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Preliminary Report: 1993 Excavations at Paso de la Amada, Chiapas, Mexico Blake, Michael, Richard G. Lesure, Vicki L. Feddema, Warren D. Hill, Dennis C. Gosser, John E. Clark, and Ronald Lowe 1993-12-31

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    PRELIMINARY	
  REPORT:	
  1993	
  EXCAVATIONS	
  	
   AT	
  PASO	
  DE	
  LA	
  AMADA,	
  CHIAPAS,	
  MEXICO	
    	
   	
    by	
   	
   	
    Michael	
  Blake,	
  Richard	
  G.	
  Lesure,	
  Vicki	
  L.	
  Feddema,	
  	
   Warren	
  D.	
  Hill,	
  Dennis	
  C.	
  Gosser,	
  John	
  E.	
  Clark,	
  and	
  Ronald	
  Lowe	
   	
   	
   	
   	
   	
   	
   	
   	
   Laboratory	
  of	
  Archaeology	
   University	
  of	
  British	
  Columbia	
   	
   1993	
   	
   	
   	
   	
   	
   Report	
  prepared	
  for	
  the	
  Social	
  Sciences	
  and	
  Humanities	
  Research	
  Council	
  of	
  Canada	
   [English	
  version	
  of	
  preliminary	
  report	
  to	
  Instituto	
  Nacional	
  de	
  Antropología	
  e	
  Historia,	
  México]	
   	
    1  INTRODUCTION	
   	
   Goals	
  of	
  the	
  1993	
  Project	
   	
   The	
  1993	
  excavations	
  at	
  Paso	
  de	
  la	
  Amada	
  were	
  designed	
  to	
  answer	
  several	
   questions	
  arising	
  out	
  of	
  our	
  previous	
  seasons	
  of	
  work	
  at	
  the	
  site.	
  	
  Figure	
  1	
  shows	
  the	
   site	
  map	
  and	
  locations	
  of	
  the	
  1993	
  excavation	
  units.	
  	
  First,	
  we	
  wanted	
  to	
  excavate	
  below	
   Structure	
  4	
  in	
  Mound	
  6	
  in	
  order	
  to	
  learn	
  if	
  there	
  were	
  any	
  well	
  preserved	
  earlier	
   structures.	
  	
  Profiles	
  from	
  test	
  pit	
  H25	
  showed	
  that	
  there	
  was	
  at	
  least	
  one	
  earlier	
  floor	
   and	
  that	
  it	
  was	
  similar	
  to	
  Floor	
  4	
  (Clark	
  et	
  al.	
  1987,	
  1990;	
  Blake	
  et	
  al.	
  1992).	
   	
   Second,	
  we	
  hoped	
  to	
  excavate	
  the	
  edge	
  of	
  Mound	
  6	
  where	
  the	
  1990	
  Trench	
  1	
   excavations	
  showed	
  there	
  to	
  been	
  midden	
  deposits	
  and	
  perhaps	
  floors	
  of	
  peripheral	
   structures	
  associated	
  with	
  those	
  in	
  the	
  Mound	
  6	
  sequence.	
   	
   Third,	
  we	
  planned	
  to	
  re-­‐open	
  the	
  1992	
  excavations	
  in	
  Mound	
  12	
  where	
  Lesure	
   had	
  found	
  evidence	
  of	
  Locona	
  phase	
  (1400-­‐1250	
  B.C.)	
  and	
  Ocós	
  phase	
  (1250-­‐1100	
  B.C.)	
   non-­‐elite	
  structures	
  (Clark	
  and	
  Lesure	
  1992).1	
  	
  This	
  was	
  one	
  of	
  the	
  primary	
  goals	
  of	
  the	
   1993	
  season	
  because	
  it	
  was	
  necessary	
  to	
  find	
  and	
  excavate	
  structures	
  away	
  from	
   Mound	
  6	
  that	
  would	
  allow	
  us	
  to	
  make	
  comparisons	
  between	
  elite	
  and	
  non-­‐elite	
   residences.	
  	
  Since	
  Mound	
  12	
  is	
  smaller	
  than	
  Mound	
  6,	
  we	
  hoped	
  it	
  might	
  contain	
  a	
  well-­‐ preserved	
  sequence	
  of	
  floors,	
  middens,	
  trash	
  pits,	
  and	
  other	
  features	
  produced	
  by	
  non-­‐ elite	
  Locona	
  and	
  Ocós	
  phase	
  households.	
   	
   Fourth,	
  we	
  wished	
  to	
  further	
  test	
  some	
  of	
  the	
  mounds	
  in	
  the	
  vicinity	
  of	
  Mound	
  6	
   in	
  order	
  to	
  assess	
  the	
  distribution	
  of	
  different	
  sizes	
  of	
  structures	
  during	
  the	
  Barra	
   (1550-­‐1400	
  B.C.),	
  Locona,	
  Ocós,	
  and	
  Cherla	
  (1100-­‐1000	
  B.C.)	
  phases.	
  	
  Some	
  of	
  these	
  had	
   been	
  tested	
  either	
  by	
  Ceja	
  Tenorio	
  (1985)	
  or	
  by	
  ourselves	
  in	
  previous	
  seasons.	
  	
  We	
   tested	
  Mounds	
  4,	
  5,	
  13,	
  and	
  14,	
  recovering	
  substantial	
  new	
  information	
  about	
  these	
   mounds	
  for	
  each	
  of	
  the	
  phases	
  mentioned	
  above.	
   	
   Finally,	
  we	
  hoped	
  to	
  continue	
  with	
  the	
  reconnaissance	
  of	
  the	
  region	
  surrounding	
   Paso	
  de	
  la	
  Amada,	
  filling	
  in	
  some	
  of	
  the	
  gaps	
  in	
  the	
  1992	
  survey.	
  	
  Clark	
  planned	
  to	
   survey	
  some	
  locations	
  south	
  and	
  west	
  of	
  Paso	
  de	
  la	
  Amada,	
  not	
  accessible	
  in	
  1992,	
  and	
   thereby	
  complete	
  the	
  Early	
  Formative	
  period	
  settlement	
  pattern	
  study	
  but,	
   unfortunately,	
  time	
  and	
  resources	
  were	
  not	
  available	
  to	
  carry	
  out	
  this	
  survey	
  during	
  the	
   1993	
  season.	
   	
   Schedule	
  and	
  Organization	
  of	
  1993	
  Excavations	
  	
   	
   Excavations	
  began	
  at	
  Paso	
  de	
  la	
  Amada	
  on	
  February	
  15	
  under	
  the	
  general	
   direction	
  of	
  Blake.	
  	
  One	
  week	
  was	
  spent	
  removing	
  the	
  backfill	
  from	
  the	
  1985	
  and	
  1990	
   excavations	
  in	
  Mound	
  6,	
  in	
  order	
  to	
  expose	
  Structure	
  4,	
  and	
  the	
  profiles	
  in	
  the	
  earlier	
   test	
  pits	
  and	
  trenches.	
  	
  Feddema	
  supervised	
  the	
  excavation	
  of	
  Structure	
  4	
  and	
  the	
   earlier	
  features	
  in	
  the	
  center	
  of	
  Mound	
  6.	
  	
  These	
  excavations	
  lasted	
  until	
  April	
  3.	
  	
  Hill	
   supervised	
  excavations	
  extending	
  downslope	
  from	
  Trench	
  1	
  at	
  Mound	
  6	
  as	
  well	
  as	
  a	
  test	
   pit	
  on	
  the	
  east	
  side	
  of	
  the	
  mound.	
  	
  Hill's	
  excavations	
  at	
  Mound	
  6	
  continued	
  until	
  March	
  	
   1  All phase date ranges are uncalibrated.  2  	
   	
   Figure 1. Map of Paso de la Amada showing locations of the 1993 excavations. 	
   	
   	
   20.	
  	
  Hill	
  also	
  supervised	
  test	
  pit	
  excavations	
  in	
  Mounds	
  4	
  and	
  14	
  between	
  March	
  15	
  and	
   April	
  3.	
   	
   Lesure's	
  excavations	
  in	
  Mound	
  12	
  began	
  February	
  15	
  and	
  lasted	
  until	
  April	
  7.	
  	
  He	
   also	
  supervised	
  the	
  excavation	
  of	
  a	
  test	
  pit	
  in	
  Mound	
  13	
  from	
  March	
  31	
  to	
  April	
  7.	
    3  	
   Mound	
  5	
  was	
  excavated	
  under	
  the	
  supervision	
  of	
  Clark	
  and	
  Gosser	
  between	
   March	
  9	
  and	
  April	
  5.	
  	
  Several	
  days	
  were	
  spent	
  locating	
  and	
  clearing	
  Ceja	
  Tenorio's	
   earlier	
  excavations,	
  after	
  which	
  they	
  were	
  extended	
  and	
  new	
  profiles	
  drawn.	
   	
   Lowe	
  mapped	
  the	
  1993	
  excavations	
  at	
  the	
  site	
  and	
  extended	
  the	
  baselines	
  of	
  his	
   original	
  1985	
  site	
  map.	
   	
   All	
  of	
  the	
  artifacts	
  and	
  samples	
  recovered	
  from	
  the	
  excavations	
  were	
  washed,	
   sorted,	
  and	
  catalogued	
  in	
  our	
  field	
  lab	
  in	
  Mazatán	
  under	
  the	
  supervision	
  of	
  Artemio	
   Villatorro	
  A.	
  	
  At	
  the	
  end	
  of	
  the	
  season	
  the	
  materials	
  were	
  then	
  transported	
  to	
  the	
   Laboratory	
  of	
  the	
  New	
  World	
  Archaeological	
  Foundation	
  in	
  San	
  Cristóbal	
  de	
  las	
  Casas.	
   	
