This week, the project hit full stride, finishing some excavations, starting others, and finding a host of special deposits. We started with rain, which turned our path to the excavations into a muddy mess and ended the week with two days of sunshine.
In Alegre, Jackie, Alex, and Minel continued on C199B. Early in the week, they were still excavating the bedrock burial in the front of the structure. Later in the week, they began excavation of a second burial east of the first that was laid out in a cist with head to the south. And, on Friday, they found a third burial in the core of the building in a very crude cist. Nelson worked on C199C, detailing all the bedrock, and this excavation was closed at week’s end. Taylor and Eric closed out C199D and Angelica and Javier closed out C199E; both excavations had portions excavated down to bedrock.
In Dormir, Maura and Luis worked on C200C where they half-sectioned the building, extended to expose the northern facing, and found bedrock in the front plaza area; they closed this excavation in the latter part of the week. Eric and Joey continued work in C200D and are currently excavating the fill for that building.
In Sonrisa two new excavations were opened. Taylor and Eric began excavation of C201C, the north building in the group and by weeks end had found several facings associated with this structure as well as a great deal of trash. Angelica and Javier opened up C201D, the west building, and uncovered nice cut-block facings. Excavations also continued with Serenela and Carlos in C201B, the east building. Here, they found a floor on the summit and then uncovered large boulders in the front portion of the building where the looters had been. What they thought was a plaza floor became bedrock and the front boulders were found to make a dome-shaped opening over an open chultun that has a large chamber extending to the south. In the process of gaining access to the chultun and chamber, part of the boulders were removed in the center part of the trench, revealing a face cache (S.D. C201B-2) that had been set in the dry boulder fill over the chultun chamber and that was sealed by the summit floor. A bird skeleton and a series of jadeite chips were recovered from within this face cache. Next week we should get into the chultun and ascertain what it contains.
Perhaps the busiest spot of the week was Renegon. Excavation focused on the front of the east building, C203B. We began the week with 8 known deposits in this building and ended the week with a total of 14. S.D. C203B-9 was a deposit of more than 20 cache vessels set into fill in front of the construction wall in front of the summit crypt (S.D. C203B-5). S.D. C203B-10 was designated for the capstones and crypt that were uncovered in the plaza in front of the building; this crypt had at least two individuals within it, both head to the south; the three pottery vessels in the crypt indicate a Late Classic date. Next uncovered were more sets of finger bowls at the base of the construction wall (S.D. C203B-11) and then, further west and deeper in construction fill, paired sets of flower pots, odd-shaped censers, and finger bowls (S.D. 203B-12). The censers turned out to be a large spike-footed and incurved bowl and a large slab-footed olla with tau-flanges; both show evidence of burning inside the vessels and both are highly unusual; their dating was suspected of being earlier than the Late Classic Period and this early positioning was confirmed by another deposit that was directly below them. Leveling the excavation for pictures of S.D. C203B-12 yielded S.D. C203B-13, more finger bowls that were recovered even deeper at the base of the construction wall. Upon the removal of S.D. C203B-12, capstones were found beneath this central deposit and these were over another crypt, S.D. C203B-14, which contained a burial associated with late Early Classic vessels (2 cylinder tripods, 1 shoe pot, and 1 flanged dish). The back of C203B also saw some excavation to define the rear of the building. At week’s end, C203C was also reopened to remove the patch in front of the central step-up; a construction floor was found at a depth of 35 cm.
Finally, excavation was resumed in the east building of Vergansoso by Maura and Luis. This excavation was also extended 1 meter to the west because of the proximity of the basal step to the edge of the original excavation.