The final week of the Caracol Archaeological Project was rainy. After almost an entire season of sunny days, the weather finally turned. However, it could not have happened at a better time. All the back-filling had been completed and no one was in the field. All the artifacts had been washed and dried, so what we were left with was the final processing, drawing, photographing, and cataloguing of the materials – plus packing up everything that needed to go to the Institute of Archaeology. Then, camp needed to be broken down and everything packed away and stored for the 2024 field season.
The week started with a visit from the Leif Kaldor and Leslea Mair of Zoot Pictures with their two daughters. They had been with us during the 2020 field season and had put together two different television shows on Maya archaeology, one for Europe and another for Nova (first aired in January 2022). They were in Belize for an extended vacation. The rest of the week was fairly uneventful (except for the rain) and things finally worked their way to our departure on Friday.
As usual, on Thursday night we had our end-of-season bonfire in the middle of camp. And, as usual, everyone was up early on Friday morning. Angie had powder-buns for everyone. Brian came in by 5 AM in the morning to help move everything down to storage, to take down the satellite system, and to store the solar freezer (and repair the old one). Dave Griffith took down all of the electric wires throughout the camp and packed them up for reuse next year. Then, he, Brian, and myself loaded up the three vehicles and moved everyone back to Cayo, Soccotz, and Benque.
Also, as is traditional, we had our end-of-season luncheon with some members of the Institute of Archaeology in the San Ignacio Hotel on Friday. On Saturday, we all progressed to the airport for our flights home, thus ending the 37th field season of the Caracol Archaeological Project. For some of us, however, there was still extended travel and work to do (writing papers), especially as the 88th Annual Meetings of the Society for American Archaeology convenes in Portland, Oregon next week.