12 July, 2004

Second week...and a cranium

Well, not much to report here. We spent the entire morning drawing the newest level that we had reached, in spanish its "capa seis" and only recently did I find out that capa means layer or stratum, which I guess if I had put my brain to it I could have figured out...well, it was cool to finally move down a level. We had some new kids join us today from the acutal University through which I am taking the field school program. Many of them are new at this, so Martín made everyone learn about the level thingie and how to take measurements of height. He asked me if I knew how to do it, and I proudly responded, "Why yes, I do..." to which he said, "Well, you've learned everything, havent you?" Which I thought was a pretty cool compliment, cause I have felt like I've been picking things up rather quickly.
After spending the whole morning drawing and taking measurements, I was able to excavate this cranium we found. It was in a rather interesting position, face-down in fact, and when you looked at it you could see the upper palette of the mouth and the hole where the spine connects to the skull. It took me nearly two hours to get it out of the ground, cause it was sooooo full of dirt and falling apart. In fact, when I finally was able to free it, it fell apart in my hands, although I was able to keep a pretty big chunk together. I guess the only thing really holding the whole skull together was in fact the dirt it was buried in. Another interesting discovery today---Colleen was digging this other skull out, and at first, when you could only see the tiniest part of it, we thought it was the cranium of a baby, as the bones were very delicate. Then as she began to excavate more, she changed her mind and considered it to be the skull of an infant llama. When she uncovered the jaw and saw canine teeth, we all ran over to look at...it was the skull of a dog. Not often that you randomly find a dog's skull without any context (all the bones we have been finding are all out of context and scattered all over the place). It was pretty cool to look at, and hopefully she hasnt taken it out cause I want to take a pic of it....it is a thousand year old dog's cranium, how often do you run into that?
Ugh, still dirty from the field. As those new Peruvian students joined us, there is now a lot more people in the house, which makes trying to shower a bitch. Instead of waiting around for our turns, Teresa and I just decided to go to the internet café anyway in our dusty and sweaty state; as I told her "ya tengo un novio" (i already have a boyfriend). We had to walk around for a while before we found a place with availible computers, as it seems everyone and their mother is emailing someone. I think we went to about four places before coming to the one we are at right now. Man, I wish it was like in Oaxaca where you were constantly running into cafés, even if you didnt particularly need one at the time. But one has to remember that Chepén is not exactly a tourist hotspot- in fact, the only time these peopel see gringos is during the archaeological season. So, que será será, right? Chau for now.....


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