Here is the chance for children to show off their wonderful work on the Maya!
Entries will undergo thorough examination by myself and Rufus, my apprentice.Who is Rufus?
A great visit to James Dixon Primary School, Kent – look at all these wonderful things the children have made on the Maya! First of all masks….
Wonderful drawings of the Maya (the first one is by Rosa), and also the quetzal bird, from Torriano School, London
Here we have Maya headdresses made by Year 3 at Dunhead Preparatory School, Wimbledon
A Maya woman wearing a huipil, given to me by a child at Windmill Church of England School 🙂
Posters created by Year 3 at Westover Primary School, Portsmouth
Pyramids made of sugar cubes from Edgware Primary School
I received some lovely thank you letters from Year 5 and 6 at Castlemorton School – in itself it is a good writing exercise! More here
Here we have some beautiful huipiles – Maya blouses that Class 3 from Grindleford Primary school in Derbyshire have drawn.
Here we have some more work by Class 3 – their own stelae – monuments celebrating, well themselves! They look great!
A wonderful looking pyramid from Butler’s Court School, Beaconsfield
…and another from St. James’s Catholic Primary School, Twickenham
Work created by Year 5 and 6 at Huntingdon Primary School, Chester.
Dear Dr Diane,
Thank you, Dr Diane, for coming in to tell us about Maya people and how you discovered facts about their culture and what you found there. For example, their kings always had jaguar skin with them because it represents power and how the howler monkeys woke you up at 5 am in Guatemala. Also, when it rains it takes 30 hours to get to the closest village. We hope you enjoy reading our diary entries, about what it would be like to live in the jungle like you. We all really enjoyed you coming to teach us all about the jungle. From Class 6, Lympstone Primary School, Devon.
A Day in the life of Dr Diane Davies
by Joshua, West Park Primary School, Wolverhampton
“Woken up by the deafening scream of the howler monkey, that gave me a heart attack, I dared to peek out of my tent. No-one in my team had told me about this terrifying noise. I finally had the courage to look out of my tent and guess what! It was a cute little monkey with the howl of King Kong.
Now I had to go out of my tent to have a shower. All I had was two old disgusting milk bottles; also I had a revolting bucket with insects found in your nightmares. Walking to the filthy river, I had to use its water because it was the only water we had. After I finished my shower me and my team set off to explore the depths of the San Bartolo rainforest site in Guatemala.
Surviving in the 38 degree heat was tough but I had my lifesaving bandana. It cooled me down and made me carry on. Pushing and shoving through the jungle, I finally found a good place to excavate. Before excavating anywhere, I have to place a spirit level, which makes me dig in a straight line. After hours of taking pictures and digging, I finally found the beauties that the Maya has to offer. A pot! A broken pot. This was the first artefact I have ever discovered.
I had to go to my laboratory and do the most boring part – analysing and report writing about the artefacts! After writing my report I finally get to rest until the night. Shaking my tent viciously, I have to check for scorpions and if there are none, I get to sleep!”
Dr Diane “This is wonderful Joshua. You remembered a lot from my talk, especially the dreaded scorpions!”
A recount of our morning with Dr Diane Davies by Hashim
West Park Primary School, Wolverhampton
“This morning was epic! A real archaeologist came to us and year five! Did you know she is the only Maya archaeologist in Britain!
We went into the hall where everything was set out and we learnt about all of the adventures she has had. Her name was Dr Diane Davies. Firstly she told us all about the architecture/artefacts she has gathered which are related to the Maya. She has found pieces of pottery, Maya tools and loads more! Disturbingly, she had to spend three months at a time in the jungle, but eight years in total. This was where she found all the artefacts.
There was a huge site, which Dr Davies excavated at San Bartolo. Using trowels, pick axes and normal brushes to break stone, brush dust and dig in soil. Secondly she gave us extra information about the Maya and how they lived. The jungle was the hardest place to live. Even the Maya knew that BUT they still chose that area! Hard-core aren’t they? You think that the jungle is a nice place to live with all the wildlife and plants. Think again!! The jungle is a hard place to live in.
Well at least Dr Davies and her crew managed there, even though they did not have proper toilet service. Imagine that!”
Dr Diane “Hi Hashim, I am glad you enjoyed my visit, have fun learning about the Maya!”
A Day in the life of Dr Diane Davies by Gvido – A Diary Extract
West Park Primary School, Wolverhampton
I was woken up by a loud weird sound that came from nearby my tent. I peeked out and saw a cute, little howler monkey. Nobody warned me about them but now I know!
Walking to work, I made terrible, loud sounds to make any animal scared because if they are near me they might hurt me; especially ferdelance snakes. When they bite you they can kill you, but if we had anti-venom, we would survive the bite.
The last person who touched the pot I found today was a Maya. I felt really happy because it is special to the Maya and the first thing that I found.
After my journey home, it rained. I ran quickly to the village. I was scared of the mud that the rain would cause. After a while, I went to the shower to wash because of the rain. The bugs were climbing on me, it was disgusting. Then I went to the toilet, more disgusting.
What a day!”
Dr Diane: “An excellent diary extract Gvido, well done!”
A Day in the life of Dr Diane Davies by Wiktoria, Year 6,
West Park Primary School, Wolverhampton
“Screeching howler monkeys woke up Dr Diane Davies. Creeping out of her dark tent, she looked around; the dreadful noise had sounded like King Kong! Relieved, Dr Davies walked over to her colleagues. Walking to the ‘dining room’, she sat down with a sigh, ate her breakfast, (beans, eggs and rice, as usual!) and went out to her tent. She dressed, wet her bandana and put it on.
They all jumped into their jeep and drove towards their usual site. Five hours later, they arrived. Getting out of the jeep and getting down into a room, they dug up, she started excavating.
Despite only working for a few minutes, she was already sweating (the temperature was 35-38 °C). After discovering something (or not) she goes to analyse the pots she has collected. Finding out about what the things on them mean is the hardest thing for her; although a friendly pisote is always around keeping her company.
Eventually, she gets to go back to the camp and can take a shower. Usually, showers are warm, and, after you take one, you don’t stink as if you’ve showered in mud. Unfortunately, Dr Davies’ shower does. The water comes from a river (is very cold) and is full of bugs, the toilet is so bad you cannot even go in there without feeling sick!
After eating, everyone watches a movie in the ‘cinema’ or plays a game like football.
Eventually, they go to their tents and go to sleep (first checking for scorpions!)”.
Dr Diane: “This is great Wiktoria, you really brought the Maya jungle to life!”
Children from Brookland Junior School using the magical Maya resource that I created with Computeam and London Grid for Learning!
I had the pleasure of speaking to the Year 6 pupils at Hertsmere Jewish Primary School, Herts and afterwards they wrote wonderful biographies about me, such as this one – thank you!
The pictures below show some of the work from Year 5, St Mary Magdalen’s Junior School, London. Very impressive!