Skip to Content
USF World | USF Home | Search USF | Student NetID Login | Incoming/Non-USF Login | Faculty/Staff Login

University of South Florida

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.
Mesoamerican Archaeology Field School
Roatan, Honduras (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Summer
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Eligibility: Please see below for requirements.
Budget Sheets: Summer
Dates / Deadlines:
There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction:
Language Requirements:
Program Type:
USF Sponsored
Level of Study:
Graduate, Undergraduate
Open to:
Active USF Student
Credit Offered:
USF Credit
Program Advisor:
Nancy Di Bella
Minimum GPA:
Sponsoring College:
Arts and Sciences
Program Primary Subject:
Social Sciences, World Service Experience or Internship
Program Description:

USF Mesoamerican Archaeology Field School
Month of June

Program Overview

The USF Mesoamerican Archaeology Field School is a five-week summer research program that will allow students to explore the fascinating history of pirates and Puritans in the Caribbean through scientific excavation of 17th century English and Pech settlements at New Port Royal and Camp Bay Village, both located against a backdrop of beautiful tropical forests and pristine beaches on Roatán Island, Honduras. The program is designed to introduce students to the ways in which archaeology can answer questions about past lifeways and simultaneously contribute to current issues concerning cultural heritage and global tourism.

Through assisting archaeologists in the field and laboratory, participants will be trained in the methods, theories, and ethics of contemporary archaeology. Participants will learn about the cultures and colonial history of the Bay Islands, a highly contested region of the Caribbean between Spain and England during the 17th century, through seminars and field trips led by USF faculty.  Check out this wonderful article featuring some of the work that our faculty and students have done onsite!

Bawaya, Michael (2012). Revealing the Real Roatán. American Archaeology 16(3):24-30.


Return to top


The Bay Islands: "Tucked away in a corner of the Caribbean Sea, the Bay Islands were visited in July of 1502 by Christopher Columbus on his fourth and final voyage to the "New World." Sighting an island covered by pine trees ('Bonacca', or Guanaja), he named it 'Isla de Pinos' and claimed it for Spain. According to Fernando Columbus, Christopher's thirteen year old son who accompanied him on the trip, 'Having come to the island of Guanaja, the Admiral sent ashore his brother Bartholomew, with two boats. They encountered people who resembled those of the other islands, but had narrower foreheads. They also saw many pine trees and pieces of earth called cálcide which the Indians use to cast copper; some of the sailors thought it was gold.' Bartolomé de Las Casas (1951), the Spanish Dominican priest and editor of Columbus' published journal, further tells us that Guanaja 'tenía como vecinas tres o cuatro islas más...todas estaban bien pobladas.'" From the Project Roatan Field Manual by Dr. Wells and Dr. Davis-Salazar.


Return to top

Academic Program and Course Information

Through assisting archaeologists in the field and laboratory, participants will be trained in the methods, theories, and ethics of contemporary archaeology. Participants also will learn about the cultures and history of Mesoamerica through seminars and field trips led by USF faculty, and will gain a broader perspective on the world by living and working in a modern Central American community. This program is designed to allow students to learn and practice methods of archaeological survey, excavation, data collection and materials recovery, recording, and processing, as well as laboratory analysis and artifact cleaning and conservation.

Detailed academic information is available on the Project Website:

ANT 4824 Archaeological Field Methods (6 credit hours)
ANT 4180 Laboratory Methods in Archaeology (3 credit hours)
ANG 6198 Regional Problems in Methods of Public Archaeology (6 Hours)


Return to top


Dr. E. Christian Wells, Project Director and Field Supervisor
Christian Wells is Associate Professor and Graduate Director in the Department of Anthropology at the University of South Florida. He is an archaeologist whose principal scholarly interests include applied archaeology, economic anthropology, theory of ritual economy, cultural and ecological aspects of human/soil dynamics, microscale activity analysis using soil chemistry, and quantitative and formal modeling. Over the past 15 years, he has undertaken archaeological field research in Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico with funding from the National Science Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the National Geographic Society, and other agencies.


