Archaeology Magazine - Maya Caves of West-Central Belize: Reconnaissance in the Chiquibul: August 21 - Archaeology Magazine Archive

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Left, Lynx chopper lands at the British High Commissioner's landing pad in Belmopan. Above, Rene Torres prepares to board the chopper.

After our initial aircraft, a Gazelle chopper, had hydraulic problems and was declared unfit for flight, Rene Torres and I were flown in a BATSUB 25 Lynx Mark 7 Chopper from Belmopan to the British Army camp at Guacamallo in the mountain pine ridge.

Shortly after landing, Rene and I met with the BATSUB crew:

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Cameron Hastie (Cammy)
Training Team Warrant Officer
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Paul Withworth (Quiz)
Jungle Warfare Instructor
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Huw Jones (Taff)
Combat Jungle Nurse
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Jacinto Chun
Jungle tracker
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Pedro Garcia
Jungle tracker

When we reached the landing area, officer Hastie informed us of our mission:

  • Recon a potential fire range for indirect mortar fire (indirect fire is when the target cannot be seen by the operator).


  • Look for and document Maya cave and surface sites within the proposed area and determine the level of damage that this proposed operation could have on the cultural materials and sites.

Following the briefing, we set up camp and began to get acquainted with each another. We dined on delicious MRE rations provided by the British military and went to bed early in our hammocks. [Next...]

Chiquibul Intro | August 22

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