The weather has held for the entire week, which started off cold and then warmed up by the weekend. Excavation has proceeded in four groups this week, one of which was finished.
The first group that was opened, Chocolate, saw excavations in three different areas. The first was a trench through the plaza in front of the eastern building that was set over two open chambers. Both of these chambers were excavated and drawn this week; the only artifact of note was a spindle whorl recovered in the western chamber; the bone in both chambers was in poor condition, likely because the open chambers had probably been used throughout the years by a series of animals. We also proceeded to excavate into the dry core fill of the platform between the two tombs and succeeded in finding a crypt that had been set directly into bedrock. Excavation of the crypt produced a limited amount of bone and a spindle whorl. By week’s end, the two chambers on either end of the trench were fully recorded. Other investigations were carried out in the alleyway between the two north buildings and half of the facing of the eastern north building was exposed and also drawn. Finally, the test pit in front of the north eastern building was excavated down to bedrock.
In Vanilla (to the south of Chocolate), excavation continued in both the northern and eastern buildings. The northern building produced a set of stairs and some floor patches. The eastern building saw the summit crypt excavated this week; the bone within it was recorded but no accompanying artifacts were recovered. The front part of the trench (to the west) was excavated down to bedrock in the plaza. A small box-like feature in the southwestern part of the excavation was set on (and into) bedrock and contained three arm bones. To the north of this feature half of a cache vessel was found set directly onto bedrock; another half of a different matching cache vessel was under the upper one; obviously, this cache was disturbed in antiquity. Finally, in the middle of the eastern trench a beautiful buried step was uncovered that was set directly above a series of capstones. Everything was drawn by the end of the week.
Southeast of Chocolate and east of Vanilla, excavations continued in the trench in the eastern building in Lemon. The excavations exposed bedrock throughout the western part of the trench as well as a well-defined crypt in the summit of the building. The crypt was excavated but proved to be empty. The crypt was drawn and the section in Lemon was also finished by week’s end.
On Thursday, new excavations were laid out in Maple, located on the easternmost part of the ridge containing Chocolate, Vanilla, and Lemon. Maple is actually higher than all of the other groups and quite expansive as a residential group with small structures on the south, east, and north sides of the plaza. The initial excavation had only been placed across the eastern building, but this was extended across the entire plaza west of the eastern building to gain a full cross-section. Initial clearing on the front of the eastern building recovered most of the front of a face-cache, but this vessel was only partial and not in situ.
Overall, the field season is on track to successfully accomplish its goals.