2nd Annual Belize KULCHA Symposium

Once again, Drs. Peuramaki-Brown and Morton will be presenting on behalf of SCRAP at the open-access, online Belize KULCHA Symposium, Oct. 5-7, 2022.

Their presentation is on Day 1 (Wednesday, Oct. 5), in the 1-2:30 pm afternoon session (GMT-6; Belize Time) is titled “Local Communities and Archaeological Research: Exploring Ideas from Belize to Canada.” You can read the full abstract below.

See the conference program by clicking here.

Links for individual Facebook Events:

Day 1 Morning Sessions: https://fb.me/e/6IC9qSeHB

Day 1 Afternoon Sessions: https://fb.me/e/1MpccrUEs

Day 2 Morning Sessions: https://fb.me/e/3zTd83X3j

Day 2 Afternoon Sessions: https://fb.me/e/1XGLBVdzJ

Day 3 Morning Sessions: https://fb.me/e/1SDHYheQ4

Day 3 Afternoon Sessions: https://fb.me/e/2jrwqBjZF

For more information visit: https://www.heritagebelize.org/symposium

Heritage Education Network Belize

Local Communities and Archaeological Research: Exploring Ideas from Belize to Canada

Dr. Meaghan Peuramaki-Brown, Athabasca University

Dr. Shawn Morton, Northwestern Polytechnic

SCRAP and OBAP Teams

Abstract: In this presentation, we take up the KULCHA Symposium organizers’ call to consider the role of communities in our research programs. Specifically, we’ll look at how geographically local communities can and should play a role in archaeological research. We ask how we as researchers have grown and can continue to grow as community-engaged and community-based scholars, despite never having been trained or mentored as such. We also explore how we are working to create research-team cultures that emphasize community involvement in all activities. To demonstrate our learning journey, we relate experiences from two programs of research: the Stann Creek Regional Archaeology Project (SCRAP) and the Old Bezanson Archaeology Project (OBAP). In Belize, this includes six seasons of foreign-led, community-engaged archaeological research in the Stann Creek District at the Ancestral Maya town of Alabama, alongside the local community of Maya Mopan Village and surrounding areas. In Canada, it encompasses our two seasons of local-led, community-based research in the Peace Region of Alberta at the early 20th-century settler townsite of Bezanson, alongside the local community of Bezanson today and surrounding areas. We discuss the similarities and differences between our two research programs and their associated “local” communities and consider our successes and failures and how each experience builds upon the other. We conclude that there are no one-size-fits-all models for such community-involved endeavours. Still, their pursual is what makes archaeology worthwhile and most impactful today.

Bio: Meaghan is an Associate Professor in the Anthropology Program at Athabasca University (AU) in Canada. She has been involved in archaeological study in Belize since 1999. Her research focuses on the built environment and production studies of material culture. She investigates how individuals, households, and communities negotiated their positions in locally and regionally defined socio-political and economic institutions. She also studies the impact of such negotiations on the overall processes of ancient settlement and urban development. Visit Meaghan’s AU profile to learn more.

Shawn is an Anthropology Instructor at Northwestern Polytechnic (NWP) in Canada. He has been involved in archaeological study in Belize since 2003. His research interests focus on the roles of architecture/built space, ritual, and religion in the constitution of group identity at local and polity levels, particularly in Mesoamerica and the Caribbean. Visit Shawn’s NWP profile to learn more. 

Websites: https://scraparchaeology.com/ and https://www.discoverbezanson.ca/old-bezanson-archaeology-project/ 

Social Media: Facebook and Instagram @scraparky @obaparky