A Salvadoran bulldozer encountered some architecture and artifacts so well preserved that it was assumed to be recent. I examined the site in 1978 and dated the thatch roofing to 1400 BP. With collaborations of volcanologists, I have investigated the Maya village for 42 years. The eruption of Loma Caldera volcano preserved the village and its landscape extraordinarily. Food is still intact in ceramic vessels, earthen buildings are preserved, and plants are intact in gardens and fields, in spite of being in a tropical wet environment. I nominated the Cerén site to the UNESCO World Heritage list, and it was accepted, as it is the best preserved ancient village in the Americas. Every season we publish our results in English and in Spanish and make them widely available. Local high school students in the past two decades are giving reenactment public performances that are highly accurate about the precursors of phreatomagmatic eruptions, the eruptions themselves, and proper emergency behavior. The result is a widespread awareness and preparedness that is greater than I could achieve with a plethora of scientific publications. I suggest that volcanologists and archaeologists consider supporting similar performances in hazardous areas, to improve risk perception and salutary emergency behavior.
Part of the book: Updates in Volcanology