   All	
  excavations	
  were	
  backfilled	
  during	
  the	
  week	
  of	
  April	
  5	
  to	
  8,	
  and	
  the	
  mounds	
   and	
  lands	
  were	
  returned	
  to	
  their	
  original	
  condition.	
   	
   	
  The	
  brief	
  report	
  that	
  follows	
  summarizes	
  the	
  excavations	
  and	
  presents	
  our	
   preliminary	
  findings.	
  	
  Analyses	
  of	
  the	
  excavation	
  data	
  are	
  currently	
  underway	
  in	
   Vancouver,	
  Provo,	
  and	
  San	
  Cristóbal	
  de	
  las	
  Casas,	
  and	
  will	
  be	
  presented	
  in	
  a	
  more	
   detailed	
  final	
  report.	
   	
   	
   MOUND	
  6	
  EXCAVATIONS	
   	
   Mound	
  6,	
  Center	
   	
   Objectives	
   	
   The	
  primary	
  objective	
  of	
  the	
  excavations	
  in	
  the	
  center	
  of	
  Mound	
  6	
  was	
  to	
   continue	
  excavating	
  the	
  Early	
  Formative	
  architectural	
  sequence	
  discovered	
  in	
  the	
  1985	
   and	
  1990	
  seasons.	
  	
  We	
  hoped	
  to	
  find	
  and	
  excavate	
  earlier	
  floors	
  and	
  features	
  below	
   Structure	
  4,	
  a	
  22	
  m	
  long	
  Locona	
  phase	
  platform	
  (Figure	
  2)(Blake	
  et	
  al.	
  1992).	
  	
  A	
   program	
  involving	
  the	
  systematic	
  collection	
  of	
  soil	
  samples	
  from	
  house	
  floors	
  was	
   implemented	
  for	
  the	
  purpose	
  of	
  gaining	
  a	
  better	
  understanding	
  of	
  the	
  activities	
  carried	
   out	
  within	
  these	
  houses.	
   	
   The	
  investigations	
  consisted	
  of	
  4	
  stages:	
  (1)	
  uncovering	
  and	
  excavating	
  Floor	
  4;	
   (2)	
  excavating	
  the	
  fill	
  between	
  Floors	
  4	
  and	
  5;	
  (3)	
  uncovering	
  and	
  excavating	
  Floor	
  5;	
   and	
  (4)	
  uncovering	
  Floor	
  6.	
  	
  A	
  discussion	
  of	
  the	
  excavation	
  strategies	
  and	
  preliminary	
   results	
  for	
  each	
  stage	
  follows.	
   	
   Floor	
  4	
   	
   After	
  removing	
  the	
  backdirt	
  to	
  the	
  level	
  where	
  the	
  1990	
  excavations	
  terminated,	
   a	
  new	
  grid	
  system	
  for	
  establishing	
  horizontal	
  control	
  was	
  established	
  and	
  soil	
  samples	
   for	
  chemical	
  and	
  microartifact	
  analysis	
  were	
  collected	
  from	
  each	
  50	
  cm	
  by	
  50	
  cm	
  square	
   of	
  the	
  floor	
  of	
  Structure	
  4	
  (Floor	
  4).	
  	
  A	
  total	
  of	
  785	
  one-­‐litre	
  samples	
  was	
  collected	
  from	
   the	
  interior	
  floor,	
  porch	
  and	
  step	
  areas.	
  	
  Part	
  of	
  each	
  sample	
  (0.1	
  litre)	
  was	
  saved	
  for	
   chemical	
  analysis	
  by	
  Dr.	
  Luis	
  Barba	
  of	
  U.N.A.M.	
  	
  The	
  remainder	
  of	
  each	
  sample	
  was	
  wet	
  	
    4  	
   Figure 2. Mound 6 excavations. Structure 4, excavated in 1990 is shown prior to excavation of Structures 5 and 6, as are the limits of the 1993 excavations.	
   	
   	
   screened	
  using	
  a	
  1	
  mm	
  mesh,	
  and	
  all	
  cultural	
  remains	
  kept.	
  	
  Results	
  of	
  these	
  analyses	
   are	
  pending	
  and	
  will	
  be	
  described	
  in	
  the	
  final	
  report.	
   	
   Floor	
  4	
  was	
  excavated	
  as	
  a	
  5	
  cm	
  level	
  (Level	
  10)	
  in	
  2	
  m	
  by	
  2	
  m	
  units,	
  and	
  all	
   material	
  was	
  screened	
  through	
  5	
  mm	
  mesh.	
  	
  The	
  floor	
  matrix	
  was	
  a	
  very	
  compact,	
   homogeneous,	
  light	
  yellow-­‐brown	
  finely-­‐mottled	
  sandy	
  clay,	
  very	
  similar	
  to	
  the	
  material	
   used	
  to	
  construct	
  the	
  clay	
  walls	
  of	
  Structure	
  4.	
  	
  In	
  fact,	
  the	
  floor	
  and	
  walls	
  appear	
  to	
   represent	
  a	
  single	
  construction	
  above	
  the	
  underlying	
  mound	
  fill.	
  	
  	
   	
   No	
  new	
  features	
  were	
  recorded	
  during	
  the	
  excavation	
  of	
  Level	
  10.	
  	
  Artifact	
   densities	
  varied	
  from	
  unit	
  to	
  unit,	
  but	
  were	
  generally	
  quite	
  high	
  throughout.	
  	
  Classes	
  of	
   recovered	
  artifacts	
  include	
  ceramic	
  vessel	
  sherds	
  and	
  figurines,	
  obsidian	
  tools	
  and	
   debitage,	
  ground	
  stone,	
  worked	
  bone,	
  faunal	
  remains,	
  and	
  carbonized	
  plant	
  remains.	
  	
   These	
  artifacts	
  appear	
  to	
  have	
  been	
  in	
  the	
  matrix	
  at	
  the	
  time	
  of	
  its	
  deposition.	
  	
  Some	
  of	
   the	
  smaller	
  artifacts	
  may	
  have	
  been	
  integrated	
  into	
  the	
  matrix	
  during	
  the	
  occupation	
  of	
   Floor	
  4.	
  	
  In	
  general,	
  the	
  artifact	
  characteristics	
  suggest	
  a	
  Locona	
  phase	
  occupation.	
  	
   	
   	
    5  Construction	
  fill	
  below	
  Floor	
  4	
   	
   The	
  fill	
  below	
  Floor	
  4	
  was	
  excavated	
  as	
  a	
  single	
  level	
  (Level	
  11-­‐12).	
  	
  The	
  walls	
  or	
   benches	
  associated	
  with	
  Structure	
  4	
  were	
  pedestalled	
  and	
  left	
  intact	
  for	
  the	
  most	
  part.	
  	
   One	
  section	
  of	
  wall	
  in	
  the	
  central	
  area	
  of	
  the	
  structure	
  was	
  excavated	
  and	
  screened	
  in	
   order	
  to	
  provide	
  a	
  sample	
  of	
  artifacts	
  contained	
  in	
  the	
  fill	
  used	
  to	
  construct	
  the	
  walls.	
  	
   Because	
  the	
  artifacts	
  contained	
  within	
  the	
  fill	
  material	
  below	
  Floor	
  4	
  were	
  associated	
   with	
  unknown	
  proveniences,	
  this	
  excavated	
  material	
  was	
  not	
  screened.	
  	
  However,	
  three	
   2	
  m	
  by	
  2	
  m	
  units	
  were	
  designated	
  as	
  control	
  screened	
  fill	
  units	
  and	
  were	
  screened	
  from	
   Level	
  10	
  to	
  the	
  culturally-­‐sterile	
  deposits	
  where	
  excavations	
  terminated.	
  	
   	
   In	
  these	
  control	
  screened	
  fill	
  units,	
  a	
  distinction	
  was	
  made	
  between	
  two	
   qualitatively	
  different	
  types	
  of	
  fill	
  material.	
  	
  Level	
  11	
  consisted	
  of	
  approximately	
  10	
  cm	
   of	
  material	
  very	
  similar	
  to	
  that	
  of	
  Level	
  10	
  -­‐-­‐	
  a	
  compact,	
  finely-­‐mottled,	
  yellow-­‐grey	
   sandy-­‐clay.	
  	
  These	
  two	
  levels	
  combined	
  to	
  form	
  a	
  broad	
  horizontal	
  band	
  of	
  relatively	
   homogeneous	
  materials.	
  	
  In	
  contrast,	
  Level	
  12	
  was	
  characterized	
  by	
  a	
  very	
  "chunky"	
   type	
  of	
  fill	
  material	
  which	
  consisted	
  of	
  large,	
  discrete	
  units	
  of	
  matrix	
  which	
  varied	
   greatly	
  in	
  color	
  and	
  texture.	
  	
  In	
  general,	
  they	
  were	
  lumps	
  of	
  hard	
  clay	
  which	
  appear	
  to	
   represent	
  individual	
  episodes	
  of	
  deposition	
  for	
  the	
  purpose	
  of	
  increasing	
  the	
  size	
  of	
  the	
   mound.	
  	
  	
   	
   The	
  upper	
  surface	
  of	
  Level	
  12	
  was	
  irregular	
  and	
  lumpy,	
  and	
  Levels	
  11	
  and	
  10	
   appear	
  to	
  have	
  been	
  deposited	
  in	
  order	
  to	
  smooth	
  out	
  these	
  irregularities	
  and	
  provide	
  a	
   firm	
  and	
  level	
  living	
  surface	
  for	
  the	
  occupants	
  of	
  Structure	
  4.	
  	
  In	
  addition,	
  they	
  increased	
   the	
  floor	
  area.	
  	
  The	
  chunky	
  construction	
  fill	
  appears	
  to	
  have	
  been	
  mounded	
  in	
  the	
   central	
  area;	
  the	
  more	
  finely-­‐mottled	
  fill	
  was	
  deposited	
  over	
  this,	
  maintaining	
  the	
   central	
  height	
  to	
  the	
  edge	
  of	
  the	
  floor	
  and	
  extending	
  the	
  occupation	
  surface.	
   	
