Another busy week at Caracol. Diane and Elyse arrived on Sunday. Diane was only in camp for the beginning of the week, but she dug one cache in Zumba and recorded another; she went back to Orlando mid-week and will be back at the end of the month.
During this week, excavations were laid out and started in two more groups. Three excavations were laid out in Terraza, which is a group due north of Dos Aguadas. Four excavations were also laid out in Tango, a group to the north of Zumba. However, most excavation focused in Zumba (just north of the Machete Terminus) and in Dos Aguadas (northeast of the Machete Terminus). Investigation in Zumba continued with excavations in the eastern, northern, and western buildings. The western building is a low structure that we are opening areally; more than half of a Tenaja Red footed bowl was recovered here. The northern building has a tree on axis that we are digging around and this makes it difficult. A facing was found on the summit of this structure. The eastern building has already produced a cache and promises to produce more. It has also yielded many pieces of an incensario and also of a burner that has a face on its side. Collapse in the front of the building indicates the presence of a tomb.
In Dos Aguadas, excavation proceeded axially on the northern, eastern, and western structures. All of these investigations have produced the remains of stone buildings that are quite impressive. Additionally, in situ ceramic material has been recovered from inside the northern and eastern buildings; most of this is of large bowls, ollas, and water jars. There is also a burnt deposit in the stairway that contains a wealth of sherd material that goes together, including small tripod plates. On the summit of the eastern building, a circular hole was found that was cut through the floor of the front room on axis; it was not sealed. Excavation of it recovered two obsidian eccentrics and four stingray spines. Amy collected all the dirt from around and under these items and went through the dirt back at camp; she found “cache dirt” consisting of a series of small jadeite chips, shell chips, and pyrite, as well as 26 small fish vertebrae.
Besides the excavations, a group of 7 went out to bush Ramonal Plaza (at the end of the Pajaro-Ramonal Causeway) for the soil people that come next week (so that they could more easily gather their samples), but the bushers never found the plaza, wandering about in the settlement for 5 hours before coming in for lunch. So, on Thursday I took all of them out to Ramonal Plaza to under-bush it – getting there easily. Then, I walked up to Conchita Plaza with one of my trusted workers and walked back on Conchita Causeway so that he could bring the bushers out there the next day. On the way to Conchita we found a constructed reservoir in the settlement with about 3 feet of water in it.
Starting on Friday afternoon, we had heavy rain that persisted through the weekend. At least we have water in our tanks, but it would be good to have dry clothes…