Week 7 (March 5 – 11, 2023)

This week started out with a Sunday trip to Cuevas for the staff. Mo led the intrepid explorers through the bush at that site to see where she had excavated in the past and then led them into the depths of the cave – before climbing back into the vehicle and going for lunch at Blancaneaux Lodge. Everyone declared the outing to be a success, but they were all very tired on Monday morning.

In terms of excavations, everything was completed last week except for a few drawings in the Houston double tomb and excavation and drawing in the two terrace groups of Jupiter and Mars. Houston was finished by Mo and Jordan early in the week with final photos being taken of the fully excavated chambers. Areal excavation continued on the two low eastern buildings in Jupiter, defining their architecture and the alleyway between them; two deeper investigations were placed on the northern and southern edges of the areal investigation (axial to the respective double structures) and dug to bedrock. Excavations in Jupiter were finished on Thursday and drawings were finished on Friday morning.

Mars kept people busy throughout the week. The tomb in the northern east building was completely excavated to bedrock and drawn; it proved to be empty. The axial tomb in the main east building was drawn and the axial excavation in front of the plaza step of the eastern building in Mars was taken to bedrock through very clay-like soil. Capstones were found slightly off axis to the north immediately in front of the step and the excavation was extended slightly to the north to encompass their extent. Excavation under the capstones revealed a crypt containing two bodies set directly on bedrock with a cache vessel inverted over the knee area of the upper individual. A deeper bedrock pit beneath the western edge of the crypt was also excavated, but proved to have no other deposits. All drawings were done by Adrian at Mars by the end of Thursday.

Backfilling started on Thursday morning, first at Houston and then at Astro. Astro and Nasa were completely backfilled on Friday morning with the men also filling in the excavations at Apollo that afternoon. Everyone stayed in for Saturday because I did an airport run (to drop Adrian off so that he could return to Chicago) and also picked up needed supplies. We celebrated Baron Bliss day on Saturday when I returned from the airport and from shopping. Everyone rested on Sunday for the final push next week to get through the backfilling and all of the things that need to be done in the laboratory.

Caracol staff at Cuevas Research Station
Mo in the cave at Cuevas
Houston double chambers after excavation
Mo, Jordan, and Luca at the Jupiter excavation
Luca and Carlos in the Jupiter alleyway
Sander and Shelby drawing the Jupiter excavations
Adrian working at Mars
Mars front interment
Tomb in the main east build at Mars
Abner in the Mars north tomb
The eastern structure at Houston after backfilling

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