Announcing New AFAR Publications
One of AFAR's long-term goals is nearing fulfillment in just a few weeks. It has always been a dream to create concise, formal books to help prepare summer research project participants for their field season as well as assist them while in the field. As a non-profit organization working with volunteer staff and no designated funding, the idea seemed out of reach even though it was an element of the project that seemed essential. With the generosity of a donor and the help of a great team, this dream is about to become reality.
At an AFAR board meeting, Executive Director Mat Saunders shared with the group his goal to formally add the publications to the list of needs. The board chair at the time, Dave Swezey, stepped-up and agreed to make a generous donation to set the project in motion. Saunders immediately took action and recruited two members of the AFAR family, Dr. Stan Guenter and Dr. Maxime Lamoureux St-Hilaire to make this happen. The team coordinated and decided that they would divide the book into four sections and one section would be written by current Davidson Day/AFAR students. This was the most intimidating aspect of the project for Max and Stan but upon Saunders' insistence, the team moved forward and recruited four veteran students, including: Morgan Scott, Elizabeth Crispino, Mark Breunig, and Jaden Graham.
“The writing process was a chance for me to show and spread the knowledge I gained from years of experience and thorough field research,” said Morgan Scott, Davidson Day class of 2019. “Working with professionals allowed me to organize my flow of information correctly, so I could clearly communicate with the reader. Most importantly, working with these editors taught me many skills that are essential for my future work during and after college.”
The publications for Belize, Spain, Portugal and Greece took just under four months and required the team to devote a great amount of time and energy; an educational process for sure. Once the writing was completed, Saunders reached out to current student, Emma Lindquist, and Davidson Day graduate, Ella Kiley, to create artwork. These pieces are beautiful and add such a professional element to the final product.
Each publication contains four sections:
1. The first section, written by the students, covers the natural and human landscapes of the country;
2. The second covers the history of the country;
3. The third section provides information about the specific archaeological site of study;
4. Lastly, the fourth section covers the archaeological methodology used at that particular site.
The books are available for preorder on the AFAR website and can be added to your Maya at the Lago registration. Students will be given a copy, but the sales from additional copies will benefit the addition of future AFAR publications.
“I’m honored to have been chosen to do so as there were so many other qualified students,” says Liz Crispino, Davidson Day class of 2019. “It was a lot of work and everything needed to be done on time. But, it felt great to have spent my time doing something that will be read and used for future AFAR students.”
All seven authors will be present during the opening night of the Maya at the Lago for a book signing.