Week 5 (February 17 – 23, 2020)

  The week was dry until Saturday, when it rained beginning at 4 AM. It rained again after midnight and during early Sunday morning, but then the sun came out to dry our screens.

  Most of the effort in Jack Residential Group was focused on the rear tomb this week (SD C224B-3). Jaime excavated and detailed it and Mayra drew and pulled it. It was filled with collapsed rubble and may have been partially infilled in antiquity. Like the front interment, two skulls were present on the south side of the chamber. Unlike the front bedrock interment, however, it was accompanied by four vessels – two bowls, one dish, and one small “medicine” bottle with appliqued cotton(?). Excavation also continued through the front stairway in Jack and yielded evidence for at least one new interment.

  In Queen Residential Group we finished excavation in both the original east and north structures and then began excavating the smaller east and north structures located in the southwestern portion of the larger plaza. The original east building (C225B) was dug completely to bedrock across the trench, as was the original north building (C225C). In the original north building, a collapsed tomb in the back yielded a well preserved and thick plaster floor that curved up to the side walls and was concave in the middle; two partial dishes (one Belize Red) were smashed on the rear part of this floor. Opening up the new smaller east building (C225D) revealed a cobbled (non-plastered) plaza floor here and two lines of architectural stone; a fair amount of lithics were concentrated in the front core of the building. Excavations in the new north building (C225E) revealed a 2 m wide bench at its summit and showed evidence of core collapse on the rear western side of this feature.

  The western building (C226C) in Jack Residential Group was opened up this week with an axial trench and produced an eastern line of facing stone, a large amount of fill trash, and little else. Excavations in the eastern building finished the rear crypt (SD C226B-4), which yielded a mass of disarticulated bone and three vessels – an incised cylinder, a ring-based dish, and a medicine bottle. The burial in front of the eastern steps that had been cut into bedrock (SD C226B-5) was also excavated and removed. Like the rear crypt, it held disarticulated bone but was only associated with one badly preserved blackware bowl. We are proceeding down into the core of this building.

  We also laid out an axial trench on the eastern building (C227B) in Joker Residential Group (the southernmost group on the ridge) and began excavation here. As soon as a trowel entered the earth, a mass of lithics turned up, indicating that the east building held massive amounts of lithic workshop debris. Needless to say, there is a backlog in this excavation in terms of processing and screening all of the dirt to collect all of the lithics. Excavation in front of the building also recovered a large circular stone beneath the front step and two partial incurved bowls from inside the core of the building. There appear to be other partial vessels in the rubble coring of this structure that will need to be dealt with next week.

  Finally, we cut a path between Queen Residential Group and Ace Residential Group (on a slightly lower eastern spur ridge below Jack) so that we can open up excavation in the fifth and last residential group associated with this area that is the focus of the 2020 field season.

1. Mayra drawing rear tomb burial in King Residential Group
2. Rear burial, SD C224B-3, in King Residential Group
3. Shei and Julio looking at trench through east building in Queen Residential Group
4, Jaime and Mo at new north building excavation (C225E) in Queen Residential Group
5. New eastern building excavation (C225D) in Queen Residential Group with cobble plaza
6. Shei drawing front facing stones in C225D, Queen Residential Group
7. Jorge excavating SD C226-5 while Gabriela supervises in Jack Residential Group
8. Mo and Abner in the western building in Jack Residential Group (C226C)
9. Julio and Carlos excavating in the eastern building in Joker Residential Group (C227B)
10. One hour’s worth of lithics from C227B, Joker Residential Group
11. Sunday morning screens (especially lithics) out for drying

One Response to “Week 5 (February 17 – 23, 2020)

  • The brown flint/chert , photo # 10, looks a lot like the material used in the road going up to Cahal Pech over in San Ignacio.

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