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Welcome to AFAR

American Foreign Academic Research

AFAR is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing pre-collegiate students an opportunity to experience first hand the world of archaeology through onsite excavations or by attending world-class seminars at our Maya conferences. American Foreign Academic Research, more commonly recognized as AFAR, is an organization dedicated to the advancement of archaeological field research, cultural site preservation, and the belief that the science can be advanced through the education and outreach of professionals and non-professionals alike. Read more about our history and mission.

Fig. 1

The Conch Shell Ink Pot depicted in the AFAR logo was excavated by Catharina E. Santasilia and Antonio Itza in a joint BVAR-AFAR project led by Dr. Jaime Awe in 2011. The artifact dates to the late classic Mayan Period (ca. AD 600-700) and was once utilized as an ink well by a master scribe. Three of the four sections of the shell still contain remnants of the blue, red, and black ink that once filled them making this artifact extremely rare and important.


Sign up for a Project

Register to attend an upcoming program. This application will take about 10 minutes to complete.


Register for a Conference

Register to attend one of our two Maya conferences; Maya at the Playa and Maya at the Lago.


Make a Payment or Donation

To make a payment on an upcoming project or donate to AFAR, please fill out our payment form.

 AFAR Experiences


“The AFAR program inspired me to appreciate the complex world of endless discoveries that is archaeology. Every new find feels like a personal accomplishment as well as a valuable contribution to the team goal. My experience in Spain the past two years has allowed me to witness hard work truly paying off. I am beyond grateful for the trust this program’s leaders put into their students, because without it I couldn’t say that my own hands helped uncover a full skeleton in the ruins of an ancient Spanish castle.”

Masie Rees
Davidson Day School Class of 2018
Spain 2015, 2016