THE 2021 Flagstaff Festival of Science will explore “Stories in Stone” on September 17-26 in Flagstaff, Arizona. Archaeologist Jaime Awe, Ph.D., will lead off the free, 10-day adventure as he shares his zest for exploration, passion, and in-depth research with “When Stones Speak: Decoding the Messages Embedded in Ancient Maya Monuments”. The W. L. Gore & Associates Keynote presentation is scheduled for 7 p.m., Friday, Sept. 17, in Northern Arizona University’s Ardrey Auditorium. 

Dr. Awe will showcase exciting discoveries he and his team have made about life in ancient Maya cities, which were hidden in the jungles of Belize. Through the use of LIDAR technology that revealed buried Maya structures and DNA studies on remains in newly discovered tombs, the team extracted clues about human conditions. “This year’s Festival of Science, whose theme is Stories in Stone, is a wonderful opportunity for me to share results of my long and ongoing research on Maya civilization, and on the significant information that is encoded in the monuments of the ancient Maya,” says Dr. Awe. Maya monuments encode important information on how this fascinating civilization viewed their universe, and how they interacted socially, politically, and ritually with their gods and peers. 

Full program of events to include Science in the Park, presentations, workshops, guided tours all taking place Sept. 17-26. With many programs led by outstanding Flagstaff scientists, Festival-goers will also have the opportunity to learn about other ancient cultures in this year’s archeological-themed festival. 


Renowned archaeologist, Dr. Jaime Awe, headlines the 2021 Festival of Science.

With the theme of Stories in Stone, speakers have the special opportunity to explore and discuss the significant information that is encoded in the monuments of past and present civilizations. 

Jaime Awe is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Northern Arizona University, Director of the Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance Project, and Emeritus Member of the Belize Institute of Archaeology. His research and publications cover topics that span from the Preceramic period to the time of European contact, and his multidisciplinary research focuses on questions concerning human-environment interaction, the rise of cultural complexity, and the factors that impacted the rise, apogee, and decline of Maya civilization. Awe also invests considerable professional efforts on the conservation and management of Belize’s tangible heritage, and he continues his active program of research and conservation with his colleagues and students at Cahal Pech, Baking Pot, Xunantunich, and Lower Dover, Belize.

Beyond his ongoing research, Dr. Awe has authored or co-authored more than 200 scholarly publications, and his research has been featured in several national and international television documentaries. Dr. Awe was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Archaeological Institute of America and a Field Discovery Award from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Dr. Awe presently lives in Flagstaff, Arizona.