Skip to content

Programs : Brochure

This page is the brochure for your selected program. You can view the provided information for this program on this page and click on the available buttons for additional options.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Language of instruction: English Housing options: Field Camp
Areas of study: Anthropology, Archaeology, Asian Studies, Judaic Studies, Latin America Area Studies, North American Indian Studies, Sociology, Women's Studies, World Comparative Studies Class standing: 1 - Second Semester Sophomore, 2 - Junior, 3 - Senior
Program type: Experiential/field-based, Hybrid
Program Description:
Caracol Arch Proj
Students have a unique opportunity to participate in the Caracol Archaeological Project.  This is a working archaeological project, not a field school.  During the spring semester in Belize, students enroll in four course credits: ANTH 110 PO - Field Methods in Archaeology, ANTH 111 PO - Field Practicum in Archaeology, ANTH 112 PO - Lab Methods in Archaeology, and ANTH 199IRPO - Maya Archaeology in Central Belize.
Caracol is a Classic Period (A.D. 300-900) Maya archaeological ruin located in the west-central portion of Belize, Central America.  It is the largest site in Belize and contains the tallest Precolumbian architectural complex in that country; Caana rises 43 meters above the jungle floor.
The thirty-seventh season of the Caracol Archaeological Project will be undertaken from late January through late March 2023.  While some staff may go to Belize in January to set-up camp and project operations, the majority of the crew will remain at Pomona until the very beginning of February when formal excavations will be resumed.  There will be a scheduled orientation and archaeology lab work at Pomona before the field season commences.
Investigations at Caracol consist of mapping, excavating, and interpreting the remains of a huge ruined city.  Plans for the 2023 field season include working in the outlying settlement and excavating in several ancient Maya residential groups.
Living conditions at Caracol are very different than that in the U.S.  Trips for supplies and mail to Cayo, the nearest town, usually take place approximately once a week.  Camp is made of wood and thatch huts. There is no running water.  We do, however, have electricity in the evenings from a generator, but there is no access to internet. All meals are prepared on-site. We eat Belizean food; a typical meal consists of rice and beans with stewed beef or chicken and cabbage salad.  Living in the jungle has its pleasures and drawbacks.  We are surrounded by abundant wildlife; this includes birds, monkeys, and tropical plants, but also insects and snakes. Boots, long sleeves on shirts, long legs on pants, and insect repellent are required.
Student Expenses Students are responsible for course fees. The International and Domestic Programs Office will provide a roundtrip flight to and from Belize for Pomona College students as well as international emergency medical and evacuation insurance. Travel within Central America after the end of the project is also solely up to each individual, but the project asks for a copy of these travel plans to know when you plan to return to California.
All questions regarding Caracol should be directed to Dr. Arlen Chase.  Interested students should set up an appointment with Dr. Chase ( to discuss their possible participation in the project. It is suggested that students interested in participating visit and read through the Field Guide. The best preparation for field activities consists of volunteering in the Pomona Maya Archaeology Laboratory. Volunteering in the lab, however, is not limited to students participating in the Belize field program; students interested in visiting or volunteering in the Maya labs should also contact Dr. Chase.


Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline (Pacific Time) Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2024 09/17/2023 10/13/2023 TBA TBA