Week 9  (March 18 – 23, 2024)

The last two weeks were extremely hot, but we had no precipitation or thunderstorms (as occurred in past seasons). 2024 constituted an entire field season without one day lost because of rain. This is a first – and certainly indicative of the changing climate conditions.

Finishing things up at Caracol this week was intense, but everything was properly processed and we successfully closed down the camp and made repairs so that we will be ready for the next field season in 2025.

We catalogued all of the materials that had been excavated during 2024 and also drew all of the important materials to scale for the season report. The artifact photography  was completed by mid-week. Then, everything was packed up for storage and we attempted to clean and fix Lab 2 to the best of our ability. Stucco was re-bagged and the shelving in Lab 2 was repaired and reinforced so that it doesn’t collapse in the off season.

Thursday was devoted to packing with the evening seeing the traditional bonfire occur. Materials began moving into deep storage for next year in the afternoon. The showers were dismantled with the tarps all being folded for storage. David started dismantling the electrical wire and lights – and began moving things on Thursday afternoon – and then spent most the night on water-runs for the tourist bathrooms. Angie closed down the kitchen with traditional fried chicken for dinner on Thursday evening and powder buns for Friday morning. Brian arrived Friday morning before 6 AM to help get everyone to Cayo; he also helped transport the remaining items from the kitchen and camp (freezer, generator, satellite dish) into storage. We left camp shortly after 7 AM on Friday. That afternoon at 1 PM we had our traditional end-of-season lunch attended by several of the members of the Institute of Archaeology. Here we transferred the 2024 materials (artifacts, records, photographs) to the Institute with the luncheon also serving to formally act as a closing note to the field season.

On Saturday morning we were all transported to the Belize International Airport at an early hour for our flights to Houston, Texas. And, so ended the 38th field season of the Caracol Archaeological Project.

Gabriela helping to process the 2024 archaeological materials in Lab 2
Bird face cache from Vanilla residential group
Jadeite inlaid teeth (upper incisors) from the Maple residential group
Conch shell debris from shell working in the Chocolate residential group
Declan, Gina, Sonia, and Gabriela packing up the coolers in Lab 2
Carlos, Jaime, Saul, and Jerry fixing the latch and lock on Lab 1
Adrian and the usual suspects enjoying the end-of-season bonfire
2024 End-of-Season Luncheon at San Ignacio Hotel; left side of table: Gabriela, Brian, Paul, Melissa, Arlen (David stepped out)
2024 End-of-Season luncheon at San Ignacio Hotel; right side of table: Rumari, Declan, Gina, Sonia, Joyce, and Adrian

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