Conejo 6:3–7.

Houk, Brett A., Krystle Kelley, David Sandrock, and Kelsey E. Herndon
2014 The Chan Chich Archaeological Project and the Belize Estates Archaeological Survey Team, 2013 Season. Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology 11:327–336.

Herndon, Kelsey, Gregory Zaro, Brett A. Houk, David Sandrock, Edgar Vazquez, and Ashley Booher
2015 Investigating Urban Form and Kingship: Preliminary Results of the 2014 Chan Chich Archaeological Project. Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology 12:339–346.

Houk, Brett A., and Gregory Zaro
2015 Lithic Production and Domestic Economy in an Ancient Maya Neighborhood at Chan Chich, Belize. Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology 12:127–134.

Interim Reports

1997 Season Report

1998 and 1999 Seasons Report

2012 Season Report

2013 Season Report

2014 Season Report

2015 Season Report (60 mb)

2015 Season Report (10 mb) This version is an optimized PDF and a much smaller file.

2016 Season Report (54 mb)

2016 Season Report (7.6 mb) This version is an optimized PDF and a much smaller file.

CCAP Field Manual

CCAP Field Manual, Version 1.0, 2015 (iBook version). This version is meant to be read on an iPad and includes interactive features. 

CCAP Field Manual, Version 1.0, 2015 (PDF version). This version lacks the interactive features that are found in the iBook version.

Maps and Drawings

Chan Chich Site Map (Large)

Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work