The final week of the field season was involved in finishing the laboratory work, the drawing, and the photography that needed to be done. Some excitement this week was the midnight collapse on Monday night of a ramon tree behind Hut 3; the loud crash woke almost everyone up although at least one inhabitant in Hut 1 slept through the commotion. The four Belizean workmen that are back here cleaned up the mess on Tuesday morning. Melissa Badillo from the Institute of Archaeology helped pack up all of the vessels and artifacts that were going to Belmopan and took them out with her on Tuesday upon her return to the Institute of Archaeology, making it a lot easier for our Friday departure. By the end of Wednesday almost everything was done and all of the notebooks had been turned in to the project; the staff meeting had a productive discussion over the meaning of academic freedom. Eric Patz produced an end-of-season haiku that he read to everyone and is reproduced here:
What Caracol Means to Me 2016
Humus then bedrock
plumbed strata on a green grid
Chase, my Caracol.
There were a few odds and ends that needed to be completed on Thursday, but basically Thursday was “pack up the camp day.” Thursday night Jimmy, Dave, and Jack came in to help get everyone out on Friday and we had our traditional bonfire (and burned all of our ripped clothing). Friday morning went without a hitch, although Angie’s brother was later in getting into Caracol. People were up and packed by 5 AM and Jack and Asterio were feeling no pain when they drove up to camp at 5:30 in morning. Everyone waited for David to finish taking down the satellite dish and all of the wires down. When all of the equipment was finally stored in the caretakers’ basement, our four vehicles departed for Benque Viejo and Cayo.
The formal noon Caracol Archaeological Project luncheon was held in the Caracol Room of the San Ignacio Hotel and Paulita Bedran outdid herself with the spread, which included fresh lamb chops, pork chops, kibi, and babaganoush. Everyone was finally sated by about 4 PM in the afternoon and, when the Caracol Room was emptied, there was still a sizeable faction in the San Ignacio Bar. Everyone finally dispersed to either finally go back to Belmopan, travel to Guatemala or Mexico, or to fly back to Orlando on Saturday.
And, the 32nd field season at Caracol came to a successful completion.