Return to top

Program Costs

Program Cost for 2012 (please check back for updates regarding 2014):  $4,995.00

Program Includes:
All lodging and meals
All program related, in-country transportation

Not Included:
International Airfare
Personal spending


Payment Schedule
Within 5 Business days of Confirmation of Acceptance = $500   (part of Program Cost)
February 27:         $750            (25%  Program Cost, with $500 Above)
March 27:            $2495            (50%  Program Cost)
April 27:              $1250             (25% Program Cost)

Paid-in-Full:   $4995               (100% Program Cost)

Return to top

Living Arrangements

"We will be living at a research facility, known locally as 'La Casa Promesa.' The facility is owned and operated by the Overseas Research Center, a limited liability company founded by Dr. David K. Evans, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology from Wake Forest University, who has conducted research in the area since 1961. The facility was originally constructed in 1998 and used for ethnographic field schools led by Evans through Wake Forest University, but is now a private business that rents the facility to other university-based education abroad programs. The facility has all the modern conveniences, including electricity (with a backup generator), indoor plumbing (with hot water), filtered drinking water, a full-sized modern kitchen, a washer and dryer for laundry, and on-site caretakers who oversee the property, regularly clean the facilities, and cook meals for the staff and students. Since the facility was designed by a university professor for use with undergraduate students, every measure has been taken to insure safety and security." From the Project Roatan Field Manual by Dr. Wells and Dr. Davis-Salazar.


Return to top

Who Can Participate?

All majors are welcomed.


Return to top

How and When to Pay

Please click here for further details regarding payment.


Return to top

Getting There

Please wait for your Education Abroad Advisor to let you know when to purchase airline tickets.  Each participant is responsible for their own airfare (~$650 from Houston or Miami). Some flights pass through San Pedro Sula (Honduras), but there are occasionally direct flights on weekends. You need to arrive on Sunday, May 27 and depart on Sunday, July 1. If you cannot find a flight for these dates, you may arrive Saturday, May 26 and/or depart Sunday, Monday, July 2. But please let me know your itinerary so that we can get you to and from the airport on time. Airlines servicing Roatán Island (airport code: RTB) include American, Continental, and TACA. Please feel free to contact other field school participants if you wish to arrange to travel together.


Return to top

Medical Insurance and Travel Documentation

USF provides program participants with sickness/accident and emergency medical evacuation insurance valid for the dates of the program.  Those who will travel independently, either in advance of the program or after the program ends, must ensure that they have insurance coverage valid outside the U.S.  


Please click here for more detailed information.


Return to top

Financial Aid and Scholarship Funding

Many funding opportunities are available to USF students who are planning to study abroad.  Please see our funding page for further details.


Return to top

Safety & Health

Participant's safety and well-being are paramount to USF.  Please click here for detailed safety and health information given in our Pre-Departure Guide before you travel.  Also, don't forget to read up on country-specific information on the U.S. Department of State and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites. 

Return to top

Special Terms

Students should review carefully the Education Abroad Participant Contract, included in the Education Abroad application process. It describes students' responsibilities with regard to participation, and includes information on insurance, and cancellation and refund policies. Students will be asked to electronically sign this document.  To view this document before applying, please click here


Return to top

Contacts for More Information

Questions regarding study abroad, program enrollment, registration and payment of fees

Heather Hartman
Education Abroad Office, International Affairs, CGS 103
University of South Florida, 4202 E. Fowler Ave., CGS 101
Tampa, Florida 33620-5550
Phone: (813) 974-4314 Fax: (813) 974-4613

Questions pertaining to the in-country academic program, course or credits

Faculty Contact: E. Christian Wells
Department of Anthropology
Phone: (813) 974-2337


Return to top

This program is currently not accepting applications.