   In	
  addition	
  to	
  the	
  information	
  that	
  Level	
  11-­‐12	
  provided	
  about	
  the	
  construction	
   of	
  the	
  mound,	
  it	
  also	
  yielded	
  an	
  infant	
  burial	
  (Mound	
  6	
  Burial	
  3).	
  	
  The	
  infant	
  was	
   interred	
  approximately	
  20	
  cm	
  below	
  Floor	
  4,	
  at	
  the	
  center	
  of	
  the	
  extreme	
  north	
  end	
  of	
   the	
  structure,	
  directly	
  below	
  the	
  hearth	
  area	
  excavated	
  in	
  1990.	
  	
  The	
  skeleton	
  was	
   disarticulated	
  but	
  was	
  in	
  good	
  condition	
  and	
  appeared	
  to	
  be	
  fairly	
  complete.	
  	
  A	
  small	
   pebble,	
  which	
  may	
  have	
  been	
  burned	
  or	
  painted,	
  was	
  found	
  with	
  the	
  bones.	
  	
  It	
  is	
   difficult	
  to	
  know	
  whether	
  this	
  pebble	
  was	
  associated	
  with	
  the	
  burial	
  or	
  was	
  just	
  present	
   in	
  the	
  fill,	
  but	
  the	
  occurrence	
  of	
  stones	
  with	
  most	
  burials	
  in	
  this	
  area	
  and	
  time	
  period	
   would	
  support	
  the	
  burial	
  association.	
   	
   Floor	
  5	
   	
   Floor	
  5	
  appeared	
  at	
  approximately	
  70	
  cm	
  below	
  Floor	
  4,	
  where	
  the	
  chunky	
   construction	
  fill	
  terminated	
  abruptly	
  at	
  a	
  layer	
  of	
  finely-­‐mottled	
  grey-­‐brown	
  clay.	
  	
  The	
   direct	
  contact	
  between	
  the	
  fill	
  and	
  the	
  floor	
  indicates	
  that	
  Structure	
  5	
  was	
  covered	
  over	
   soon	
  after	
  it	
  was	
  last	
  used;	
  aside	
  from	
  a	
  very	
  thin	
  layer	
  of	
  fine	
  sand	
  which	
  covers	
  Floor	
  5	
   in	
  many	
  areas,	
  no	
  matrix	
  build-­‐up	
  occurred	
  before	
  the	
  fill	
  was	
  deposited.	
   	
   Thirty-­‐five	
  postholes	
  were	
  found	
  in	
  association	
  with	
  Floor	
  5	
  (Figure	
  3).	
  	
  The	
   posthole	
  pattern	
  indicates	
  strong	
  similarities	
  to	
  those	
  of	
  the	
  overlying	
  floors.	
  	
  Floor	
  5	
   was	
  19.5	
  m	
  long	
  and	
  10	
  m	
  wide,	
  with	
  a	
  total	
  floor	
  area	
  of	
  165	
  m2.	
  	
  Although	
  Floor	
  5	
  was	
    6  	
   	
   Figure 3. Mound 6, Structure 5. 	
   	
   smaller,	
  its	
  form	
  and	
  orientation	
  were	
  almost	
  identical	
  with	
  those	
  of	
  Floors	
  4,	
  3	
  and	
  2	
   above	
  it.	
  The	
  postholes	
  marking	
  the	
  northern	
  extent	
  of	
  the	
  floor	
  were	
  approximately	
  2	
   m	
  inside	
  the	
  pedestalled	
  walls	
  of	
  Structure	
  4,	
  and	
  those	
  marking	
  its	
  southern	
  limit	
  were	
   found	
  immediately	
  below,	
  and	
  just	
  outside	
  of	
  the	
  Structure	
  4	
  platform.	
  	
  	
   	
    7  Several	
  heavily	
  burned	
  areas	
  were	
  found	
  on	
  the	
  floor.	
  	
  These	
  indicate	
  regular,	
   repeated	
  firing	
  in	
  the	
  same	
  place	
  and	
  may	
  have	
  been	
  hearths,	
  although	
  ash	
  and	
  charcoal	
   deposits	
  were	
  lacking.	
  	
  Twenty	
  palaeomagnetic	
  samples	
  were	
  collected	
  from	
  these	
   burned	
  areas	
  for	
  dating.	
   	
   Unlike	
  Structure	
  4,	
  the	
  outline	
  of	
  Floor	
  5	
  was	
  not	
  delineated	
  by	
  clay	
  walls	
  or	
   benches.	
  	
  However,	
  one	
  small	
  (2.8	
  m	
  long,	
  50	
  cm	
  wide,	
  16	
  cm	
  high)	
  wall	
  or	
  bench	
   feature	
  was	
  found	
  in	
  the	
  northeast	
  part	
  of	
  the	
  house,	
  almost	
  directly	
  under	
  the	
  line	
  of	
   the	
  long	
  wall	
  of	
  Structure	
  4	
  (Figure	
  3).	
  	
  In	
  addition	
  to	
  its	
  placement	
  and	
  orientation,	
  this	
   feature	
  is	
  very	
  similar	
  to	
  the	
  walls	
  of	
  Structure	
  4	
  in	
  both	
  material	
  and	
  form.	
  	
  This	
   suggests	
  that	
  it	
  may	
  have	
  been	
  a	
  prototype	
  for	
  the	
  subsequent	
  architecture	
  associated	
   with	
  Structure	
  4.	
   	
   Prior	
  to	
  the	
  excavation	
  of	
  Floor	
  5,	
  404	
  soil	
  samples	
  were	
  collected	
  for	
   microartifact	
  and	
  chemical	
  analysis	
  in	
  the	
  same	
  manner	
  as	
  described	
  for	
  Floor	
  4.	
  	
  The	
   floor	
  (Level	
  13)	
  was	
  excavated	
  in	
  2	
  m	
  by	
  2	
  m	
  squares	
  and	
  all	
  material	
  was	
  screened	
   through	
  5	
  mm	
  mesh.	
  	
  This	
  level	
  was	
  generally	
  quite	
  uniform	
  in	
  thickness,	
  varying	
  from	
   3	
  to	
  6	
  cm.	
  	
  In	
  some	
  areas,	
  the	
  floor	
  was	
  more	
  irregular	
  and	
  appeared	
  to	
  have	
  been	
   patched	
  or	
  re-­‐floored.	
  	
  This	
  was	
  especially	
  evident	
  in	
  the	
  peripheral	
  areas	
  in	
  the	
  center	
   of	
  the	
  house,	
  which	
  may	
  have	
  been	
  entrances	
  or	
  places	
  with	
  a	
  heavier	
  volume	
  of	
  traffic.	
  	
   The	
  floor	
  matrix	
  consisted	
  of	
  a	
  compact,	
  finely-­‐mottled,	
  grey-­‐brown	
  sandy	
  clay.	
  	
  Artifact	
   density	
  was	
  moderately	
  high	
  and	
  the	
  ceramics	
  indicated	
  a	
  Locona	
  phase	
  occupation.	
  	
   Most	
  postholes	
  were	
  filled	
  with	
  large	
  lumps	
  of	
  hard	
  clay	
  typical	
  of	
  the	
  chunky	
   construction	
  fill.	
   	
   Floor	
  6	
   	
   Floor	
  6	
  was	
  apparently	
  the	
  first	
  of	
  the	
  sequence	
  of	
  floors	
  in	
  Mound	
  6	
  and	
  was	
   constructed	
  on	
  the	
  natural	
  sandy	
  surface	
  underlying	
  the	
  Mound.	
  	
  This	
  surface	
  was	
   variable	
  throughout	
  the	
  floor	
  area,	
  but	
  was	
  generally	
  typified	
  by	
  a	
  very	
  fine,	
  compact	
   yellow-­‐brown	
  sand	
  which	
  in	
  places	
  graded	
  into	
  a	
  fine,	
  yellow-­‐grey	
  mottled	
  sandy	
  clay.	
   	
   Soil	
  samples	
  were	
  collected	
  for	
  microartifact	
  and	
  chemical	
  analysis.	
  	
  Because	
   preliminary	
  examinations	
  yielded	
  a	
  very	
  low	
  artifact	
  density,	
  one	
  sample	
  was	
  collected	
   from	
  each	
  2	
  m	
  by	
  2	
  m	
  square	
  instead	
  of	
  from	
  each	
  50	
  cm	
  square.	
  	
  This	
  provided	
  a	
  total	
   of	
  40	
  samples.	
   	
   Twenty-­‐two	
  postholes	
  were	
  found,	
  generally	
  in	
  a	
  linear	
  pattern	
  corresponding	
  to	
   the	
  postholes	
  for	
  Floors	
  4	
  and	
  5	
  (Figure	
  	
  4).	
  	
  Some	
  of	
  the	
  postholes	
  found	
  during	
  the	
   excavation	
  of	
  Floor	
  5	
  may	
  have	
  been	
  originally	
  used	
  for	
  Floor	
  6	
  and	
  re-­‐used	
  when	
   Structure	
  5	
  was	
  constructed.	
  	
  This	
  may	
  explain	
  why	
  so	
  few	
  new	
  postholes	
  were	
  found	
   on	
  the	
  peripheral	
  edges	
  of	
  Floor	
  6.	
   	
   Several	
  shallow	
  pits	
  with	
  high	
  artifact	
  concentrations	
  were	
  scattered	
  throughout	
   the	
  floor	
  area.	
  	
  Some	
  of	
  these	
  may	
  have	
  been	
  natural	
  superficial	
  irregularities	
  which	
   were	
  filled	
  in	
  with	
  material	
  from	
  refuse	
  areas	
  to	
  provide	
  a	
  more	
  level	
  occupation	
   surface.	
  	
