Anabel Ford, a research archaeologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, will celebrate 10 years of research and conservation at the El Pilar Maya cultural site in Belize and Guatemala with a public lecture and reception Saturday, Sept. 21 from 5 to 9 p.m. at UCSB's Multicultural Center.
Ford, who discovered the remains of the ancient city in 1982 and began uncovering it in 1992, will speak about her unique vision for El Pilar and about the binational effort to use the site in ways that enrich the future as well as reveal the past.
The lecture is free, but guests are asked to bring a food contribution for the potluck reception.
Ford's vision for El Pilar -- officially the El Pilar Archaeological Reserve for Maya Flora and Fauna -- is rooted in her desire to understand the daily lives of the Maya, who flourished at El Pilar for about 1,700 years, reaching their zenith around 700 A.D.
Ford feels understanding Maya agriculture may play a role in saving the Maya forest, which is currently disappearing as farmers clear it away to open more land to farming.
Her El Pilar Program also calls for involving local residents in decision making, preservation of the forest on the site, and the development of tourism and educational programs in the area.
Ford will also speak about the efforts of her fund-raising group, Exploring Solutions Past.
For further information, visit the El Pilar web site at www.marc.ucsb.edu/elpilar.
NOTE TO EDITORS: Photos of Anabel Ford and the El Pilar site are available on request.