Week 4 (February 12-18, 2023)

The weather held once more for the entire week and excavations progressed nicely. Diane flew into Belize on Thursday and was on site for Friday and Saturday, leaving Belize to return to Houston on Sunday. Rumari Ku from the Institute of Archaeology also joined the project on Thursday and will be participating in the investigations for the next two weeks.

In terms of excavations, we finished work in the Chocolate residential group and Adrian and Declan finished all of the necessary drawings in this residential group.

In Vanilla, excavations continued on the northern and eastern buildings with the northern building producing a series of floors as excavation proceeded down from the summit of the structure (all of which Gina recorded). In the eastern building (C236B), the capstones were lifted in the center of the trench below the well-preserved step, producing a burial in a well-defined crypt. Four vessels were apparent once the initial soil was removed, two tripod plates on the northern end of the crypt, with a cylinder just southeast of them, and a modelled-carved cylinder on the southern end; a fifth vessel, a small pottery cup, also occurred under the edge of the western plate. A skull is located in the southern end of the crypt and long bones extend the full length of the enclosure. Besides working on the central interment, Gabriela also drew the largely empty crypt that was in the summit of the building this week. At the end of the week, excavation of the medial crypt was still taking place.

In Maple, excavation of the trench through the plaza (C238C) continued to expose bedrock along its entire length as well as two burials in the western end of the trench. The bone for both burials was directly on bedrock and not in good condition. The westernmost burial was in a bedrock niche and the upper part of the body was covered with a slab over which there was a large tree root; shell beads were recovered with the lower portion of this body in the pelvis area, possibly associated with a wrist. The eastern building connected to the plaza trench (C238B) was also fully excavated to bedrock in its rear and to a capstone covered crypt under the front summit of the building which was not opened this week; Sonia drew the capstones. Declan drew the steps for the northern building in Maple, which were well defined and largely visible from the surface.

We also laid out excavations in Coffee (to the north of Maple and down the hill) and cleared out a large reservoir southwest of this group that Adrian hopes to test.

Vanilla residential group with Gina in north building, Carlos on screen, Jaime in the east building, and Adrian and Gabriela
Carlos excavating the lower crypt in the east building
Detail of Kawill cylinder in the lower crypt of the east building
Gabriela working on the upper crypt in the east building
Abner and Gina working on axial trench in the north building in Vanilla
Declan looking over the axial plaza trench in Maple with Reynaldo and Jorge in foreground
Sonia excavating the eastern building in Maple with Jorge and Reynaldo
Diane looking over eastern excavation with Sonia and Edwin in eastern building in Maple
Saul, Rumari, and Jerry excavating axial plaza trench in Maple
Jerry excavating plaza bedrock burial in Maple
Flavio, Declan, and Adrian readying the north building in Maple for a plan drawing

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