Week 2 (January 31 – February 6, 2016)

Sunday, January 31 was a day of unpacking and organizing the laboratory. On Monday, Amy and I defined all of the excavation locales. In Central Acropolis, we reopened the central 4 m by 3 m excavation that found the tomb last year and started going deeper in the northern half of that excavation with Cheryl as supervisor (excv. C206B). In the walled double group (with via), we placed two trenches on Structure 118, one at either end (Structure 119 is actually part of Structure 118). Max worked on the northern trench over the tomb that was excavated in 1994 (excv. C95E) and Angelica worked on the southern trench that was placed over the old Structure 119 (excv. C95F); at week’s end, both trenches were extended a meter into the plaza area in order to make sure that we had the basal step in each. Also, by weeks end, a trench on axis to Structure 116 was also begun (excv. C95G). In the Northeast Acropolis, Adrian worked with Jaime and Teo to reopen the 1994 trench (C117B); this effort was given a new designation of C117G. Some new artefactual material was recovered in the southern side wall that included a reconstructable plate and some bone that probably went with the fill burial recovered in C117B/6, as well as some fingerbowl caches that had been placed in the upper dry core fill of Structure B34’s stairway; next week they should be able to finish with the backdirt and start going deeper into earlier levels. The Preclassic platform west of Caana (Operation C207) could not be laid out because of backdirt, but this was moved by Wednesday and we laid out an areal excavation (excv. C207E) that will expose most of the front of the building and provide an axial section for drawing through the building; some bone is turning up in the dry core fill so we suspect that Eric will have burials here next week. The final excavation opened up was on the “kitchen”; here, a central areal excavation measuring 11 m by 5 m was placed on axis to the building with Jackie as the supervisor. Excavations went well all week until we were shut down by rain on Friday and Saturday. On Tuesday I drove out from Caracol to the airport to pick up the rest of the students (Benjamin Goldblatt; Troy Cunio; Danielle Young; Texanna Day) and get them to site. I also stopped in Belmopan on Tuesday to work with Brian to get a wire through to Belize from the UCF Foundation. The Belize Bank (where we have had an account for many years) cannot accept foreign wires because of running afoul of USA drug and terrorism laws, so we are trying to get the wire to go through Atlantic Bank to Brian to then transfer to our Belize Bank account. The Belizean newspapers are also saying that the USA might shut down the use of credit cards in Belize, which would cripple the tourism industry. It appears that the wire should eventually go through; Brian also had to sign a form for UCF. On Wednesday the new students were integrated into the ongoing excavations. On Thursday, excavations continued and I left in the afternoon to go to Cayo for the evening in anticipation of picking up Diane at the airport on Friday. Again, I shopped for a long list of items that the kitchen needed and got meat on Friday morning. Diane arrived on time from Miami; she had been in Peru since Sunday for an accreditation meeting and got back to Orlando on Thursday and switched baggage for early Friday morning flight. We drove straight from the airport for Caracol and 2 miles from the Georgeville turnoff we had the driveshaft fall off the Mahindra. We got to the side of the road and called Brian. David Griffith was there within 45 minutes and took the part off the vehicle; Diane sent pictures by phone and Brian sent the expensive part that was needed via Jimmy, who was dropping people off in Succotz for the weekend. David then crawled under the Mahindra and installed a new driveshaft and we were back on our way, reaching Caracol by 5:30 PM. It drizzled all day and the road was really muddy on the way to the site. It continued to rain all night and also all day on Saturday. Most people were in lab, doing screen repairs, or getting firewood on Saturday morning; only Eric could excavated because he was under a tarp. Saturday afternoon everyone was off, which was good because the rain continued. The movie in the evening was The Martian. After the movie, everyone turned in and crawled under their covers to fight off the damp cold.

Angelica and excv C95F

Angelica and excv C95F

Beginning C208G

Beginning C208G

Beginning excavation of C207E

Beginning excavation of C207E

Driveshaft Repair

Driveshaft Repair

Max and excv C95E

Max and excv C95E

Reopening C206B in Central Acropolis

Reopening C206B in Central Acropolis

Reopening the trench into Structure B34

Reopening the trench into Structure B34

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