Chunchucmil Travel Blog› entry 4 of 10 › view all entries
I finally began actual work today. I was sent to test pit with Emily and Lisa (from Howard University). We were sent to an area with a number of large and medium size structures in groupings around plazas. The morning began well and it was nice and cool from the rain yesterday. We were given two workers, Roberto and Jose. It was slow at first because Scott was trying to let each of us have a hand at excavating.
The first pit was off the southwest corner of a medium size structure. Scott found it to be the promising because there were a few ceramic pieces on the surface. We were directed to excavate primarily by natural stratigraphy, but also by approximately 20 cm layers if no natural stratigraphy was present. The pit did not yeild many artifacts -- primarily ceramics and one very small piece of obsidian. Most of the work is done with picks or trowels and the soil is then screened. Once we found the bedrock we moved to a site on the northwest corner of anotherr building within the same plaza complex. The site had no surface ceramics, but we were hungry for a site after hunting for 45 minutes. After the first level, we decided it was a little boring to have five of us on the pit and I sent Emily to scope out another site nearby. She found one on the southeast side of a smaller structures in another plaza complex.
Emily, Lisa and Roberto moved to that site to begin excavating and Jose and I stayed to finish the other square. Our square yeilded very few artifacts, but we did encounter a level of stucco appoximately 50cm down. I'm not sure if it was a floor for the plaza or possibly a fallen wall. I'll have to have Scott look at it tomorrow. Near the end of the day we finally hit bedrock, but I'll have to take the final measurements, soil color and profile tomorrow. the most exciting thing we found in that part was a larger rim fragment. Other than that it was pretty dry. I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of control Scott gave us. After the first few hours he left us on our own to scope out sites and excavate. I feel a bit uncomfortable directing the workers though. I do still have some doubts about my ability to discern features and the excavation procedures they follow, but I'll get used to it.