Week 2 (February 4 – February 10, 2013)

After the entire first week was characterized by rain, the second week was just the opposite. A clear dawn broke on Monday and we had sunny days for the remainder of the week. However, even after a week of sun the jungle paths had still not dried out.

At Dulce, we opened excavations in the eastern and central southern building. By week’s end, we had bedrock in front of the southern building and had just found an earlier floor and step. Most of the attention focused on the eastern building where a collapsed tomb could be seen within the building core.  To get to it, we needed to cut down through dry core fill more than 2 m from the building summit. This excavation succeeded in uncovering an earlier shrine room that was located half-way up the slope of the mound in the building core. The collapse tomb had been placed directly under this shrine room. By week’s end, we had begun to clear the tomb and had ascertained that the tomb had an eastern bench on which a single individual appears to have been placed with head to the south; so far, four bowls have been located east of the bench; the date of the tomb may be Early Classic. Another vaulted feature was found in the fill west of the tomb; although first appearing to be empty, probing  beneath its central axis produced a human tooth and a very eroded z-angle bowl (early Early Classic); exactly what this feature represents has not yet been determined. The basal step/balk for the eastern building in Dulce was also exposed along with its plaza floor.

South of Dulce atop the next hill is the group denoted as Pan. In Pan we placed an areal excavation in front of the north building that uncovered the outer facing for that structure; artifactually, we also found the base and some decoration for a late cylindrical incensario. We also excavated in the southern building, which proved to be composed mainly of large rubble.  The east building was difficult to approach because it had a huge tree astride it.  However, we placed our trench in front of the tree and behind the tree. On the plaza side of the tree, we succeeded in finding the lowest step for the structure. Excavation here found bedrock on the western side of the excavation as well as 3 caches and a set of capstones that hid a burial on bedrock. The caches were very broken, but one of them was a face cache that had been set directly above a pair of spondylus shells. Spondylus chips were found in the base of another cache. Someone had attempted to loot the rear of the eastern structure and our excavation was positioned over this disturbance. We made our way through the area that had been looted and found what appeared to be tomb walls associated with a floor; the eastern wall of the tomb had collapsed over the edge of the hill with three massive capstones also having slid in this direction. At week’s end, and obsidian lancet had been recovered and a ring-base dish was uncovered in the southwest corner of the chamber; but, it was clear that little else would be found.  

Following the flat land between the two hills supporting Dulce and Pan, one ends up in an elongated group characterized by bedrock outcrops and low structures. This group was called Galletas and excavations were placed in its northern, eastern, and southern buildings, as well as in its reservoir. At week’s end, the southern excavation was down to large boulder fill, the northern excavation had revealed an area of raised bedrock that may have been artificially flattened, and the east excavation had found a skull in what at first appeared to be bedrock in front of the small east building.         

West of Dulce, Pan, and Galletas is a ridge which supports two other groups that are being investigated, Bimbo and Tortilla. Bimbo is north of Tortilla and contains many more and much larger structures than those in Tortilla. Excavations were undertaken this week in all three of the eastern buildings in Bimbo. The northern eastern building also saw an areal excavation along its northwest side to recover more of the refuse that was found in the plaza area of the axial trench; part of an amazing figurine of a seated woman holding a fan was recovered from here. In the southern eastern building, work started on an axial trench. Much more work actually took place in the larger central eastern building; facings and steps were exposed and planned; the excavations actually penetrated the core of the building as well as the plaza in front of the structure. At week’s end, four different burials had been discovered. A bundled body in the center of the trench was located directly above capstones for a tomb; this interment was exposed, drawn, and pulled. Also found, but not exposed, were a tomb, a crypt, and probably a cist burial. Two other axial excavations were started in Bimbo on the central western structure and on the looted northern structure.

No work was done in Tortilla this week.


Bimbo Central East Building

Pan N and E Buildings

Galletas N and E Buildings

Dulce Tomb and Shrine

Dulce East Building

Bimbo Northern East Building





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