17 June, 2009

Coxitlahuaca...not quite Shangri-la, but close enough for this archaeologist!

What does one see everywhere when they go to Coixtlahuaca, aside from a carpet, literally of tecomates (ceramic sherds)covering the ground everywhere you walked?

Incredible vistas! This valley was amazing and breath-taking. Imagine a place that is very mountainous but the vistas stretch for miles, and the next mountain range you see could be kilometers away. The valley literally spreads out below you.

Here's Dr. Steve Kowalewski and Leonardo discussing something important or another about how we were going to proceed with the excavations that day. It was some crazy work we were doing--I've never excavated and backfilled in one day, and we did this three days in a row! Here we at the top of a large hill--look how beautiful everything looks from this high up.

Coixtlahuaca is for the most part a Postclassic site, and this era is especially famous for its polychrome pottery. I was dying to find one all week--unfortunately I kept picking up a bunch of bi-chromes with varying shades of red. Finally, on my last day up there, I found a fragment or tecomate of a polychrome pottery vessel. Sweet!

Here I am in the unit on Friday. Okay, so this picture is a bit posed--we had already done all the work, and photographed and did the plan drawing. But I couldn't resist getting a shot of myself as a working archaeologist!

Here is Rodrigo and Jorge, the team from UNAM (the big university in Mexico City) that was doing some of the electromagnetic testing of the site. It was there data that we were using to pick where we were going to excavate, to see how good the results of the electromagnetic testing is. We got mixed results--where we dug on Thursday and Friday the data worked very well.

And finally, a picture of the crew, from Monday. From L-R, its me (of course!), Leonardo, our two young helpers Xochitl and Blanca, and Dr. Steve Kowalewski. Marisol, the other archaeologist on the team, took the picture.

Though I was only up there for a week, I had a great time and met some wonderful people. Working with Steve was great--and he's invited me to come work with him next year from Jan-June--so want too! Just gotta figure out how to skip out on my classes :P. Plus, I had to lead my own units--I was put in charge! And that was exciting enough. Now I can say that I lead a crew, albeit briefly.

Can't wait to go back!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey, great post! The sights are amazing, your crew looks nice and intimate in size, and I'm super elated to hear you've been given a leading role at the site.

So, keep it up, and keep us all posted back home.