Increasingly archaeologists are finding themselves at the center of intensive local debates involving issues of access and ownership, looting, patrimony, local, regional, and national politics, and the nature of community engagement and collaboration.
Issues ranging from how community-based research initiatives can be constructed to the actual financial inputs and contributions of archaeological projects to local economies have become a focus of scholarly interest within the archaeological community.
Most major archaeological projects have some element of community outreach built into their research design – with many doing substantially more.
For those that know me – unsurprisingly probably – community outreach is not my forte. Though I realize the imperative of such programs I’m honestly not very good at talking to a non-academic audience.
Luckily for the project the LORE-LPB team is comprised of several talented graduate students and researchers who devoted considerable time and effort this season at better engaging the local community who own and use the land that Angamuco occupies. These students deserve major kudos for the work they have done in this regard for the 2013 field season.
Yesterday we were able to discuss some of our findings, talk about the nature of archaeology, and the role our research can play in better understanding the prehistory of Michoacán at a community event honoring Benito Juarez. I hope it is the first of many such activities.
It has been said more then once that a field crew runs on it’s stomach – the LORE-LPB 2013 field season is no exception. The theme this year seems to be hot food and animals!!
Casa 5128 – a Purépecha public building
Excavation is proceeding well at Casa 5128 – one of two areas currently under excavation. 5128 represents a large building that dominates a small neighborhood of residential and public architecture near one of the largest pyramid complexes at the ancient city.
Casa 5128 is constructed on a large platform of stone and rubble that served to flatten a small hill that forms one end of the complex. On top of this platform walls were constructed of uncut stacked stone with simple clay mortar. We started excavation by systematically clearing rubble and debris to expose the original exterior and interior. This also fully exposed the interior areas of the house so that they could be excavated. At the close of the excavation season the walls and platform of the house will be stabilized and reburied.
Excavation within the house interior shows a clear sequence of debris on top of a Late Postclassic floor (A.D. 1350-1520), with a second possible floor below containing a mixed Early-Middle Postclassic assemblage (A.D. 1000-1350). This is followed by fill and debris that form the platform itself.
As of today (03/21/2013) we have fully excavated the interior of the house and exposed the platform at the base of the floor-area. Now the hard part, mapping, drawing profiles, and making sure everything is fully documented prior to consolidation and reburial.
We have begun excavation at two locations within some of the Late and Middle Postclassic areas of occupation at Angamuco. Here is a video of some of the first days of excavation at Casa 5128 – a large public building that dominates one cluster of residential and other architecture below the largest platform and associated pyramid at the site. Music – Chucho Valdez
One Day of Excavation at Angamuco