Maya Exploration Center: Education Through Exploration
Study Abroad Archives
Maya Archaeology and Culture in the Ruins of the Peten Rain Forest

For the students of Professor Isabelle Champlin, University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. March 5-11, 2006

[Left to Right - Top to Bottom]
Bruce Steele, David Germain, Jessica Mealy
Kirk French, Chris Jamison, Julie Carr, Harriett Fox, Eric Furjanic
Burgess Wade, Margaret Wade, Isabelle Champlin, Karen Croyle
Ed Barnhart, Brian Calhoun, Annemarie Russo

Course Itinerary
Fly into Santa Elena late afternoon, taxi over to the island of Flores, and check into the Hotel Santana. That evening students will attend an orientation meeting.
In the morning, the group will explore the local market in Santa Elena and learn about the recent economic developments in the Peten. After lunch, the students will attend two lectures, one on ancient Maya history and the other on their complex calendar systems. The evening will be free to watch the sunset over the lake and explore the tiny island of Flores.
After breakfast, the students will take a tour of Lake Peten by boat. The first stop will be an island with a small archaeological museum. Second, the group will visit the modern Maya village of San Andres on the north end of the lake. There they will meet the last remaining descendents of the Itza Maya, who were "conquered" in 1697. After lunch in San Andres, the afternoon will be spent on the lake's unique island zoo. In the evening, the students will receive a lecture on Maya hieroglyphics.
In the morning, the group will depart for Sayaxche, the main town along the Pasion River. From there, they will take a one-hour boat ride up river to the remote ruins of Seibal. There the students will monuments carved in the late 800's AD that provide clues to the emergence of Central Mexican religions at the end of the Maya Classic Period. Returning to Flores that evening, the group will attend a lecture Maya Archaeoastronomy.
After breakfast, the group will check out of the hotel and depart for the ruins of Uaxactun. The road to Uaxactun begins in the ruins of Tikal, where they will stay that evening. After dropping luggage off in a Tikal hotel, the students will take four-wheel drive vehicles deeper into the jungle. At Uaxactun, they'll visit Group E, one of the earliest known Maya solar observatories. Returning to Tikal that afternoon, the group will relax poolside and attend a lecture on Tikal's tumultuous history.
The students will spend all day touring the vast ruins of Tikal. They will explore Jaguar Paw's five-story palace, marvel at the city's vast reservoirs, and climb it's many temples. In the far western section of the city the students will climb the 64-meter Temple IV, the tallest Pre-Columbian structure in the Americas. In the afternoon, they'll visit the site's ceramic and stone museums. That evening everyone will share a dinner together and participate in the course's closing ceremonies.
For those who want to, students can wake up early and walk out to Temple IV and see the 6am sunrise from its summit. For the rest, they can wake up casually and pack up for mid-morning airport departures back in Santa Elena.

Other Tours
» Sept 2017 - Maya Puuc Region

» Nov 2017 - Palenque to Copan

» Dec 2017 - Calakmul

» Chiapas 5 Day
» Chiapas 6 Day
» Chiapas 8 Day
» The Living Maya

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