The third week of excavation proved to be as busy as the second with a new special deposit appearing every day. At week’s end, it has become clear that we are on target in the residential group that we refer to as “Vista” to get both Terminal Classic and earlier remains. Although not reconstructable, modeled-carved ceramics, an excellent Terminal Classic diagnostic, have come from both the eastern and southern excavations.
In the eastern building in Vista Bajo, a burnt frontal niche was found at a level above the stairway. This niche contained a carved stone figure and pieces of stalagtites from caves on its burnt floor. Below this niche, as series of partial face caches were encountered resting on top of the walls for a crypt or tomb. By Saturday, bone and a host of partial vessels were visible in this feature. It may represent a reopened tomb/crypt that was infilled. At the point at which the outline of the chamber is visible, a series of cache vessels and incensarios are in evidence along with other smashed vessels and bone.
In the southern building in Vista Bajo, the plan of the building, as revealed in two excavations, was finished and the axial section through the building was begun.
In the northern building in Vista Bajo, the open-air east-west crypt below the frontal balk and plinth was excavated, revealing a single extended individual who may be face down. A pyrite mirror from a level above this deposit was able to be reassembled, forming a 12 cm flawless circle; only 9 pieces of its edge are missing. The building was also completely cleared, revealing a beautiful stone construction consisting of two rooms; a bench is in the rear room and the center jambs rise almost 1.8 m above an associated red plaster floor.
In the eastern building in Vista Alto, a crypt that was located behind the balk was exposed. It was covered by a series of capstones (lajas); the central two are slate. A lip-to-lip “flower-pot” cache was found directly east of these capstones and directly below the wall of the balk. A burial was also encountered beneath the upright stones of the easternmost feature in this trench. This burial was placed directly on bedrock. One articulated and one disarticulated individual were in this narrow crevice. The articulated individual was associated with shell earflares and a single vessel. The burial runs into the section and may necessitate and excavation extension. High up on the slope of the pyramid, a very broken large face cache and broken lip-to-lip finger bowls were recovered. Also at the summit, the remnants of an upper balk associated with an earlier building were found and drawn.
Investigations in the Northeast Acropolis also proceeded at a steady pace. Excavation of the front palace room of Structure B33 was finished; this room measures 22.55 m east-west by 2.1 m north-south. The outset for the wide frontal stairway for this building was found at plaza level on Saturday; unfortunately, it is only one course in height and, with no collapse pattern, appears to have been stone-robbed. The 2 m by 2 m excavation in the center of the plaza reached the earlier plaza surface at a depth of about 2.2 m. The first floor was removed, revealing another burnt floor with a cap at its northern end. Removal of this cap revealed a pit in the northeast corner that goes down at least 30 cm. The floor matrix for the cap is over 25 cm thick and rests on a burnt level that contains a lot of ash. At the level of the burning are a series of broken vessels, broken lithics, and broken and burnt bone (both animal and human). The ceramics are Early Classic in date and some of the lithics are made from green obsidian. We re-covered the pit and its contents in anticipation of digging an extension to this excavation to hopefully get to the limits of the deposit.