  Others,	
  however,	
  are	
  very	
  regular	
  and	
  appear	
  to	
  be	
  pits	
  dug	
  into	
  the	
  surface	
  of	
   the	
  floor,	
  filled	
  with	
  trash,	
  and	
  covered	
  with	
  clay.	
  	
  Most	
  of	
  the	
  pits	
  extend	
  only	
  about	
  20	
    8  	
   	
   Figure 4. Mound 6, Structure 6. 	
   	
   to	
  30	
  cm	
  below	
  the	
  surface	
  of	
  the	
  floor,	
  and	
  contain	
  fairly	
  dense	
  concentrations	
  of	
   potsherds,	
  obsidian,	
  bone,	
  shell,	
  and	
  charcoal.	
   	
   In	
  order	
  to	
  gain	
  more	
  information	
  about	
  the	
  basal	
  deposits	
  of	
  Mound	
  6,	
  a	
  1	
  m	
  by	
   1	
  m	
  test	
  pit	
  was	
  excavated	
  at	
  each	
  end	
  of	
  the	
  floor.	
  	
  Both	
  pits	
  were	
  excavated	
  in	
  20	
  cm	
   arbitrary	
  levels	
  and	
  all	
  material	
  was	
  screened	
  through	
  5	
  mm	
  mesh.	
  	
  	
    9  	
   In	
  the	
  test	
  pit	
  at	
  2.5N/6E,	
  no	
  cultural	
  materials	
  were	
  recovered.	
  	
  The	
  matrix	
   consisted	
  of	
  fine	
  sand	
  which	
  graded	
  from	
  yellow-­‐grey	
  to	
  yellow	
  with	
  some	
  patches	
  of	
   grey.	
  	
  Coarse	
  grey	
  sand	
  appeared	
  at	
  50-­‐60	
  cm	
  below	
  Floor	
  6	
  and	
  continued	
  to	
  80	
  cm,	
   where	
  the	
  excavation	
  terminated.	
   	
   In	
  the	
  first	
  level	
  (Level	
  14)	
  of	
  the	
  test	
  pit	
  in	
  18N/7E,	
  a	
  shallow	
  trash	
  pit	
  was	
   encountered	
  in	
  the	
  fine	
  yellow-­‐grey/yellow	
  sand	
  below	
  Floor	
  6.	
  	
  It	
  was	
  30	
  cm	
  deep	
  but	
   was	
  not	
  excavated	
  outside	
  of	
  the	
  test	
  pit	
  and,	
  because	
  it	
  was	
  not	
  visible	
  on	
  the	
  floor,	
  its	
   horizontal	
  extent	
  remains	
  unknown.	
  	
  Below	
  the	
  trash	
  pit,	
  cultural	
  materials	
  ceased	
  to	
   appear.	
  	
  At	
  approximately	
  60	
  cm	
  below	
  the	
  floor,	
  the	
  fine	
  yellow	
  sand	
  was	
  interrupted	
   by	
  a	
  10-­‐13	
  cm	
  thick	
  layer	
  of	
  coarse	
  grey	
  sand,	
  and	
  at	
  80	
  cm	
  below	
  the	
  floor,	
  the	
  coarse	
   sand	
  appeared	
  again.	
  	
  Excavations	
  ceased	
  at	
  this	
  point.	
   	
   	
   	
   	
   Summary	
   	
   The	
  excavations	
  of	
  Structures	
  5	
  and	
  6	
  are	
  interesting	
  because	
  they	
  demonstrate	
   an	
  even	
  longer	
  continuity	
  in	
  the	
  sequence	
  of	
  constructions	
  for	
  Mound	
  6	
  than	
  previously	
   suspected.	
  	
  The	
  similarity	
  of	
  Structure	
  5	
  in	
  shape,	
  size,	
  and	
  orientation	
  to	
  Structures	
  4,	
   3,	
  and	
  2	
  is	
  quite	
  remarkable	
  considering	
  that	
  it	
  must	
  have	
  been	
  completely	
  buried	
  and	
   therefore	
  invisible	
  to	
  the	
  builders	
  of	
  the	
  later	
  structures.	
  	
  We	
  think	
  that	
  Structure	
  5	
  was	
   dismantled	
  just	
  prior	
  to	
  the	
  construction	
  of	
  Structure	
  4.	
  	
  In	
  fact,	
  the	
  Structure	
  5	
   postholes	
  probably	
  formed	
  a	
  template	
  for	
  the	
  outline	
  of	
  Structure	
  4's	
  platform,	
   particularly	
  at	
  the	
  south	
  end.	
  	
  Unfortunately	
  the	
  layout	
  of	
  Floor	
  6	
  was	
  not	
  completely	
   clear,	
  but	
  the	
  alignment	
  of	
  the	
  postholes	
  suggests	
  that	
  it	
  was	
  the	
  first	
  or	
  prototypical	
   structure	
  on	
  the	
  spot.	
  	
  All	
  subsequent	
  structures	
  conformed	
  to	
  its	
  layout.	
  	
  Analysis	
  of	
  the	
   artifacts	
  and	
  features	
  in	
  association	
  with	
  Structures	
  5	
  and	
  6	
  is	
  still	
  in	
  the	
  preliminary	
   stages	
  but	
  so	
  far	
  we	
  can	
  say	
  that	
  they	
  are	
  similar	
  to	
  those	
  associated	
  with	
  the	
  later	
   structures.	
   	
   	
   Mound	
  6,	
  Periphery	
   Objectives	
  	
   	
   	
   The	
  objectives	
  of	
  these	
  excavations	
  were	
  twofold:	
  (1)	
  to	
  locate	
  features	
  such	
  as	
   floors	
  of	
  out-­‐buildings,	
  refuse	
  deposits,	
  and	
  burials	
  associated	
  with	
  the	
  sequence	
  of	
   structures	
  in	
  Mound	
  6,	
  and	
  (2)	
  to	
  collect	
  information	
  about	
  the	
  stratigraphy	
  and	
   construction	
  sequence	
  of	
  the	
  mound.	
  	
  We	
  were	
  especially	
  interested	
  in	
  finding	
  features	
   contemporary	
  with	
  the	
  Locona	
  phase	
  Structure	
  4	
  and	
  that	
  might	
  help	
  us	
  to	
  resolve	
   questions	
  about	
  its	
  function.	
  	
  However,	
  most	
  of	
  the	
  deposits	
  on	
  the	
  periphery	
  of	
  the	
   mound	
  dated	
  to	
  the	
  Ocós	
  phase,	
  not	
  the	
  Locona	
  phase	
  as	
  hoped.	
  	
  	
   	
   Nine	
  2	
  m	
  by	
  2	
  m	
  test	
  pits	
  totaling	
  36	
  m2	
  were	
  excavated	
  on	
  the	
  edge	
  of	
  Mound	
  6,	
   with	
  a	
  total	
  excavated	
  volume	
  of	
  69	
  m3	
  (Figure	
  2).	
  	
  A	
  number	
  of	
  Ocós	
  phase	
  features	
   were	
  discovered.	
   	
    10  This	
  is	
  particularly	
  important	
  because	
  the	
  uppermost	
  Ocós	
  phase	
  structures	
  of	
   Mound	
  6	
  had	
  been	
  destroyed	
  by	
  plowing	
  and	
  so	
  the	
  more	
  deeply	
  buried	
  Ocós	
  phase	
   features	
  on	
  the	
  edge	
  of	
  the	
  mound	
  are	
  the	
  only	
  record	
  we	
  have	
  of	
  the	
  Ocós	
  occupation.	
   	
   Excavation	
  strategy	
  	
   	
   One	
  of	
  the	
  nine	
  test	
  pits,	
  N52E48	
  (see	
  below),	
  was	
  completely	
  screened	
  using	
   arbitrary	
  20cm	
  levels.	
  	
  The	
  other	
  units	
  were	
  unscreened	
  except	
  for	
  important	
  features	
   such	
  as	
  surfaces,	
  refuse	
  pits,	
  and	
  artifact	
  concentrations	
  comprising	
  of	
  a	
  total	
  of	
  30%	
  of	
   all	
  excavation	
  levels.	
  	
  This	
  strategy	
  enabled	
  us	
  to	
  efficiently	
  examine	
  a	
  large	
  area	
  for	
   features.	
   	
   	
   Units	
  N50E48-­‐N50E42,	
  N48E48-­‐44	
  and	
  N48E74	
  	
   	
   These	
  units,	
  placed	
  as	
  an	
  extension	
  of	
  Trench	
  1	
  from	
  1990,	
  contained	
  primarily	
   Ocós	
  and	
  mixed	
  Locona-­‐Ocós	
  assemblages,	
  with	
  several	
  Ocós	
  trash	
  pits	
  with	
  high	
   artifact	
  densities	
  (Figures	
  5	
  and	
  6).	
  	
  The	
  layers	
  correspond	
  to	
  the	
  following	
  stratigraphic	
   sequence.	
   	
    	
   Figure 5. Profile of units N48 E50-44. 	
   	
   Level	
  1.	
  	
  This	
  corresponds	
  to	
  the	
  plough	
  zone	
  in	
  every	
  unit.	
  	
  It	
  is	
  a	
  hard,	
  compact	
   dark	
  grey	
  soil	
  which	
  has	
  been	
  disturbed.	
  	
  	
  It	
  was	
  not	
  screened,	
  as	
  the	
  context	
  is	
   destroyed.	
   	
   Levels	
  2-­‐3.	
  	
  Generally	
  a	
  hard,	
  consolidated	
  sandy	
  clay	
  layer,	
  light	
  yellow-­‐brown	
   in	
  colour,	
  from	
  40	
  to	
  60	
  cm	
  in	
  thickness.	
  	
  This	
  layer	
  is	
  relatively	
  homogeneous	
  in	
  both	
    	
    11  soil	
  colour	
  and	
  texture.	
  	
