The week started off with the celebration of Valentine’s Day on Sunday, meaning that everyone got a pack of M&Ms with their lunch (something much appreciated when there are no stores around). The bulk of the week had rain on and off during the days or evenings – never very hard but always enough to disturb work. Yet, we were able to work around the drizzle and get quite a bit done.
In the Via Group, excavations continued in the 4 open trenches and a 5th trench was also opened in Structure C116 (C95I).
C95E: the northernmost trench in Structure B118: excavation continued deep into the rear of the building going through dry-core fill, but finding nothing. A second tomb (the first being the collapsed one excavated in 1995) was found in the front of the trench behind the row of stones for the lowest step. The capstones were cleaned off, drawn, and photographed before entering the chamber. Saul cleared off the dirt that had fallen in and exposed the first layer of bone and vessels. The skeletal material is very well preserved and there are 2 flexed upper bodies, both with their heads in the middle of the chamber; one has the legs to the north and the other has legs to the south. On the southern side, the legs overlap 3 Late Classic vessels and there is a partial Early Classic basal flange bowl against the wall. On the northern side of the chamber, there is a Late Classic cylinder in each corner. Rocks are going down vertically and it looks like there will be stacking of the skeletal material as we continue. Amy began drawing on Saturday morning and pulling on Saturday afternoon.
C95F: the southernmost trench in Structure B118: Angelica continued excavation in the front of this trench and succeeded in finding the northern facing for an earlier construction under the north-south facings for the Late Classic building.
C95H: the center trench in Structure B118: excavation in the front part of the trench exposed the partial burial of a child in front of the lowest facing for the Late Classic building. Excavation within the building itself found the southern facing for an earlier building running the width of the building and going down to a floor level in the structure; there was concentration of what appear to be reconstructable vessels against this buried wall. The existence of this facing shows why the tombs are on the northern end of Structure B118 – a southern extension was made to the original building in the Late Classic Period to reach its present dimensions.
C95G: the trench in Structure B115: excavation here found a concentration of large stones in the central part of the building. These turned out to be a collapsed entranceway for a chamber running to the south. An extension was done to expose the capstones for this chamber and the capstones were drawn. Rain prevented this excavation from going any further this week.
C95I: an axial trench into Structure B116 was begun this week and exposed the well-preserved front steps for the building and the plaza floor.
C117G: excavation in Structure B34 in the Northeast Acropolis continued down in the front part of the building, finding various architectural features but no more deposits. The western facing for a Preclassic building like the one encountered last year in the plaza was encountered sealed beneath deep floors – and below this facing we eventually found the northeast corner for the Preclassic building that was excavated in 1995 and 2015. At the basal floor for this early building we ended the excavation. Adrian then started drawing the section and they have been backfilling the excavation as he progresses upwards with his drawing.
C205B: excavation in the center of the plaza in the Central Acropolis continued and, finally, at 3.3 m below the ground surface Cheryl encountered a very good and continuous plaster floor. They started through this floor on Saturday. All of the fill ceramics above this floor and below the floors encountered in 2015 here have been Preclassic in date.
C207E: with areal excavation finished, the early Preclassic building was extensively photographed and then drawn by Eric. A 6 m by 2 m trench, C207G, was laid out on the axis of the building and will commence down into its coring next week.
C207F: this 3 m by 2 m excavation on the eastern edge of the platform is in line with the Preclassic axis of the western building and is designed to try to find an eastern construction. The excavation has cleared an extensive humus level and is now down to the large boulders that were set on the underlying floor.
C208G: Jackie encountered two vessels placed in the center part of the fill for Structure B37 situated on the floor on which the building was constructed – a jar and an olla. These were designated as S.D. C206G-1 as they are “special.” Excavation continued within the core of Structure B37 at this locus.
C208H: this excavation is 3 m wide and was placed 15 m south of C206G. It too is designed to penetrate the core of Structure B37. At week’s end, much of the humus had been removed over this 11 m long excavation.
All in all, a good week of progress on excavation in spite of the rain….