Another busy week transpired at Caracol. Diane and Lisa arrived on Sunday to help close out the project over the course of the last three weeks.
A small axial trench was placed in the plaza in front of Structure A6 in mid-week and promptly filled with water following Thursday night’s needed rainfall (to be bailed out on Friday afternoon). All excavations with the exception of this A6 plaza test and the trench through the central eastern building in Bimbo were closed by week’s end. Final section drawings were undertaken with a vengeance through most of the week. Importantly, backfilling of excavations started on Friday in Migas and were started in Galletas on Saturday.
In terms of the actual excavations, all three investigations were finished in the residential group called Tortilla by week’s end. The last one to close was the north building, which produced evidence of two successive building phases. In Bimbo, an alleyway excavation between L13 and L14 was cleared and both the northern and southern buildings in this group were also finished. In the central eastern building, the lower tomb was opened on Monday and excavated all week by Carlos and Amy. A complete metate was found immediately beneath the capstones. At least three individuals appear to have been present within the tomb and they were accompanied by at least 5 ceramic vessels dating to the Late Classic Period. Excavation also continued on the central tomb in this eastern building; at this point that chamber has produced at least 39 vessels accompanied by stacks of disarticulated bone. At week’s end, Jorge had found the facing for a bench that occupied the eastern part of the chamber, meaning that it had a lower alleyway in the western part of the chamber. Excavation also continued in Dulce. The southern building was excavated to bedrock, as was the northern building; both structures appear to have been constructed in the late Early Classic Period and, based on the materials in their fill, there also had to have been Preclassic construction somewhere in the vicinity. The axial trench through the Dulce eastern building produced a series of caches this week, almost all directly on section. Lucas also continued with the excavation of the lower tomb that had been dug into bedrock, finally finishing it on Saturday afternoon. One surprise was the discovery of approximately a thousand seed beads of jadeite and spondylus at the southern end of the chamber.
Artifact numbering also started in earnest this week, gaining great traction on Friday because of the partial rain day. At this point in time, we are beginning to focus on how to finish processing everything within the next two weeks.