Three weeks in and getting busier by the minute


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Three weeks in and getting busier by the minute

This is part of our on-going work cleaning up and excavating around a very large (to say the least) looter’s trench that cut this mound in half (reportedly in 1935). We are working to clean up the exposed profile to get a good sense of the antiquity of the structure, the various periods of occupation, construction, and so forth and to understand the construction methods used at Cerro Jazmin. We have so far six different stucco floor layers identified.

Our work will continue. There is SO much to do and our team is starting to find its rhythm quite nicely. On a personal front, as a mom going back to fieldwork with a now 11 month old, I am now completely used to pumping breastmilk in my tent during my lunch time and this activity is now just part of the normal work day for me and everybody around. My son in the mean time at the field house is enjoying quality time with grandma.

*(Gracias mama, tu ayuda hace posible que pueda yo trabajar en lo que me gusta, en arqueología y en campo).


Estamos a punto de comenzar

We are about to start our 2014 field season, slowly, tomorrow. The community continues to be supportive of our work and we hope it remains this way. We will first re-visit the areas of proposed excavation to assess their condition and if the conditions are favorable, we begin to lay out a grid. More as actual fieldwork begins.

On a more personal note I can say that it is surprisingly cold in the field house and this, I hate. Sometimes it is warmer outside than inside. This is also the first time I head back into the field without our son on our backs, so pumping milk with batteries in the field will be an interesting (but I hope a successful) experience… hopefully I won’t have to explain to the local workers why I wonder off for a little while a couple of times a day. Batteries are charged and I now leave you to prepare my backpack, now with a few other items I had never before included in my field pack.

Here is hoping for a productive, positive, successful, and peaceful field season!

Tenemos permiso!!!

We have gotten approval for this season of fieldwork!

The National Council of Archaeology has approved our 2013 report and has approved also your request for a permit to work in 2014. We are now resting, getting better, enjoying family and the holidays to charge up batteries for the 2014 field season!

In preparation

We are currently preparing for the next season of excavation at Cerro Jazmin, temporada 2014. The informe for the previous season has been sent to the Consejo Nacional de Arqueología and we are awaiting a response (and hopefully an approval). We are also waiting to hear on our proposal for the next season… meantime we are packing bags and some equipment (for the field and for baby). Season 2014, here we come… with Joaquin in tow!

At some point I probably need to write about this whole experience of trying to pull off archaeological field research with a brand new baby and now with a soon to be 10-month old.

What is CJAP about?

The Cerro Jazmin Archaeological Project (or CJAP hereon) investigates ancient urbanism and its environmental impact by integrating archaeological and geomorphological methods. The project focuses on Cerro Jazmin, a Prehispanic city in the Mixteca Alta region of Oaxaca, Mexico. One of the main goals of our work is to expand our understanding of different forms of ancient urbanism, especially those that showed resilience or at least, longevity. We are interested in learning about how Prehispanic urban centers functioned, how they integrated agricultural and residential terraces, and how urban activity impacted the quality of life of ancient urbanites and the surrounding environment.