Week 4 (February 19 – February 25)

What a difference a week of no rain makes. This was a sunny week except for an afternoon shower on Friday afternoon. All of the excavations progressed significantly.

Cheech Residential Group
In the Cheech Residential Group (C209), a beautiful alleyway appeared in between the two northern buildings with well-constructed walls on either side. There has been a lot of sherd material from between the two buildings as well as fragmentary manos, but it does not appear to be in situ trash. In the east building in Cheech, the trench excavation continued and encountered the capstones for a tomb in the rear part of the building. The chamber was quite sizeable, measuring 1.8 m in length by 0.6 m in width by 1.1 m in height. Excavation revealed a single body with head to the south face down accompanied by two vessels the vessels were Early Classic in date.

Sage Residential Group
Excavation in the Sage Residential Group (C106) continued to focus on the east building. The entire northern interior of the building (from the southern central jamb, some 10.6 m of length) was cleaned out by week’s end and most of the building was planned. Behind the northern doorway for the east building in the bench and tangent to the rear wall, a large circular cut was found; there had been extensive burning before the cut was made; sherds covered the area of the cut (which was interesting as there was little artifactual material elsewhere in the interior of the building). Starting down into the pit revealed large slab stones, but it will be next week until we see what they are covering.

Chon Residential Group
In Chon Residential Group (C213), excavation continued into the east building finding bedrock sloping upwards beneath the stair and large slabs in bedrock where the lowest step would have been. The slabs were not investigated this week, as the focus was on finishing the excavation of the summit of the trench, where a trace of an earlier plastered floor was found. Also recovered set on bedrock beneath the stairway slope was a lidded face cache; it was shattered, but is fully reconstructable and dates to the earlier part of the Late Classic Period.

Chak Residential Group
In Chak Residential Group (C214) significant architecture was uncovered. Buried at the summit of the building a lower floor was found approximately a meter down; it was associated with a back wall at the end of our trench and the front step for this earlier building was also found. The plaza in front of the building was cleaned to bedrock and produced a very broken face cache (stylistically later than the one in Chon, being late Late Classic). Behind the front step of the building, a box feature was uncovered (not excavated by week’s end) that had been set in front of a stair balk and step (probably for the latest building); between the box and the balk, an almost complete wide-mouthed olla was recovered in building collapse.

Excavation also proceeded on the front slope of the building behind the balk and in front of the summit step; this resulted in the recovery of what appear to be capstones running north-south across the trench and these will be investigated at the start of the new week.

On Saturday, staff carried out work in the lab and the men also did not go to Puchituk. Three men pumped water and chopped wood for the kitchen all morning. The other seven men went out to Monterey for the morning to continued bushing the plaza for upcoming soil testing; one more Saturday and this plaza area (and ballcourt) should be ready. Hopefully, the dry and rainless days will continue next week so that we can move all of the excavations toward completion.


The C209C northern alley and Santiago


Amy and Roxayn in the C209B excavation


Early Classic tomb from Cheech Residential Group


Sage East Building excavation crew with Favio, Faydt, Asterio, Jamie and Carlos cleaning the circular pit


Gabriella and Saul excavating C213B trench


C213B smashed face cache in core of building


Julio, Irwin and Adrian excavating C214B building front



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