Week 7 (March 4 – 10, 2024)

Overall this was a very busy and stressful week. It was our last week of excavation with everything finished by Friday. Backfilling was almost complete by Saturday noon – with the exception of one structure in the Coffee residential group and the reservoir excavations. Again, there was no rain this week.

Gabriela finished drawing the sections in the Vanilla residential group on Monday and Adrian had finished all of the other sections with the exception of the Coffee residential group and the associated reservoir. In Coffee, Gina continued excavating the front burial in the plaza, which turned out to be located at the bottom of a very deep cist that had been dug into bedrock. Several unusual artifacts were recovered with this interment, including a spindle whorl, a miniature metate, and a shell scoop. By week’s end a complete dish with scalloped rim was also found beneath the western arm bones, firmly dating the interment to the late Late Classic era.

This week was also town-board elections and on Tuesday, the five excavators from Benque (Carlos, Jaime, Saul, Abner, Flavio) went out to town to vote after work. I drove out from Caracol on Wednesday morning to pick them up at Benque at 9:30 AM after getting chicken for camp. We then proceeded to Koop’s Metal Works in Spanish Lookout and picked up 12 zincs in order to repair the Lab 2 roof. We all arrived back at Caracol in time for our noon lunch of empanadas (meat and tuna). In the afternoon on Wednesday, Adrian went out to draw sections and Gina went out to work on the Coffee east burial. We also worked on repairing the Lab 2 roof so that no rain would drip into the building.

On Thursday, most of the crew was on backfilling. Gina finally finished the Coffee burial. I left Caracol  mid-morning to run errands in Cayo and Belmopan, spending the night in Belize City so that I could pick Diane up the next day. On Friday Diane arrived in early afternoon for her 10 day stint at Caracol to look at the skeletal material and help with the drawing and processing. We made it into camp just before 4 PM.

Saturday was Baron Bliss Holiday and we did our customary barbeque after working in the morning. Diane and Adrian carried out lidar on the reservoir while backfilling was carried out in the north and eastern building in Coffee. Everybody relaxed in the afternoon.

On Sunday morning, early, we were saddened to learn that Linda Meneses, had passed away. Diane and I drove Angie and Guadelupe (her sister) out to town to make family and funeral arrangements. To deal with their absence (they are the two head cooks), we also brought in two individuals from San Antonio to help Flor (the third helper and laundress) cook for the 18 people at site. Stepping up, Abner also volunteered to oversee the kitchen and help with the meal preparation until Angie and Guadelupe return.

Gabriela working on the Vanilla east building section
Adrian drawing north building section in Coffee residential group
Excavations in the reservoir near Coffee with Carlos, Edwin, Sonia, Abner, and Saul
Sonia and Reynaldo near the completion of the Coffee reservoir excavations
Jerry and Flavio working on interment in front of east building in Coffee residential group
Gina detailing bone in the front Coffee interment
Jerry and Flavio excavating Coffee burial with scalloped edge dish in between them
Lab night at Caracol with Gabriela, Gina, Declan, and Sonia hard at work
ADrian and Diane examining the north building section in Coffee
Backfilling the east building in Coffee

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