The week began with a Baron Bliss barbeque on Sunday to celebrate the individual who never set foot on Belizean soil (living in his yacht off Belize City) but who left his entire fortune to the country. It was also the same weekend as the Belize River 4-day canoe race, which started last Friday in Cayo and ended on Monday in Belize City with the Institute of Archaeology (and NICH) coming in second to Belize Telecommunications Limited (BTL).
During this week at Caracol, all of us were engaged in final laboratory work (numbering, cataloguing, gluing, and drawing) as well as photography of the various artifacts, cards, and drawings. Six of the men left after completing the sherd numbering on Tuesday; three (Carlos, Jaime, and Asterio) stayed behind to help with close-down activities. By Thursday we had prepared two boxes of 2015 artifacts for transmittal to the Institute of Archaeology (IOA) at our End-of-Season Luncheon at the San Ignacio Hotel on Friday (attended by the project and the IOA). Camp closedown was a little easier this year because the IOA will be using our camp as a support-base for the new construction activities at the site. This includes a Belize Defense Force camp near the entrance to Caracol and then our own new camp facilities that will be located west of the BDF camp and immediately east of the Caracol monument building on high ground. We did not need to take down the showers or the wiring for electricity, nor did we fully dissemble the kitchen as Angie will be returning in a week to cook for the IOA construction crew. We only hope that the new construction crew gets some rain in the off-week as our water tanks were almost empty.
On late Thursday afternoon, we stored all of the Caracol laboratory and our own personal coolers in the IOA deep storage area; on Friday morning, we transferred 4 kitchen coolers and our new generator to the same storage facility before leaving the site. David Griffith and Brian Woodye helped pull our crew out of Caracol on Friday morning and then joined us for breakfast at the San Ignacio Hotel and again at our End-of- Season lunch. George Thompson, Melissa Badillo, and Enrique Itza were also present for lunch, and Allan Moore joined us later in the afternoon. Allan and John Morris had been in a hastily-called court hearing in Corozal Town on Friday morning over the infamous bulldozing of the Nohmul pyramid; we saw John for dinner in Cayo.
On Saturday morning, we went to Brian Woodye’s place in Belmopan and he drove us to the Belize airport, dropping us at Delta for the flight back through Atlanta.
And, thus concludes the successful 31st field season of the Caracol Archaeological Project.