This week started out as hot and dry and ended as cold and wet. Section drawing began in earnest this week with Adrian drawing sections of C224B, C225B, C225C, and C225E. He had started on a section of C226B and Gabriela had started on C226C, when this activity had to be curtailed on Friday because of rain. Rain and drizzle continued from before noon on Friday through Saturday morning. Rain was heavier in Pine Ridge as 4-wheel drive was needed in order to pass muddy hills and a jack-knifed 16-wheeler that was blocking the road between Douglas d’Silva and Mai Gate on Saturday morning.
While excavations in King Residential Group concluded last week, all other excavations were active.
In Queen Residential Group, excavation was finished in the southwestern northern building (C225E), finding a set of two steps that had been placed directly above bedrock. The southwestern eastern building in Queen became more complex as the week wore on and excavations attempted to make it to bedrock. The buried platform on the eastern side of the trench revealed not only another interior 2-course facing within it, but also two sequent floors (one abutted and one ran under the earlier platform; both were burnt). To the southwest of the buried platform, a flexed burial with head to the south was found on bedrock; its full excavation was disrupted by the rain.
Jack Residential Group saw mostly excavation to clear the axial trench through the eastern building to bedrock and to reveal features on the western end of C226B. There, the effort focused on revealing a burial that had also been placed into bedrock. A complete skull was recovered along with one long bone in the upper part of the deposit; beneath this (directly on bedrock) were the articulated remains of two lower legs and feet (feet to the north) from what must have been a large individual. The rest of the bone is missing. The excavation in the west building (C226C) was halted at plaza level on Monday.
Mo kept herself very busy in Joker Residential Group this week. She excavated the original crypt burial (SD C227B-2) in the structure core that had been found last week, recovering only a limited amount of bone. She also started digging a burial (SD C227B-4) in the southwestern corner of her axial excavation and was still working on it through Friday morning; it consisted of at least two individuals with their heads to the north. She further removed the latest step of the eastern building in order to expose a line of capstones, finding a small finger cache (SD C227B-3) on axis in the construction floor above these slabs. The crypt beneath the capstones has not yet been fully excavated, but has so far yielded a long bone on the northern side, a complete skull and mandible in the middle, and a complete ceramic urn on the southern side. Excavation in the building core east of the known deposits has demonstrated that the eastern building was built directly on bedrock, which sloped sharply to the east.
The fifth and last residential group for this season, Ace, was opened on Monday with great strides being made in its excavation through Friday noon. A crude front platform facing was identified and the area west of this feature was dug to bedrock, revealing a burial pit (SD C228B-1) in the southwestern corner of the excavation. On the summit of the building within the construction core, two sequent plaster floors were recognized and planned (the preservation was fairly good here even through the floors are not buried that deeply).
In spite of the rain, this is a holiday weekend. We are celebrating Baron Bliss Day on Sunday so that we can work on Monday (which is the formal holiday). As usual, we are having zapote-grilled “drunken chicken” with a Caracol-special barbeque sauce (made by Adrian) and chocolate brownies (made by staff) for dessert. Diane arrives on Sunday from Dallas and we should be back into camp in time for the second iteration of barbeque.