Belize Trip Digs Up Good Look into Archaeology
Levin, Meta L., Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Meta L. Levin Daily Herald Correspondent
Libertyville resident Ian Grocki is more certain than ever that his future lies in archaeology since returning from his second experience at a site in the Central American country of Belize.
Grocki and fellow students were part of a group from the College of Lake County that went down to what is known as the Mayflower site in the central portion of the country.
Led by Wendy Brown, an academic advisor for social sciences and adjunct faculty in anthropology at CLC, the group spent three weeks learning how to identify sites, how to conduct surveys, dig test pits and larger excavations. They also did some laboratory work, examining and testing what they found.
"They learned how tedious and paper-driven a lot of the work is," Brown said.
Brown is one of three archaeologists involved with the project. The three were classmates and colleagues, but so far Brown is the only one to have brought students to the site. The others are project director Richard Williamson of Tulane University and co-director Jeffrey Stomper of Yale University.
"We are the first group to have done extensive excavation there," Brown said.
Other Mayan excavations have been done on sites generally attributed to the elite of the culture, whereas the Mayflower site is where the average Mayan person lived.
"Now we are looking at what really happened to the rest of the 95 percent of the population," she said.
Last year about 15 students accompanied her to Belize and this year there were 11, several of whom, like Grocki, were there for the second time. Grocki transferred from CLC to the University of New Mexico last year. He is excited and hopes to return to Belize again.
"In class you don't get to see what archaeology is really like," he said. …