Like last week, the entire week was sunny. However, we did get some rain on Saturday afternoon that appears to have ushered in a cold front. All of the excavations moved at a good pace this week and we are hoping to be largely finished by the end of next week in order to transition into laboratory work.
Roxayn and Carlos worked all week in the Cheech Residential Group; they excavated a bedrock cist burial with multiple bodies; this interment was uncovered when the step was removed in the eastern trench. Thus far, there have been four sequent plans made of the disarticulated (and finally articulated) bone. Like most Caracol interments, the body directly on bedrock, below the disarticulated remains, appears to be articulated. Also in Cheech, the northern alleyway excavation was drawn and is completely finished.
Amy and Faydt worked all week in Sage with Jaime and Flavio. They finished excavating half of the basal building in front of the east structure. They cleaned out the fire pit in the bench behind the northern-most doorway and they dug the central axis of the basal building all the way to bedrock. Amy also completed all of the drawings. Even though a partial stela was reset in front of this structure, there were absolutely no deposits associated with the basal building itself. Work was also undertaken on the southern building in Sage in an attempt to gain a building plan. A trench placed on the central axis showed that the medial door jamb is almost 2 m in height. In general the walls are well preserved in this building.
In the Chan Residential Group, the entire trench was dug to bedrock by week’s end. On the summit of the building a pit placed directly into bedrock was excavated and contained three limestone bars placed as an initial deposit for the structure. Saul also exposed the front burial that was under the steps, revealing a very decomposed supine body with head to the north. Two pottery vessels of early Late Classic date and a sea shell had been placed just north of the head. Amy drew the burial and then pulled it. The section still remains to be done.
In the Chak Residential Group, the eastern trench had four men (Gustavo, Abner, Julio, and Saul) working with Adrian most of the week. The men did the heavy lifting and Adrian did the drawing. In the rear of the eastern structure, they found a second buried step and then an even more deeply buried floor. The capstones for a burial were found west of the uppermost summit step and east of the frontal balk in the stairway; the body had been placed directly into “fill;” the burial was dug, photographed, drawn, and pulled during the week; no artifacts were found in association with the burial. A meter directly beneath this burial, however, another set of capstones were uncovered; these were not excavated this week as Adrian flew to California at week’s end for a wedding.
To the front of the balk, the entire excavation in the eastern building was taken down to bedrock, resulting in the recovery of a disturbed burial in fill and then an intact burial on bedrock directly in front of the balk. The majority of an incurved bowl with stamped decoration was also recovered in this area. Also in the Chak Residential Group, investigation of the open chultun beneath the central west building began this week, being dug by Erwin and Irvin. It has two chambers; the southern chamber has its capstone still in place; the northern chamber had a collapse that is providing entry for the excavation. The ceramics coming out of the chultun indicate that it was likely used during the Early Classic Period.
Apart from excavation, on Saturday we also finished bushing and cleaning the Monterey plaza area (associated with the ballcourt) for soil testing next week.