Week 5 (February 20 – February 26, 2017)

Like last week, this week was incredibly busy. At the end of last week, we succeeded in excavating down over 4 m (in dry core fill) to the buried plaza floor on the summit of Caana, cleaning out a 12 m long trench that is roughly 1.5 m wide at its base (on axis to the lower mask of Caracol Structure B20). This week we broke through the buried surface, eventually going through three floors and ending up on a fourth. Our efforts were rewarded with a series of sealed caches, 9 by week’s end, most with multiple vessels and some with obsidian eccentrics. Some of these caches were dug into the earlier surfaces, but others appear to have been placed in the floor coring as the surface was being constructed. Amy found 9 obsidian eccentrics set in cache dirt within a large face cache; one of the eccentrics resembled a Christmas tree (“arbol de navidad,” Jaime said).

In C210C, Ben continued down to the plaza floor, finding a cache of limestone bars and another consisting of a finger pot by week’s end. In C210B, the summit trench went deep into the core of the building finding a series of intact caches and a huge amount of cache pot pieces that do not seem to form full vessels or belong to any formal deposits. Over 2 dozen limestone bars also came out of the summit core. The rear facing of the earlier building was found as well as the exterior rear floor for this wall. By week’s end, Adrian had bedrock in the front of his excavation as well as 15 formal deposits. He spent most of the week excavating and drawing the infilled tomb.

In C211C, Kelsey discovered a buried earlier structure under the stone building, as well as the burial of a child in the southeast corner of her excavation. In C211B, Melissa and Brooke saw major excavation within the axial trench as well as the recording and removal of two more burials, one set on an early Early Classic bowl. These investigations also led to the discovery of 3 crypts that were covered with capstones. Two of the crypts required extensions outside of the original excavation limits. The crypt that was closest to the center of her building contained a supine individual with head to the north accompanied by 2 pottery vessels, 2 bone pins, and worked shell. The second crypt, located in the front of the building, was closer to the surface and may have been disturbed in antiquity; although teeth were recovered in the northern part of the crypt, only the articulated legs of an individual appeared in the chamber. The third crypt was not opened.

A new excavation, Operation C212B, was also placed over the eastern building in a third residential group. This is a small house group located close to both the C Group and Caana above extensive terracing. By week’s end, Olyvia and Jessica, along with Eduardo and Roberto, had recovered 3 fairly well preserved facings as well as the plastered plaza floor and the floor for the frontal platform of the building.

Tomas, Teo, and Jaime look at the results of their handiwork on Caana


Amy with the caches and their pits in front of the lower B20 mask


Obsidian eccentrics in the base of a Caana cache vessel


C210C undergoing excavation to plaza floor


Adrian taking an elevation on S.D. C210B-15


Face cache from S.D. C210B-4


Second level of S.D. C210B-2


Two architectural stages in C211C


S.D. C211B-5


Melissa with the capstones for S.D. C211B-6 and S.D. C211B-7


Eduardo, Jessica, Olyvia, and Kelsey working on C212B


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