Sunday, January 25, 2009

Project Update

Although we don’t have a lot of exciting news or hot discoveries to announce, the Calixtlahuaca Archaeological Project is moving ahead on several fronts. This is the “quiet” stage of an archaeological project. The fieldwork, with its constant excitement and new finds, is done (except for some minor activities planned for the next few summers). We are moving ahead with various analyses, but these have not proceeded far enough to yield results. We are busy, but it won’t be obvious to outsiders for a while.

Here is a summary of what is happening during the 2008-2009 academic year. Most of these activities are taking place at ASU.
  • Project Director Michael Smith is involved in two major tasks: (1) Writing grant proposals to fund a large group of expensive analyses (from chemical studies of obsidian and sediments to the recording of music played on reconstructions of our flutes and whistles). (2) Working on our excavation report to the Mexican government.
  • Emily Umberger continues her analysis of the sculptures and reliefs; she and Casandra Hernández are working on a paper on this material.
  • Juliana Novic is continuing her GIS-based spatial analyses of the surface collection data. She has updated our initial map of the site and is starting to piece together the nature of social and economic variation across the urban landscape.
  • Angela Huster has started on our quantitative ceramic seriation. Eventually this will allow us to assign the excavated deposits to chronological phases, and then the C14 dates will provide calendar dates for the phases and deposits. Angela is also working on several other analyses of the Calixtlahuaca data and graphics.
  • Amy Karabowicz is analyzing a sample of burned daub that we exported last summer. She will soon have information on the nature of the clays used for house construction, and the temperature at which the houses burned down.
  • Victoria Bevolden is hard at work digitizing our excavation plans and profiles.
  • Aleksander Borejsza (at UNAM in Mexico City) has initiated the geoarchaeological analysis of soils and sediments from the terrace excavations; most of his work will be done if and when we get funding in the form of a major grant.

Stay tuned for more.....

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