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C. Mathew Saunders

C. Mathew Saunders first joined the Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance project in 2000 and continued working with the project over the following four years. During his tenure with BVAR he has participated in the excavations of several ancient Maya sites, including Cahal Pech, Actun Tunichil Mucnal, Actun Nak Beh, Actun Chapat, Actun Halal, Stela Cave, Pook’s Hill, Baking Pot and Caracol.

Mathew earned his BA in Anthropology from the University of Kentucky in 2001, where he focused on Mesoamerican Archaeology. Saunders hopes to study with Drs. Arlen and Diane Chase at the University of Central Florida, starting in the fall of 2007.

Concurrently, he also worked intensively in Contract Archaeology (CRM) in the U.S. with Louis Berger and Cultural Resource Analysts, Inc. As part of this employ he supervised the salvage and preservation of both historical and prehistoric archaeological sites in Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana, Michigan and Iowa.

Since 2005 Mathew has been director of the Archaeology Program in Flagler County School District, Florida. He has started full-term anthropology and archaeology programs in three separate high schools and founded two similarly-themed clubs within the district. The Flagler County Program has carried out full-scale archaeological surveys of endangered sites within the community.

Since then, he has successfully started the American Foreign Academic Research (AFAR) program in which high school students participate in the BVAR field school in Belize. The “BVAR – AFAR Program” of 2006 have been reported in various media including Florida Citizens for Science, Palm Coast Lifestyles, and Archaeology Magazine. The AFAR program is currently undertaking a phase one survey of Princess Place Preserve a 1500 acre Florida State Park and plans are underway to make the BVAR field school an annual component of the program.

Research interests include:

Maya architecture
Maya epigraphy
Site management and preservation