Here at the Institute of Archaeology we deal with all things ancient, from temples and old pots to colonial bottles and tobacco pipes. Sometimes, however, we do get new finds and new things coming our way, such as bright and eager new employees. We welcome aboard Ms. Sylvia Batty to the ranks, being quite sure she will add her own unique flavor to our varied crew.
"The older you get the quicker time seems to pass by.
While writing this I took the time to reflect on my employment at the IA, schooling and my volunteer work.
I feel so at home in my cozy section of the Research Department at the IA, but I’ve only been behind this desk for 5 days (4 days really, day 1 was an all day trip to Belize City). Looking back at the years it took me to get here; I can safely say that it’s been a crazy ride.
I started doing volunteer archaeology at age 10. I had always been fascinated with nature and the ‘stories’ behind everything that I saw and touched. I wanted to know more, and I spent a good part of my childhood simply trying to figure out the bigger picture behind everything. After that first field season, I gave up a few weeks of every summer to be in the field. At age 20 I now have 10 years of being in the field, and I’m looking forward to another 10.
|Sylvia settles in|
Over the years my reasons for doing Archaeology and the direction that I will take with it has been constantly evolving. I started out simply wanting to know more. I wanted to know every aspect of the life of the Ancient Maya. I also wanted to piece together the global history of the prehistoric world. At 15 I knew which areas of archaeology I didn’t want to specialize in but I couldn’t figure out what area I would specialize in. Day 1 as a History major at SJCJC taught me that too many youths did not have respect for their cultural patrimony; I was 17. This led me to explore the perception of archaeology among my peers from an anthropological perspective. I am still appalled by their lack of respect and appreciation for their cultural patrimony. This was also the first time I had an interest in the historic archaeology of Belize. I would like to thank Ms. Amauri Amoa, Mr. Elizardo Ricalde, Ms. Ritamae Hyde, Ms. Meg Craig and Mr. Nigel Encalada for giving me my induction into the study of history, historic archaeology and ethnography.
At age 19, after being constantly frustrated by tertiary school Belizean students who were ignorant of their History, I finally realized what I wanted to do in this field. I want to, need to, I will, bridge the gap between researcher and student. It is my hope that proper knowledge of the History of Belize will foster a greater sense of civic pride in all citizens of this country. That is my small contribution to the saga of Archaeology (both Pre-Colombian and Historic) in Belize.
Cynthia Robin-Rivera, Laura Kosakowsky, Nick Hearth, Jason Yeager, Kat Brown, Sherry Gibbs, Jaime Awe, John Morris, thank you all for your mentorship."