  The	
  artifact	
  density	
  tended	
  to	
  be	
  constant,	
  with	
  an	
  increase	
   beginning	
  in	
  Level	
  4.	
  	
   	
   Levels	
  4-­‐6.	
  	
  Changed	
  to	
  a	
  softer,	
  pale	
  brown	
  sandy	
  clay,	
  with	
  occasional	
   laminated	
  lenses	
  of	
  alternating	
  sand	
  and	
  clay.	
  	
  The	
  rich	
  Ocós	
  midden	
  generally	
  began	
  in	
   Level	
  4,	
  and	
  the	
  increase	
  in	
  artifact	
  density	
  was	
  reflected	
  in	
  the	
  control	
  unit,	
  N52E48.	
   	
   Levels	
  7-­‐9.	
  	
  Ocós	
  trash	
  pits	
  encountered,	
  beginning	
  in	
  Level	
  7.	
  The	
  surrounding	
   matrix	
  is	
  soft,	
  well-­‐sorted	
  lenses	
  of	
  sand	
  and	
  clay,	
  alternating	
  light	
  and	
  dark	
  grey	
  in	
   colour	
  (especially	
  in	
  Unit	
  N50E48).	
  The	
  fill	
  of	
  the	
  trash	
  pits	
  was	
  a	
  soft,	
  loose	
  sand	
  or	
  a	
   soft	
  sandy-­‐clay.	
  	
  The	
  trash	
  pits	
  are	
  described	
  separately	
  in	
  the	
  section	
  on	
  features.	
  	
  	
   	
   Level	
  10.	
  	
  Below	
  the	
  laminated	
  sand	
  layers,	
  a	
  thin	
  (5	
  cm)	
  compact	
  yellow-­‐brown	
   clay	
  layer	
  was	
  encountered.	
  	
  This	
  layer	
  appears	
  to	
  have	
  been	
  a	
  continuation	
  of	
  Floor	
  2	
   from	
  1990,	
  however,	
  it	
  was	
  eroded	
  in	
  places	
  and	
  terminated	
  in	
  N50E46.	
  	
  Level	
  10	
   terminated	
  on	
  a	
  light	
  yellow-­‐brown	
  fine	
  sand.	
  	
  This	
  layer	
  was	
  the	
  basal	
  stratum	
  which	
   underlaid	
  Mound	
  6.	
  	
  There	
  were	
  very	
  low	
  artifact	
  densities	
  in	
  this	
  level.	
   	
   Level	
  11.	
  	
  A	
  sterile	
  level	
  which	
  consisted	
  of	
  a	
  coarse-­‐grained	
  river	
  sand,	
  very	
   loose	
  in	
  texture.	
  	
  This	
  stratum	
  was	
  generally	
  encountered	
  at	
  this	
  level	
  (Level	
  11),	
  but	
   tends	
  to	
  be	
  found	
  in	
  higher	
  levels	
  (i.e.,	
  9	
  or	
  10)	
  in	
  the	
  units	
  that	
  are	
  further	
  away	
  from	
   the	
  centre	
  of	
  the	
  mound.	
   	
    	
   Figure 6. Profile of Unit N48E74.	
   	
   	
    	
    12  Features	
   	
   Trash	
  Pits.	
  	
  Three	
  Ocós	
  phase	
  trash	
  pits	
  were	
  found.	
  	
  The	
  first	
  of	
  these,	
  Trash	
  Pit	
   1	
  was	
  found	
  in	
  Level	
  7	
  (beginning	
  at	
  146	
  cm	
  BD)	
  of	
  excavation	
  unit	
  N50E48.	
  	
  The	
  pit	
  has	
   an	
  average	
  depth	
  of	
  40	
  cm	
  and	
  a	
  total	
  of	
  0.757	
  m3	
  of	
  earth	
  was	
  excavated	
  from	
  the	
   deposit.	
  	
  The	
  pit	
  was	
  completely	
  screened.	
  	
  Among	
  the	
  pit's	
  contents	
  were	
   approximately	
  20	
  unfired	
  clay	
  net	
  weights.	
  	
  Other	
  noteworthy	
  artifacts	
  include	
  a	
   complete	
  monkey	
  figurine	
  and	
  a	
  drilled	
  shark's	
  tooth	
  pendant.	
  	
  The	
  pit	
  itself	
  was	
  dug	
   into	
  the	
  yellow-­‐brown	
  fine	
  sand	
  from	
  the	
  above	
  Ocós	
  phase	
  layers.	
  	
  	
   	
   A	
  smaller	
  trash	
  pit	
  was	
  discovered	
  adjacent	
  to	
  Trash	
  Pit	
  1.	
  	
  Trash	
  Pit	
  2	
  (in	
  unit	
   N50E50,	
  beginning	
  in	
  Level	
  8,	
  149	
  cm	
  BD)	
  was	
  excavated	
  as	
  a	
  continuation	
  of	
  Trench	
  1.	
  	
   The	
  pit	
  was	
  located	
  below	
  Floor	
  1	
  and	
  also	
  contained	
  Ocós	
  phase	
  artifacts.	
  	
  It	
  was	
   shallow,	
  with	
  an	
  average	
  depth	
  of	
  only	
  20	
  cm	
  and	
  a	
  total	
  volume	
  of	
  0.251	
  m3.	
   	
   	
  	
  	
   Another	
  large	
  trash	
  pit	
  was	
  encountered	
  straddling	
  two	
  excavation	
  units,	
   N48E48	
  and	
  N48E46.	
  	
  Trash	
  Pit	
  3	
  was	
  also	
  used	
  as	
  a	
  burial	
  pit.	
  	
  As	
  the	
  excavation	
  of	
  the	
   burial	
  (Mound	
  6,	
  Burial	
  1)	
  proceeded,	
  it	
  became	
  apparent	
  that	
  the	
  burial	
  had	
  been	
   placed	
  in	
  a	
  pre-­‐existing	
  trash	
  pit.	
  	
  	
  This	
  pit,	
  in	
  addition	
  to	
  containing	
  the	
  burial	
  of	
  an	
   adult	
  female	
  (Burial	
  1),	
  also	
  contained	
  an	
  infant	
  burial	
  (Mound	
  6,	
  Burial	
  2).	
  	
  The	
  entire	
   contents	
  of	
  the	
  pit	
  were	
  screened	
  and	
  excavated	
  separately.	
  	
  Net	
  weights,	
  a	
  frog-­‐effigy	
   vessel,	
  and	
  numerous	
  figurine	
  heads	
  were	
  found.	
  	
  	
   	
   Burials.	
  	
  Two	
  burials	
  were	
  found:	
  Mound	
  6,	
  Burial	
  1	
  and,	
  Mound	
  6,	
  Burial	
  2.	
   	
   Burial	
  1	
  was	
  found	
  in	
  Level	
  7,	
  unit	
  N48E46,	
  at	
  approximately	
  123	
  cm	
  below	
   datum.	
  The	
  entire	
  burial	
  was	
  excavated	
  as	
  a	
  complete	
  associated	
  unit	
  within	
  the	
  burial	
   pit.	
  The	
  bone	
  preservation	
  was	
  fair	
  to	
  poor,	
  with	
  all	
  bones	
  showing	
  evidence	
  of	
  some	
   post-­‐mortem	
  decay.	
  The	
  cranium,	
  vertebral	
  column,	
  pelvis,	
  left	
  humerus,	
  and	
  scapulae	
   were	
  pressure-­‐distorted	
  post-­‐mortem.	
  	
  The	
  skeleton	
  was	
  virtually	
  complete,	
  except	
  for	
   parts	
  of	
  the	
  pelvic	
  girdle	
  (including	
  the	
  pubis)	
  and	
  the	
  sacrum	
  and	
  coccyx	
  were	
   disintegrated	
  and/or	
  completely	
  absent.	
  The	
  posterior	
  cranial	
  vault	
  was	
  broken	
  beyond	
   reconstruction.	
  Unfortunately,	
  most	
  of	
  the	
  post-­‐cranial	
  elements	
  broke	
  or	
  disintegrated	
   upon	
  excavation,	
  due	
  to	
  the	
  brittle	
  nature	
  of	
  the	
  bones.	
  	
   	
   The	
  entire	
  burial	
  matrix	
  was	
  screened.	
  Numerous	
  large	
  sherds	
  were	
  found	
   surrounding	
  the	
  skeleton,	
  as	
  well	
  as	
  inside	
  the	
  skeletal	
  matrix.	
  Some	
  obsidian	
  flakes	
  and	
   one	
  disc-­‐shaped	
  jade	
  bead	
  were	
  recovered.	
  A	
  jade	
  necklace	
  bead	
  (with	
  a	
  drilled	
  hole)	
   was	
  found	
  adjacent	
  to	
  the	
  6th	
  and	
  7th	
  cervical	
  vertebrae.	
  A	
  large	
  tecomate	
  rim	
  was	
   found	
  immediately	
  below	
  the	
  frontal	
  bone.	
  Perhaps	
  most	
  significant	
  was	
  a	
  green	
  stone	
   cobble	
  found	
  in	
  association	
  with	
  the	
  burial.	
  Similar	
  stones	
  have	
  been	
  found	
  in	
   association	
  with	
  almost	
  all	
  other	
  burials	
  which	
  date	
  to	
  the	
  same	
  period	
  (Ceja	
  Tenorio	
   1985).	
   	
