Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Week in Review

Well the first week of field work is done and gone. It was a bit of a transition going from waiting and waiting and waiting, to working under the gentle rays of the Yucatecan sun, but it was still one heck of a week.

So far we have started to open a system of trails in order to allow access to all quarters of the site. The opening of such trails involves chopping your way through dense, thorny brush. And it’s a very good thing that I don’t have to do it myself. They say that the Yucatec Maya are born with machetes in their hands, and its not hard to see why. They can fell trees with one smooth blow that I have to hack away at four or five times. Fortunately I get to be responsible for the mapping.

As the trails have opened, a few previously unseen building have come to light. It makes me all the more excited for the actually clearing of architecture to begin. So far what I know of Xtobo consists primarily of the large public buildings. Its sort of as if you knew the downtown region of a city, but nothing about what laid around it. This year is all about the people. I want to know who was living at this site, and under what conditions they were living. And most importantly I hope that I will be able to say roughly how many people were living here.

After a good starting week, I am looking forward to all the rest of the weeks to come.


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