5 Places to Visit if You Love Archaeology

Channel your inner Indiana Jones at these sites where you can help discover the past.
 

Photo by Daverhead/iStock

1. Château Saint-Louis, Quebec City

In a crypt beneath the iconic Fairmont Le Château Frontenac lie the ruins of a governor’s residence dating back to 1620. The excavation (revealing a lower court, outbuildings and kitchen facilities) wrapped up in 2007, but kids can still get in on the action by grabbing shovels and trowels and taking part in a dig.

pc.gc.ca

2. Playa Santa Lucía, Camagüey, Cuba

In the sea surrounding the 18th-century fortress of San Hilario on Cayo Sabinal, about three-and-a-half hours northwest of Holguin, divers encounter submerged ceramics and wine bottles discarded by fort guards. There are also two exceptionally preserved 19th-century wrecks, including the Mortera, a Spanish merchant ship that sank near Santa Lucía beach in 1896.

gocuba.ca

3. Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland, England

This summer field school, open to amateur archaeologists, examines an imposing palace-fortress in northern England, which has housed a succession of historic rulers, most notably the early medieval kings of Northumbria. This year’s team will seek out relics from the 7th- and 8th-century Angle-Saxon occupation, though materials from as early as the Roman era have been found on previous digs.

bamburghresearchproject.co.uk

4. Crow Canyon, Mesa Verde, Colorado

The ancestral Pueblo people of the American southwest are famous for their cliff dwellings, but many relics from their settlements have yet to be unearthed. Learn more about this highly developed ancient society at Colorado’s Crow Canyon research campus before visiting an active excavation site.

crowcanyon.org

5. Blue Creek, Northwestern Belize

Offered every summer in two-week instalments, this voluntourism experience with the Maya Research Program takes place in what was once a hotbed of pre-Columbian civilization. Participants try their hand at everything from artifact recovery to lab analysis, all the while staying in a field camp, with free time spent exploring nearby Maya ruins.

mayaresearchprogram.org

[This story appears in the April 2019 issue of WestJet Magazine]