Week 5 (February 27-March 4, 2012)

The 2012 field season continues to keep the project very busy.

This week, we continued to find a series of deposits. In Zumba, excavation of the front tomb continued; it has now produced a total of 40 vessels (and not enough bone); further analysis should yield some permutations on Maya burial and caching practices. There were also a series of new caches found both in front of Zumba’s east structure and in its summit. Excavations wrapped up in both Tango and Salsa. However, excavations in both Terraza and Dos Aguadas got very interesting. More of the south Terraza stone building was areally exposed, revealing an eastern end room with a bench. In the east building at Terraza, a second small tomb was found directly beneath a small shrine area; this chamber is full of bone and vessels (but, hopefully, not as many as in Zumba). The first small tomb, found deep beneath the summit of Terraza’s east building, is producing the remains of only a single individual with a few vessels; the vessels indicate an early Late Classic date (the second tomb is late Late Classic). Perhaps the most major discovery of the week occurred in Dos Aguadas, where a very large tomb was found. This chamber was cut into bedrock and then was built up with stone and vaulted; it is over 2 meters in constructed height. Its base measures approximately 1.3 m wide by 2.4 m in length and its vaulted entryway (running north) results in vaulted space measuring over 5 m north-south. The Dos Aguadas chamber is one of the largest that we have recovered in the settlement area. With the exception of having a side entrance (as opposed to a front entrance), it’s size and construction techniques are reminiscent of chambers found in Structure B20 on Caana. Without a doubt the Late Classic inhabitants of Dos Aguadas were quite well to do. All of these various deposits will keep us well occupied through the end of next week (and beyond).

The good news is that reinforcements arrived to help record all of this material on Thursday – in the form of Diane and Lucas; both will be kept very busy drawing through the end of the field season.

Also into Caracol this week was the planning group for a major Maya exhibit that will appear in a number of museums in 2013 – specifically in Minneapolis, Denver, San Diego, and Boston. They will be featuring artifactual materials from our investigations at Caracol (and probably our earlier excavations at Santa Rita Corozal). They were able to film our initial entry into the Dos Aguadas tomb chamber (as well as interviews for use in the exhibit).

Zumba east building trench with Carlos in tomb and Paige, Max, and Mo in the front.

A cache vessel in the eastern wall of the Zumba east building trench.

Excavation of the Salsa east building with Tiffany and Rudolfo.

Patrick looking at the Terraza south building areal excavation.

Carlos excavating in Terraza east building upper tomb 1.

Terraza east building shrine tomb 2.

Arlenin axial trench into Dos Aguadas east building.

Dos Aguadas east building tomb looking north with Diane as scale.

Dos Aguadas east building tomb looking south.


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