Work has picked up in the second week and the team has moved a lot of dirt even through the afternoon showers. In JO33, we have three excavations open across the southern most structure/rooms and have cleared and detailed the northern and the southern walls running east/west. The walls are complete with no entryways or stairs so we will open additional excavations next week to look for an access point into this area of the building.
We finished the area outside of JO33, along the southern wall and came down to bedrock. It is clear this area was a large dump of household trash as there were bags and bags of ceramic sherds, lithic tools and debitage, figurines, whistles, faunal, shell, manos and metates removed from this area. The collection of figurines from this area is highly diverse. Surprisingly, there were no plaster floors detected outside of the structure (like a paved patio space) and instead, there was roughly 10 cm of a darker earth lens that was most likely an earthen floor. This level was sampled for paleoethnobotany and soil chemistry.
Meanwhile, Lisa and her team continued to excavate the summit of the structure into large cobble fill. The team has not found any interior surfaces yet, but will continue into next week. The team will also extend excavations across the large mound to clear and define the architecture to the north.
In the group of structures directly south of JO33 (and presumably a neighbor for the purposes of our neighborhood study), Arianna and her team have cleared and defined the southwest corner of the structure abutting the Motiepa. Like JO33, they have recovered a suite of materials typical of a residential group including manos and metates, figurines and pottery. Ari continues to look for the front of the structure but has so far only found collapse.
Arianna and Sergio look for the front of the structure (Photo: L. Johnson)
Next week promises to be another busy week as we will begin processing the artifacts from the excavations and continue defining architecture.