Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Oh yeah, the archaeology

So I guess I'm a little behind on updating about my project. We're entering the fourth week of the project now, which I find really hard to believe. We started working at what we've called the cistern, a depression on the top of a hill that was supposedly filled with water and used as part of a Manteno irrigation system.
Now, after a few weeks of digging a trench into the side of the thing, I am pretty confident that it never held water, or at least never intentionally. It looks as if it was a natural depression that was dug out and used as a trash pit, possibly for a single event, like a feast. The analysis is on-going, of course, but we're hauling bags of ceramics out of each level, and tons of big charcoal fragments for dating, and finding some cool things like copper bells and tweezers, spindle whorls, a human hand, and the first obsidian blade for the site.

We also began some work at the platform mound by digging test pits every 5m in the surrounding area. Differences in soil types will tell us if there was any surface preparation (possibly for a plaza) and also give us a sense of the usage intensity across that space. So far the deposits are the same across 50-100m and give no indication of a prepared floor. Artifacts are few in number, but there do appear to be some hot spots. Once we wrap up things at the "cistern" (which will be tomorrow if the powers-that-be cooperate), we'll head down to the m
ound to finish test pitting and begin excavations of the mound itself.

The "laboratory" (my living room) is quickly filling up with bags of artifacts that need to be washed, labeled, and photographed. Lab work is much trickier when you have a toddler who wants to look at all the pieces too. Hopefully we can work out some kind of storage solution within the next few days, or at least a way to cordon off that space.

My helper (aka Taylor) leaves for home on Sunday, so I'm trying to make the most of the time that we have!
Taylor holding the first piece of ceramic that she found at the site!

No comments:

Post a Comment