The primary focus of investigations this season is the Northeast Acropolis, located directly east of Caana. Excavations in this elite residential group in previous seasons had shown that it had a long history of occupation beginning at some point in the Preclassic Period and extending through the Terminal Classic Period.
The excavations, thus far, have focused on clearing the summit architecture. A search for stairs to reach the summit has been unsuccessful thus far. There are platform facings, but no stairs visible in the initial tests on the south side of the platform. It is possible that there was no formal access to the group from the south. We will have a better idea after the completion of additional tests this week.
At the summit, excavations are taking place on the southern, western, and northern sides of the plaza (the east side was excavated in the mid-1990s). The southern excavations are exposing low-lying stone foundations for two building platforms. The western construction is a 2.5 meter high building platform with a well-preserved central stair.
The northern structure is the largest in the group. Investigations here are exposing a series of walls, benches and floors. A tomb was discovered directly in front of the central bench below the latest floor level. While use-related materials on the floor date occupation to the Terminal Classic Period, the tomb sealed by the latest floor dates to the Early Classic Period. It is unusual for Caracol in that it is orientated E-W rather than N-S. It contained a single individual with four ceramic vessels, 2 large spondylus shells, and a necklace of 50+ spondylus beads.
In addition to the Northeast Acropolis, investigations also took place in the Culebras Group, first investigated during the 2007 season. Excavations of the tomb encountered at the end of the 2007 season have finished and the tomb has been backfilled. The chamber contained multiple, largely disarticulated, individuals and sixteen pottery vessels, including an intact model-carved vase of Late Classic date.