   The	
  articulated	
  skeleton	
  permitted	
  a	
  fairly	
  complete	
  assessment	
  of	
  burial	
   position	
  and	
  orientation.	
  The	
  body	
  was	
  interred	
  face	
  down,	
  in	
  a	
  tightly	
  flexed	
  bundle.	
   The	
  long	
  axis	
  of	
  the	
  body	
  was	
  oriented	
  east-­‐west	
  (using	
  Magnetic	
  North),	
  with	
  the	
  head	
   facing	
  west.	
  The	
  joints	
  of	
  the	
  long	
  bones	
  of	
  the	
  legs	
  were	
  broken	
  post-­‐mortem,	
  most	
   likely	
  to	
  achieve	
  tight	
  flexure.	
  The	
  hands	
  were	
  covering	
  the	
  face,	
  one	
  of	
  them	
  in	
  a	
  closed	
    13  position	
  of	
  a	
  half	
  fist.	
  The	
  spinal	
  column	
  was	
  twisted	
  to	
  form	
  an	
  S-­‐shape,	
  but	
  it	
  is	
  unclear	
   whether	
  this	
  is	
  the	
  result	
  of	
  post-­‐mortem	
  pressures	
  from	
  the	
  above	
  deposits,	
  or	
  tight	
   flexure.	
  The	
  arms	
  appear	
  to	
  have	
  been	
  bound	
  together	
  at	
  the	
  elbows,	
  and	
  the	
  legs	
  at	
  the	
   knees.	
  The	
  ulnae	
  and	
  radii	
  were	
  both	
  found	
  on	
  the	
  right	
  side	
  of	
  the	
  body,	
  while	
  the	
   capitulum	
  of	
  the	
  left	
  humerus	
  was	
  rotated	
  laterally.	
  This	
  would	
  suggest	
  the	
  arms	
  were	
   bound	
  to	
  the	
  right	
  side	
  of	
  the	
  body.	
  	
   	
   The	
  skeleton	
  was	
  assigned	
  a	
  sex	
  of	
  female	
  based	
  upon	
  cranial	
  and	
  pelvic	
   morphological	
  features.	
  	
  All	
  cranial	
  sutures	
  were	
  closed	
  but	
  not	
  obliterated,	
  indicating	
   early	
  adult	
  age.	
  Wisdom	
  teeth	
  were	
  also	
  present.	
  Some	
  alveolar	
  resorption	
  and	
  molar	
   wear	
  are	
  present.	
  These	
  wear	
  patterns	
  are	
  typical	
  of	
  older	
  adults.	
  	
  A	
  more	
  detailed	
   analysis	
  may	
  give	
  a	
  better	
  estimate	
  of	
  age,	
  but	
  a	
  tentative	
  assignment	
  of	
  early	
  adult	
  was	
   made	
  here.	
   	
   Burial	
  2	
  was	
  discovered	
  while	
  excavating	
  the	
  remainder	
  of	
  Trash	
  Pit	
  1.	
  	
  This	
   burial	
  was	
  a	
  neonate	
  infant.	
  The	
  infant	
  was	
  most	
  likely	
  interred	
  in	
  a	
  bundle,	
  and	
  appears	
   to	
  have	
  been	
  oriented	
  with	
  its	
  head	
  to	
  the	
  southwest.	
  	
  The	
  burial	
  was	
  encountered	
  at	
   139	
  cm	
  BD,	
  and	
  the	
  bundle	
  dimensions	
  were	
  19	
  cm	
  long	
  by	
  13	
  cm	
  wide.	
  	
  The	
  bones	
   were	
  well-­‐preserved,	
  although	
  the	
  cranial	
  bones	
  were	
  badly	
  fractured,	
  making	
  cranial	
   reconstruction	
  impossible.	
  	
  Most	
  of	
  the	
  post-­‐cranial	
  skeleton	
  was	
  disarticulated.	
  	
   However,	
  this	
  is	
  not	
  unusual	
  in	
  infant	
  burials.	
  	
  Sex	
  of	
  neonates	
  cannot	
  be	
  determined.	
   There	
  were	
  burial	
  offerings	
  or	
  grave	
  goods.	
  	
  However,	
  the	
  fact	
  that	
  this	
  infant	
  was	
   placed	
  the	
  same	
  pit	
  as	
  Burial	
  1,	
  an	
  adult	
  female,	
  suggests	
  that	
  Burial	
  2	
  was	
  part	
  of	
  the	
   same	
  interment	
  as	
  Burial	
  1,	
  making	
  it	
  a	
  multiple	
  interment,	
  possibly	
  of	
  mother	
  and	
   child.	
   	
   	
  	
   Other	
  features.	
  	
  A	
  series	
  of	
  hardened	
  compact	
  clay	
  surfaces	
  were	
  encountered	
  in	
   excavation	
  units	
  N50E48-­‐44	
  and	
  N48E48-­‐44.	
  	
  These	
  surfaces	
  appear	
  to	
  have	
  been	
   outdoor	
  surfaces	
  upon	
  which	
  the	
  Ocós	
  phase	
  midden	
  was	
  deposited.	
  	
  However,	
  the	
   surfaces	
  were	
  badly	
  eroded	
  in	
  places	
  and	
  have	
  been	
  disturbed	
  by	
  intrusive	
  pits	
   excavated	
  from	
  later	
  occupations.	
  	
  It	
  was	
  hoped	
  the	
  surfaces	
  would	
  be	
  associated	
  with	
   some	
  other	
  architectural	
  features,	
  but	
  none	
  were	
  encountered.	
  	
  In	
  addition	
  to	
  the	
   surfaces,	
  one	
  small	
  hearth	
  was	
  found	
  in	
  Level	
  6	
  of	
  N50E46.	
  	
  Two	
  samples	
  for	
   palaeomagnetic	
  dating	
  were	
  taken	
  from	
  the	
  hearth.	
  	
   	
   Unit	
  N52E48	
   	
   The	
  purpose	
  of	
  this	
  test	
  was	
  to	
  obtain	
  a	
  100%	
  screened	
  sample	
  from	
  one	
  of	
  the	
   Mound	
  6	
  periphery	
  units.	
  	
  The	
  levels	
  and	
  stratigraphy	
  correspond	
  to	
  the	
  sequence	
   outlined	
  for	
  the	
  other	
  excavations.	
  	
  Since	
  this	
  unit	
  was	
  completely	
  screened,	
  artifact	
   ratios	
  per	
  cubic	
  metre	
  are	
  available,	
  and	
  are	
  shown	
  in	
  Table	
  1.	
  	
  Like	
  the	
  other	
  units	
  of	
   Mound	
  6,	
  this	
  unit	
  contained	
  predominately	
  Ocós	
  phase	
  material,	
  with	
  some	
  Locona	
   phase	
  artifacts	
  mixed	
  in.	
  	
  No	
  exclusively	
  Locona	
  phase	
  material	
  was	
  recovered.	
  	
  The	
   outdoor	
  surfaces	
  described	
  above	
  were	
  also	
  found	
  throughout	
  N52E48.	
  	
  This	
  unit	
  also	
   contained	
  a	
  portion	
  of	
  Trash	
  Pit	
  1.	
  	
  	
   	
   	
   	
   	
    14  Table	
  1.	
  	
  	
   Artifact	
  densities	
  in	
  Unit	
  N52E48,	
  Mound	
  6.	
  	
  	
   	
   Artifacts	
  per	
  cubic	
  meter.	
   	
   Level	
   Sherds/m3	
   Obsidian/m3	
   Bone/m3	
   1	
   64	
   0	
   0	
   2	
   1026	
   568	
   24	
   3	
   594	
   275	
   14	
   4	
   1838	
   579	
   31	
   5	
   2188	
   428	
   18	
   6	
   2326	
   771	
   250	
   7	
   1461	
   541	
   328	
   8	
   744	
   457	
   227	
   9	
   1162	
   290	
   205	
   10	
   599	
   76	
   41	
   	
   	
   	
   	
   	
   Summary	
   	
   Unfortunately,	
  we	
  did	
  not	
  find	
  any	
  Locona	
  phase	
  refuse	
  pits.	
  	
  Locona	
  phase	
   refuse	
  may	
  have	
  been	
  collected	
  as	
  mound	
  fill	
  during	
  the	
  process	
  of	
  the	
  construction	
  of	
   Structures	
  4	
  and	
  3.	
  	
  However,	
  three	
  Ocós	
  phase	
  refuse	
  pits,	
  two	
  Ocós	
  phase	
  burials,	
  and	
   a	
  number	
  of	
  unique	
  Ocós	
  phase	
  artifacts	
  were	
  found.	
  	
  Of	
  particular	
  interest	
  was	
  the	
   presence	
  of	
  a	
  number	
  of	
  unfired	
  clay	
  net	
  weights	
  in	
  Trash	
  Pit	
  1.	
  	
  They	
  suggest	
  that	
   manufacturing	
  activities	
  took	
  place	
  in	
  and	
  around	
  the	
  structures	
  on	
  Mound	
  6.	
  	
   	
   	
  	
   MOUND	
  12	
  EXCAVATIONS	
   	
   We	
  resumed	
  the	
  excavations	
  in	
  Mound	
  12	
  that	
  had	
  been	
  initiated	
  during	
  the	
   1992	
  season	
  (Clark	
  and	
  Lesure	
  1992).	
  	
  Mound	
  12	
  is	
  a	
  low,	
  50	
  cm	
  high	
  mound	
  located	
  at	
   the	
  northern	
  end	
  of	
  the	
  same	
  agricultural	
  field	
  as	
  Mound	
  6.	
  	
  The	
  primary	
  goal	
  of	
  the	
   renewed	
  excavations	
  was	
  to	
  expose	
  a	
  series	
  of	
  probable	
  low-­‐status	
  Locona	
  and	
  Ocós	
   phase	
  house	
  floors	
  located	
  with	
  a	
  single	
  test	
  pit	
  (Pit	
  3)	
  in	
  1992	
  (Figure	
  7).	
  	
  We	
  also	
   wished	
  to	
  investigate	
  the	
  stratigraphy	
  of	
  the	
  southern	
  side	
  of	
  the	
  mound	
  by	
  extending	
   Trench	
  1	
  (excavated	
  in	
  1992)	
  and	
  look	
  for	
  Locona	
  phase	
  refuse	
  deposits	
  associated	
  with	
   the	
  early	
  house	
  floors.	
  	
