This week has been extremely busy for us. We finished excavations and field drawings, backfilled all the open trenches and areal investigations, and were graced by a film crew preparing a documentary. All of this activity was a worthwhile distraction from the news of the world coming into our remote location; coronavirus appears to be causing a world-wide panic and an economic downturn, as well as turning normal politics and routine life into a thing of the past. Sometimes it is good to be in a remote location, away from everything.
In terms of excavations, only three were open at the beginning of the week. The first was C225D in Queen residential group, where the trench needed to be dug to bedrock and where a flexed burial (SD C225D-1) was found situated on bedrock. The second was C227B in Joker residential group, where two burials (SD C227B-4 and SD C227B-5) were finished. The third was C228B in Ace residential group, where a rear floor had been located in the fill and the front part of the excavation was scraped down to bedrock. By the end of Wednesday, all of these excavations were closed. Excavating the front of the Ace trench to the underlying stone yielded a badly preserved Early Classic burial with three vessels (SD C228B-2) that had been set into a cavity directly on axis with the eastern structure.
Diane jumped right into section drawing on Monday morning, adding to those already done by Adrian; Mo and Gabriela also each drew a section of an excavation (Mayra had done one earlier); all of these were finished by Friday before 10 AM break. Backfilling started on Thursday morning and was finished by Friday afternoon; we are thankful that it did not rain like it did last week. All of the ceramic drawings of vessels from deposits were completed by Saturday, so we are moving in good stead. All of the bone was washed by the end of Saturday and only some screens still need to be cleared for ceramic processing; numbering of sherds proceeded on Saturday as did wash-water pumping and wood-cutting for the kitchen.
On top of all of this, we also had a 6-person film crew on site from Zoot Pictures out of Winnipeg, Canada from Tuesday morning through Thursday afternoon; they are in the process of filming a documentary that will be aired through NOVA about the Terminal Classic Period and the Maya Collapse in the eastern Maya lowlands. The producers from Zoot Pictures stayed with us in camp while the other four individuals commuted from Pine Ridge Lodge each day. It was a good shoot and we are looking forward to the final product, which will be shown in Fall 2021.