maya-program

Maya Research Program

For the third year in a row, the CHC has traveled down to Blue Creek, Belize to aid the Maya Research Program in documenting ancient Mayan sites around around rural Belize. The Maya Research Program is a non-profit organization that has been operating archaeological digs on Mayan sites around the Blue Creek area of Belize since 1992.

In 2009 Bob Warden, Julie Rogers, Lonnie Champagne, as well as two A&M students, Georgianna Kalmon and Jennifer Whisenhunt, traveled to Belize for two weeks to work with MRP. Two main sites that the CHC team worked on this year were located in Lamanai, Belize. The Mask Temple and the High Temple were both laser scanned within a matter of days. The Mask Temple consists of two masks on either side of the temple. The two masks were documented in 2009 using photogrammetry technology but since then the original masks have been covered up with fiberglass copies. The masks were rescanned this year to create a comparison of the original versus the fiberglass mold. In the fall a 3-D model and print of the fiberglass copy was constructed. The 33-meter tall High Temple took two fulls days to scan and the CHC is still in the process of registering and compiling over 20 scans together to create a final working 3-D model. Once it is completed the CHC will have documentation of three of the most impressive temples in the area: the Jaguar Temple, the Mask Temple and the High Temple.

The team also worked to document small artifacts using Structured Light Scanning and Photogrammetry technology. Carved jade, bone disks, and pottery were among a few of the many artifacts the team worked on. As well as documenting small artifacts and large temples, two current MRP dig sites, Nohol Nah and Chum Balam-Nal, were also documented by the team with a combination of laser scanning and total station work. As both locations are current archaeological dig sites which the teams have to destroy to uncover their cultural stories, the CHC works to document the different historic layers of the structures to ensure preservation of their history.

The CHC team will continue their relationship with the MRP by retiring to Blue Creek for the summer 2011 season. For more information about the Maya Research Program visit http://www.mayaresearchprogram.org/