  We	
  had	
  some	
  success	
  with	
  all	
  these	
  goals.	
   	
   Test	
  Pit	
  5	
  	
   	
   Excavations	
  in	
  this	
  unit,	
  located	
  3	
  m	
  to	
  the	
  south	
  of	
  Trench	
  1,	
  proceeded	
  in	
  20	
  cm	
   arbitrary	
  levels,	
  with	
  all	
  the	
  matrix	
  screened	
  through	
  a	
  5	
  mm	
  mesh	
  (Figure	
  7).	
  	
  This	
   excavation	
  successfully	
  defined	
  the	
  southern	
  edge	
  of	
  the	
  Ocós	
  or	
  post-­‐Ocós	
  platform	
   that	
  represents	
  the	
  final	
  stage	
  of	
  occupation	
  of	
  the	
  mound;	
  it	
  also	
  defined	
  the	
  southern	
   edge	
  of	
  Feature	
  11,	
  a	
  large	
  and	
  deep	
  Locona-­‐Ocós	
  pit,	
  possibly	
  a	
  well	
  or	
  cistern,	
  that	
  we	
   identified	
  in	
  1992	
  in	
  Trench	
  1	
  (Figure	
  7).	
   	
   	
   	
   	
    15  House	
  Floors	
  	
   	
   Twenty	
  2	
  m	
  by	
  2	
  m	
  units	
  opened	
  around	
  Test	
  Pit	
  3	
  revealed	
  a	
  series	
  of	
  hardened,	
   sandy	
  surfaces	
  in	
  which	
  we	
  identified	
  multiple	
  postholes.	
  	
  Excavations	
  proceeded	
  by	
   natural	
  stratigraphic	
  units,	
  and	
  we	
  screened	
  all	
  culturally	
  significant	
  deposits	
  through	
  a	
   5	
  mm	
  mesh.	
  	
  Layers	
  of	
  platform	
  fill	
  were	
  not	
  screened.	
  	
  We	
  identified	
  11	
  surfaces,	
  all	
   dating	
  to	
  the	
  Locona	
  and	
  Ocós	
  phases.	
  	
  While	
  at	
  least	
  one	
  posthole	
  was	
  identified	
  in	
   each	
  surface,	
  some	
  surfaces	
  were	
  very	
  fragmentary,	
  or	
  were	
  encountered	
  in	
  a	
  corner	
  of	
   the	
  excavation	
  and	
  apparently	
  extended	
  into	
  the	
  profiles.	
  	
  The	
  central	
  portion	
  of	
  the	
   excavation	
  therefore	
  contains	
  a	
  sequence	
  of	
  just	
  five	
  surfaces.	
  	
  These	
  are,	
  in	
   stratigraphic	
  order	
  from	
  latest	
  to	
  earliest:	
  Floor	
  3,	
  Floor	
  1,	
  Floor	
  2,	
  Floor	
  8,	
  and	
  Floor	
   10/11.	
  	
  Floor	
  2	
  was	
  the	
  best	
  preserved	
  and	
  was	
  chosen	
  for	
  especially	
  careful	
  excavation	
   (Figure	
  7).	
  	
  We	
  laid	
  out	
  a	
  50	
  cm	
  by	
  50	
  cm	
  grid	
  over	
  this	
  surface	
  and	
  collected	
  1-­‐litre	
   samples	
  for	
  recovery	
  of	
  micro-­‐artifacts	
  by	
  water-­‐screening.	
  	
  Although	
  we	
  found	
   postholes	
  scattered	
  on	
  all	
  these	
  surfaces	
  we	
  could	
  not	
  conclusively	
  identify	
  a	
  floor	
  plan	
   of	
  a	
  single	
  structure.	
  	
  The	
  posthole	
  pattern	
  of	
  Floor	
  2	
  suggests	
  the	
  presence	
  of	
  a	
  small	
   structure	
  of	
  perhaps	
  6	
  m	
  by	
  4	
  m,	
  but	
  such	
  an	
  interpretation	
  is	
  preliminary	
  and	
  awaits	
  a	
   more	
  detailed	
  analysis	
  of	
  the	
  sequence	
  of	
  surfaces.	
   Ocós	
  Features	
   	
   We	
  found	
  a	
  number	
  of	
  features	
  associated	
  with	
  Floor	
  3	
  or	
  post-­‐Floor	
  3	
  deposits,	
   all	
  dating	
  to	
  the	
  Ocós	
  phase.	
  	
  These	
  include	
  a	
  trash	
  pit	
  (Feature	
  19),	
  a	
  series	
  of	
  large	
   vessel	
  fragments	
  broken	
  in	
  situ	
  (Features	
  21	
  A-­‐E),	
  a	
  burial	
  of	
  two	
  adults	
  (Burial	
  11),	
  an	
   infant	
  burial	
  (Burial	
  12),	
  and	
  a	
  disturbed	
  dog	
  burial	
  (Feature	
  20).	
   	
   Locona	
  Midden	
  Deposits	
  	
   	
   We	
  had	
  hoped	
  to	
  identify	
  Locona	
  midden	
  deposits	
  as	
  extensive	
  as	
  the	
  Ocós	
   deposits	
  we	
  have	
  recovered	
  from	
  the	
  two	
  seasons	
  of	
  excavations	
  at	
  the	
  mound,	
  but	
  we	
   were	
  not	
  successful	
  in	
  this.	
  	
  However,	
  towards	
  the	
  end	
  of	
  the	
  excavations	
  we	
  were	
  able	
   to	
  establish	
  that	
  the	
  deep	
  pit	
  Feature	
  11	
  was	
  open	
  during	
  the	
  earliest	
  Locona	
  phase	
   occupation	
  of	
  Floors	
  10/11	
  and	
  8,	
  though	
  it	
  may	
  have	
  been	
  smaller	
  and	
  shallower	
   before	
  it	
  was	
  expanded	
  during	
  the	
  Ocós	
  phase.	
  	
  We	
  found	
  a	
  small	
  sample	
  of	
  Locona	
   trash	
  underneath	
  Floor	
  11	
  in	
  what	
  apparently	
  was	
  a	
  shallow	
  drainage	
  ditch	
  flowing	
   from	
  the	
  occupied	
  sand	
  surface	
  to	
  the	
  east	
  of	
  Mound	
  12	
  into	
  the	
  Element	
  11	
  pit.	
  	
  We	
  also	
   have	
  Locona	
  material	
  from	
  the	
  floors	
  themselves.	
   	
   	
   Summary	
   	
   Two	
  seasons	
  of	
  excavations	
  in	
  Mound	
  12	
  have	
  revealed	
  some	
  of	
  the	
  complex	
   stratigraphic	
  history	
  of	
  the	
  mound.	
  	
  The	
  early	
  occupation	
  (Barra	
  and	
  Locona	
  phases)	
   consisted	
  of	
  a	
  series	
  of	
  informal	
  floors	
  or	
  living	
  surfaces	
  atop	
  a	
  low	
  sand	
  ridge.	
  	
  There	
   was	
  no	
  mound	
  or	
  platform	
  at	
  this	
  location	
  during	
  these	
  phases;	
  indeed,	
  the	
  primary	
   occupation	
  seems	
  to	
  have	
  been	
  slightly	
  to	
  the	
  east	
  or	
  southeast	
  of	
  the	
  currently	
  visible	
   mound.	
  	
  Water	
  running	
  off	
  from	
  this	
  settled	
  area	
  deposited	
  laminated	
  sediments	
  in	
  the	
   area	
  directly	
  beneath	
  what	
  is	
  now	
  the	
  mound,	
  and	
  may	
  have	
  drained	
  into	
  an	
  early	
   prototype	
  of	
  the	
  large	
  Ocós	
  pit,	
  Feature	
  11.	
  	
  During	
  the	
  Ocós	
  phase,	
  occupation	
  of	
  the	
  	
    16  	
   Figure 7. Mound 12 excavations and plan of Floor 2. 	
   area	
  continued,	
  but	
  the	
  houses	
  and	
  living	
  surfaces	
  were	
  apparently	
  moved	
  further	
  to	
   one	
  side	
  of	
  our	
  excavations,	
  possibly	
  to	
  the	
  east	
  or	
  northeast.	
  	
  Much	
  of	
  the	
  area	
  under	
   the	
  present	
  mound	
  became	
  a	
  dumping	
  ground	
  for	
  trash,	
  and	
  Feature	
  11	
  was	
  excavated	
   to	
  a	
  depth	
  of	
  over	
  3	
  m,	
  well	
  below	
  the	
  water	
  table.	
  	
  Sediment	
  and	
  trash	
  eventually	
  filled	
    	
    17  up	
  Feature	
  11	
  until	
  it	
  was	
  just	
  a	
  slight	
  depression	
  in	
  the	
  landscape.	
  	
  It	
  apparently	
  lay	
   exposed	
  for	
  some	
  time,	
  since	
  a	
  black	
  organic	
  layer	
  formed	
  on	
  the	
  surface	
  of	
  the	
  old	
  pit	
   and	
  the	
  surrounding	
  area.	
  	
  Perhaps	
  it	
  became	
  a	
  kitchen	
  garden	
  for	
  an	
  Ocós	
  phase	
  house	
   just	
  to	
  the	
  east	
  of	
  the	
  mound	
  -­‐-­‐	
  the	
  house	
  whose	
  occupants	
  threw	
  their	
  trash	
  in	
  Feature	
   19	
  and	
  buried	
  two	
  adults	
  in	
  Burial	
  11	
  and	
  an	
  infant	
  in	
  Burial	
  12.	
  	
