Doctor Jaime Awe resigns as Director of the Institute of Archaeology
Tuesday, July 15th, 2014
Doctor Jaime Awe announced that he has resigned as the Director of the National Institute of Culture and History’s (NICH) Institute of Archaeology (IA). The surprising announcement came during the 12th Annual Belize Archaeology and Anthropology Symposium held on Tuesday, July 1st to Friday, July 4th. His resignation will take effect on Thursday, July 31st, but he will still remain active in Belize’s archeological studies.
According to 60-year-old Dr. Awe, the job as Director has become strenuous and he no longer feels fit to do the job effectively. “My decision to resign was based solely on my personal desire to do the true things that I am most passionate, and that is research and teaching archaeology. Belize archaeology is not just a job, it’s my life,” said Dr. Awe. He did indicate that he will still be involved in the IA but to a lesser magnitude. “We have very capable archaeologists that can assume the position of Director and of course I will still be involved in IA, giving as much support and assistance as needed.”
Dr. Awe is originally from San Ignacio and has been involved in archaeology since 1976. After returning to Belize in June 2000 from his studies abroad, Dr. Awe assumed the position of Deputy Commissioner of Archaeology of the Department of Archaeology (DoA), and in August of the same year, he also took on the position of Archaeological Coordinator of the Tourism Development Project and conducted major excavations and conservation work at Caracol, Lamanai, Xunantunich, and Altun Ha. In September of 2003, the DoA was renamed as the Institute of Archaeology and Dr. Awe was appointed the first ever Director. He has published articles on Cahal Pech, Baking Pot, the caves of Western Belize and completed several documentaries. Dr. Awe is a prominent figure in Belize’s archaeology field and is Belize’s technical representative to the Mundo Maya Organization.
The IA Board of Directors has not yet released an official statement on Dr. Awe’s resignation or who will be replacing him as Director. President of NICH, Diane Haylock expressed her surprise at Dr. Awe’s decision but is nevertheless grateful for his contributions to the archaeological field.
“I thank everyone for the support and assistance offered to me during my time as Director of the IA and the additional work I have done, without you, my success would not be possible. To the Belizean community, I urge you to be more involved in the preservation and conservation of the country’s archaeological assets, for it is important to safeguard them for future generation to come,” said Dr. Awe.
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