Week 1 (January 15 – January 30, 2016)

Caracol camp officially opened on January 15 when 6 Belizean workmen were brought into site to begin camp repair. The four ladies that command the kitchen went into site on January 22 in order to get that part of camp up and functional and to relieve the 6 workmen from having to cook for themselves on a wood fire. A. Chase (I) arrived in Belize on January 25 and was picked up by Brian Woodye and taken to Belmopan where a meeting took place with John Morris and the permit was received for archaeological work at Caracol during 2016. In Belmopan, the project vehicle, a Mahindra double-cab truck, was picked up and driven to the San Ignacio Resort Hotel in Cayo, which served as the jumping off point for the last week of January. On Tuesday Jan 26, a full spread of needed groceries for the kitchen was sent into Caracol with an Institute of Archaeology (IOA) run from Belmopan. On the way back to Cayo, after a stop in Spanish Lookout, the Mahindra’s windscreen was hit by a duck. The windscreen was already cracked in several places from having been hit with stones, but the duck literally dented the window on the driver’s side and the amount of cracks made vision nigh impossible. The Mahindra was first driven to Spanish Lookout in search of a windscreen and then sent on to the dealer in Belmopan. Luckily, the Mahindra dealer had a windscreen and did the repair, finishing around 6 PM. On Wednesday Jan 27, extensive shopping was done for needed supplies in Spanish Lookout and there were meetings with the IOA in Belmopan; the message from Caracol was that the freezer was not yet functional. On Thursday, January 28, I bought vegetables at the market in Cayo and drove into Caracol. There I was given a list of other groceries and supplies that were needed, resulting in a trip that afternoon to Spanish Lookout to get sacks of flour and rice, as well as other items. Five more workmen arrived at Caracol on another trip that Thursday, courtesy of IOA. In the evening I was told that the freezer was working at the site. On Friday, January 29 I filled two coolers with 100 lbs of chicken from Caribbean Chicken and an equivalent amount of stewed beef, stewed pork, grind meat, and bacon from Running W. Then, back into site with the supplies. I also set up my air mattress and bedding on Friday and then went back out to Cayo. On Saturday January 30, I left Cayo and drove to the airport where Brian met me with another vehicle. By 11:30 all of the senior staff had arrived (Eric Patz, Angelica Costa, Amy Morris, Adrian Chase, Max Seidita, Jacklyn Rumberger, and Cheryl Foster). We lunched at Amigos and then went on to Caracol where everyone settled in for the season. Dinner was spaghetti and we had a Saturday night movie (the new Mad Max) before turning in.

Bird power

Bird power

Structure B34 before reopening trench

Structure B34 before reopening trench

Structure B118 before excavation

Structure B118 before excavation

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