Did you know that Caracol, a Maya archaeological site being excavated by a University of Central Florida husband and wife team, beat the dig at Pompeii in a popularity contest last month?

Today, you can help UCF anthropologists Arlen and Diane Chase, UCF’s very own Indiana Jones team, beat researchers who have excavated the South African site of Sterfontein as part of ArchaeoMadness 2014, a contest to celebrate International Archaeology Day.

Their work includes the first wide use of LIDAR (laser) technology to explore underground ruins. Their findings have revolutionized our understanding of how the Maya traded, explored, worshiped and ran their empire that stretched from current day Belize to Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, as well as the Yucatan Peninsula.

The Archaeological Institute of America and other organizations across the nation and Canada organize the day (Oct. 18) and multiple activities to “celebrate archaeology and the thrill of discovery.”

UCF’s College of Sciences is hosting an event at Cocina 214, a restaurant in Winter Park on Oct. 15. The event is already at capacity. Professor Arthur Demarest, the director of the Vanderbilt Institute of Mesoamercian Archaeology and a colleague of the Chases, will speak about the collapse and abandonment of Classic Period Maya cities.

Demarest will also give a lecture to students at UCF as part of his visit.

In the meantime, help the Chases win today’s challenge and keep checking the contest website. Winners from the daily challenges go head to head each day leading up to the final winner, which will be crowned on Oct. 17.