Week 2 Field Update: Floor Feature Found!

Hi all!

We are finally back on again, after having some issues with the site (updates to site content, more on the way!) and being knocked offline the last week or so due to internet connection trouble at the field house.

Quick Field Update:

Excavations are in progress (and have been since the second week of November). As part of this season’s work, we have focused on the colonial site core at San Pedro de Aguacatepeque. Twelve 2×1 meter test units have been placed to sample different areas of the known extent of the site. The exact location of test units within the different areas of the site was determined by work completed in 2010, namely geophysical prospecting, collection of artifacts on the surface of the site and preliminary test excavations.

So far we have wrapped up three test units in the northern portion of the site that we clustered around a ground penetrating anomaly detected in July of this year. One of these test units (Test Unit 15) yielded one of the first intact subsurface features found at the site(thank you GPR and Stanford Community Engagement Grant)! At about 50-60cm below surface, we encountered a very hard compact floor surface, with colonial period artifacts, mainly lead glazed redware and Guatemalan majolica sherds above it and directly on it.

Profile of Feature 6, compact floor surface.

This floor was only visible in about half of the unit, but continues out to the east and south beyond the limits of excavation. The soil underneath the artifacts lying on the surface of the floor was sampled for pollen, and parts of the floor and soil above it was taken as a flot sample. However, we did not find much below the level of the floor, a rather strange finding considering that all test units excavated in 2010 had multiple strata from temporally distinct occupations of the site. Seems that we may have found a portion of the site that was occupied ONLY in the colonial period…pretty exciting! Photo below shows some of the artifacts that are showing up over the Feature 6 floor that are part of a colonial period community midden at the site.

Colonial Artifact Concentration over Feature 6 Floor

We have left the floor intact for the time being (minus the back end that was sampled while we profiled the feature) and will come back to it at the end of the season after we have finished the other 7-9 test units planned for this season. More soon!

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