Friday, November 30, 2007

Sucker Punched in the Yucatan

Hello loyal readers, and anyone else happening to check in. Well with the incredible success of the first two weeks of excavations there was bound to be a week of slower progress for one reason or another. This week lined up a few of those reasons one after another.

First of all we were down one this week as last week was Emit’s last week on the project. He may miss being an archaeologist, but I don’t think he’ll miss the Subim ants. Come Monday morning two of the Ucucians (Dan’s word for the people of Ucu) also failed to show up. Apparently they had both found other work that was more tempting, or at least promised to be more stable, as all are aware that the project is winding down. Wednesday we were beset by our old friend Mother Nature. Despite several weeks of very dry weather, it managed to drizzle on us for much of Wednesday. We kept the digging up for as long as we could, but there’s just only so much digging and screening one can do in the rain before everything becomes a smear of mud. Thursday Dan abandoned us for a bird watching festival. And on Friday two more Ucucians took the day off for personal reasons. Thus bringing the grand total of excavators down to three, when just a week ago it was nine. Our numbers should be back up to a healthy seven people come Monday morning, but who can say what force may strike next.

On a side note, for those of you who haven’t seen the new pictures yet, on Thursday I managed to get some great close-up pictures of a massive Tarantula. She measured about three inches from stem to stern, and was more than happy to pose for me. It was a nice morale boost for me after watching the workers wound but not kill a beautiful rattle snake on Tuesday. I’m fighting a losing battle here to explain to the Yucatecans that such creatures do not set out to hurt humans, but I hope that all of you recognize that far more of these “fierce” creatures are killed by humans then humans by them.

Oh, and you can find the photos here:

P.S. Some of you may have noticed that Dan is mentioned more frequently in the blog these days. It’s somewhat of a survival mechanism as any week I don’t mention him he gets very grumpy!


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