Week 4 (February 10 – February 16, 2020)

  A busy week in the trenches…  All excavations are under way and are producing interesting materials.

  In Jack Residential Group we started the week with two more caches in the front plaza area as well as a concentration of stone slabs that probably cover a burial. Most of the effort in this excavation, however, focused on the rear crypt. The huge capstone in the southeast corner was moved and the excavators maneuvered under the huge cedar root at the crypt’s northern extent. A complete medicine bottle was found outside the crypt to the east next to the cedar root. Another medicine bottle was found in the center of the crypt as well as the large pieces of two burners. The bone was not in very good shape. However, an extraordinary find was made in the southeast corner of the crypt where a complete (but broken) cylinder vase was recovered that exhibits very fine incision involving an underwater scene with two serpents set upon water scrolls separated by diagonal bands.

  In Queen Residential Group, Shei and Mo continued to draw row after row of capstones that overlapped with each other in the eastern building. Julio and Carlos continued to remove the core rubble from the building and found a complete deep bowl set into the rear fill among the stones. They also found two Late Classic caches set into the bedrock below the plaza in front of the rubble core of the building. After all the capstones were drawn and removed in the western front of the building, a segment of a plaster floor (at the same angle as the capstones and about 1 m wide) was found that ran the distance of the trench; a single vessel of probable Early Classic date had been placed on the southern side of this floor and became SD C225B-4. To the east of the plaster floor, there appeared to be a hole cut into bedrock into which a huge flat capstone had been placed. The excavation of this will take place next week.

  In the northern building in Queen Residential Group, the axial trench was dug to bedrock and penetrated the structure all the way to the rear vertical wall feature that had been discovered last week. This rear feature turned out to be an entryway for a collapsed tomb that ran east-west and that has at least one vessel on its floor. The area of the tomb had been marked by an earlier platform outline (off-axis) that had been covered over by the fill for the latest northern building. The dimensions and outline of this chamber should be determined this next week.

  Mayra and her crew continued to excavate and draw in King Residential Group. She has been diligently working on the drawing of the northern building. Immediately southwest of the face cache found in front of the eastern building step last week, Jaime uncovered an extended interment set on bedrock with head to the south. A second skull was set to the west of the primary skull for the body in the burial. SD C224B-2 contained only human bone and no associated burial goods. Excavation in the eastern building this week also exposed the capstones for a rear interment. This was opened up and is being defined. The chamber has a good western wall, but the eastern wall has not been fully outlined. The northern side of the chamber had collapsed and this was in evidence during the excavation of the trench. It appears that the chamber is at least a meter deep as Jaime is still following the wall down on the northern side and removing fallen capstones.

  Lab is going well and we are almost caught up on washing the sherds and artifacts that have been brought in. All in all, a good start to the 36th field season….

1. Gabriela looking at incised cylinder in corner of SD C226-4.
2. Main scene from cylinder in rear crypt of JACK residential group.
3. SD C226B-2 from JACK residential groups with vessel and pot-lid.
4. Carlos and Julio excavating SD C225B-1 in east building of QUEEN residential group.
5. Shei and Mo drawing second set of capstones in east building of QUEEN residential group.
6. Julio and Carlos excavating east building in QUEEN with two plaza caches exposed.
7. Mayra and Jose drawing SD C224B-2, an interment on bedrock in front of the eastern building in KING residential group.
8. Eastern building in KING residential group showing capstones for rear interment and Jaime in the trench.
9, Jaime and Flavio excavating rear interment in eastern building in KING residential group while Mayra and Jose draw the northern building in the background.

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