   	
   Eventually,	
  in	
  what	
  was	
  apparently	
  a	
  single	
  construction	
  episode,	
  a	
  platform	
   more	
  than	
  1	
  m	
  high	
  was	
  constructed	
  to	
  create	
  the	
  mound	
  visible	
  on	
  the	
  surface	
  today.	
  	
   Although	
  preliminary	
  analysis	
  suggests	
  that	
  the	
  fill	
  of	
  this	
  structure	
  contains	
  no	
   material	
  later	
  than	
  Ocós,	
  the	
  fact	
  that	
  sufficient	
  time	
  must	
  have	
  elapsed	
  between	
  the	
   filling	
  of	
  Element	
  11	
  and	
  the	
  platform	
  construction	
  for	
  an	
  organic	
  deposit	
  to	
  form	
  on	
  the	
   surface	
  of	
  the	
  old	
  pit	
  suggests	
  that	
  a	
  post-­‐Ocós	
  construction	
  date	
  be	
  considered	
  for	
  the	
   platform.	
  	
  A	
  Cherla	
  or	
  Cuadros	
  phase	
  construction	
  date	
  seems	
  most	
  likely.	
  	
  In	
  the	
  slope	
   wash	
  around	
  the	
  edges	
  of	
  the	
  platform	
  (Test	
  pits	
  2	
  and	
  5	
  and	
  excavation	
  units	
  K4-­‐K8)	
   we	
  found	
  clear	
  evidence	
  of	
  a	
  Cuadros	
  occupation.	
  	
  No	
  evidence	
  of	
  a	
  structure	
  or	
   structures	
  were	
  identified	
  on	
  the	
  summit	
  of	
  the	
  platform;	
  these	
  have	
  probably	
  been	
   destroyed	
  by	
  plowing.	
   	
   	
   TEST	
  PIT	
  EXCAVATIONS	
   	
   Mound	
  4	
   	
   One	
  2	
  m	
  by	
  2	
  m	
  test	
  pit	
  was	
  placed	
  in	
  Mound	
  4,	
  located	
  approximately	
  500	
  m	
   southeast	
  of	
  Mound	
  6.	
  	
  The	
  objective	
  of	
  this	
  test	
  pit	
  was	
  to	
  examine	
  the	
  mound's	
   stratigraphy	
  and	
  obtain	
  a	
  screened	
  sample	
  of	
  artifacts.	
  	
  Mound	
  4	
  was	
  chosen	
  for	
   excavation	
  because	
  the	
  previous	
  investigation	
  by	
  Ceja	
  Tenorio	
  (1985)	
  did	
  not	
  recover	
  a	
   screened	
  sample.	
  	
  Unit	
  1	
  was	
  located	
  along	
  the	
  northern	
  margin	
  of	
  Mound	
  4,	
  whereas	
   Ceja	
  Tenorio	
  located	
  his	
  test	
  on	
  the	
  southern	
  margin	
  of	
  the	
  mound.	
  	
  	
   	
   Mound	
  4	
  contained	
  both	
  Barra	
  phase	
  (1550-­‐1400)	
  and	
  Locona	
  phase	
  (1400-­‐ 1250)	
  deposits,	
  which	
  appear	
  to	
  be	
  stratigraphically	
  distinct.	
  	
  In	
  general,	
  the	
  ceramics	
   were	
  badly	
  eroded	
  throughout	
  the	
  test	
  pit.	
  	
  The	
  uppermost	
  layers,	
  described	
  by	
  Ceja	
   Tenorio	
  (1985)	
  as	
  a	
  "sticky	
  black	
  clay"	
  appeared	
  as	
  distinctive	
  basket-­‐loads	
  of	
  mound	
   construction	
  fill,	
  similar	
  to	
  that	
  found	
  in	
  Mound	
  6	
  (Figure	
  8).	
  	
  The	
  ceramics	
  from	
  this	
   layer	
  (Levels	
  3,	
  4	
  and	
  5)	
  date	
  to	
  the	
  Locona	
  phase.	
  	
  Below	
  this	
  layer	
  was	
  a	
  thin,	
  burned	
   floor,	
  at	
  approximately	
  180	
  cm	
  BD.	
  	
  The	
  levels	
  associated	
  with	
  this	
  floor,	
  Levels	
  7,	
  8,	
  and	
   9,	
  contained	
  Barra	
  phase	
  ceramics.	
  	
  There	
  was	
  a	
  high	
  proportion	
  of	
  firecracked	
  rock	
  and	
   ground	
  stone	
  throughout	
  Unit	
  1.	
  	
  However,	
  artifact	
  densities	
  were	
  extremely	
  low	
  in	
  all	
   levels	
  of	
  the	
  excavation	
  units.	
  	
  	
   	
   	
    18  	
   	
   Figure 8. Profile of Mound 4, Unit 1. 	
   	
   	
   	
   Mound	
  5	
   	
   Previous	
  excavations	
  at	
  Mound	
  5	
  recovered	
  substantial	
  evidence	
  for	
  Barra	
  phase	
   occupation.	
  	
  The	
  excavations	
  of	
  Mound	
  5	
  had	
  three	
  primary	
  goals:	
  (1)	
  to	
  relocate	
  and	
   unearth	
  areas	
  previously	
  excavated	
  by	
  Ceja	
  Tenorio	
  in	
  1973	
  (1985);	
  (2)	
  to	
  extend	
  Ceja	
   Tenorio's	
  excavations	
  in	
  order	
  to	
  collect	
  Barra	
  phase	
  materials	
  from	
  natural	
   stratigraphic	
  contexts;	
  and	
  (3)	
  to	
  address	
  questions	
  concerning	
  Barra	
  phase	
  occupation	
   of	
  the	
  site.	
  	
  A	
  total	
  surface	
  area	
  of	
  21.65	
  m2	
  was	
  excavated,	
  not	
  including	
  the	
  previous	
   excavations	
  mentioned	
  above.	
   	
    19  	
   Figure 9. Mound 5 excavations.  	
    20  In	
  order	
  to	
  relocate	
  the	
  previous	
  excavations,	
  it	
  was	
  necessary	
  to	
  implement	
  a	
   shallow	
  (approximately	
  20	
  cm)	
  trenching	
  program	
  to	
  remove	
  soil	
  disturbed	
  by	
   ploughing.	
  	
  Trench	
  1	
  (Figure	
  9)	
  was	
  subsequently	
  expanded,	
  and	
  four	
  arbitrary	
  units	
   were	
  excavated	
  in	
  order	
  to	
  investigate	
  the	
  nature	
  and	
  extent	
  of	
  the	
  cultural	
  deposition	
   diminishes	
  to	
  the	
  southwest	
  and,	
  specifically,	
  that	
  Barra	
  phase	
  occupations	
  were	
   probably	
  restricted	
  to	
  the	
  northern	
  portion	
  of	
  the	
  mound	
  at	
  the	
  edge	
  of	
  the	
  existing	
   bajo,	
  or	
  low-­‐lying,	
  seasonally	
  inundated	
  basin.	
   	
   Prior	
  to	
  augmenting	
  Ceja	
  Tenorio's	
  excavations,	
  wall	
  profiles	
  were	
  examined	
  in	
   order	
  to	
  delineate	
  as	
  many	
  natural	
  stratigraphic	
  units	
  as	
  possible	
  (Figure	
  10).	
  	
  The	
  	
   	
    Figure 10. Profile of Unit T3-A, Mound 5. 	
   general	
  stratigraphic	
  sequence	
  for	
  Mound	
  5	
  is	
  characterized	
  by	
  alternating	
  hard	
  clay	
   and	
  sand	
  layers	
  in	
  the	
  upper	
  150	
  cm	
  and	
  by	
  alternating	
  sand	
  and	
  dark,	
  friable,	
  clayey,	
   charcoal-­‐laden	
  midden	
  in	
  the	
  lower	
  strata.	
  	
  Once	
  profiling	
  was	
  completed,	
  excavations	
   were	
  begun	
  using	
  natural	
  stratigraphic	
  units	
  as	
  level	
  designations	
  rather	
  than	
  arbitrary	
   10	
  or	
  20	
  cm	
  breaks.	
  	
  Excavations	
  at	
  units	
  T2-­‐D	
  and	
  T4-­‐D	
  (Figure	
  9)	
  recovered	
   significant	
  amounts	
  of	
  cultural	
  material,	
  including	
  ceramics,	
  obsidian,	
  fire-­‐cracked	
  rock,	
   and	
  burned	
  clay	
  (daub);	
  sparse	
  faunal	
  remains	
  were	
  also	
  retrieved.	
  	
  Carbon	
  from	
   several	
  lower	
  Barra	
  phase	
  strata	
  was	
  collected	
  for	
  future	
  radiocarbon	
  assay.	
  	
  Cultural	
   material	
  was	
  recovered	
  to	
  a	
  depth	
  of	
  approximately	
  400	
  cm	
  below	
  surface	
  and	
  the	
   existing	
  water	
  table	
  was	
  recorded	
  at	
  a	
  depth	
  of	
  450	
  cm.	
   	
    21  Excavations	
  at	
  unit	
  T3-­‐A	
  reinforced	
  the	
  observation	
  made	
  in	
  Trench	
  1	
  that	
  the	
   Barra	
  phase	
  depositions	
  were	
  concentrated	
  along	
  the	
  northern	
  end	
  of	
  the	
  mound	
  and	
   decreased	
  to	
  the	
  south;	
  sterile	
  sand	
  was	
  encountered	
  at	
  approximately	
  200	
  cm	
  below	
   the	
  surface.	
  	
  In	
  addition,	
  the	
  stratigraphic	
  sequence	
  encountered	
  within	
  unit	
  T3-­‐A	
  was	
   less	
  complex	
  than	
  in	
  excavations	
  to	
  the	
  north.	
  	
  Barra	
  phase	
  deposits	
  began	
  at	
   approximately	
  130	
  cm	
  below	
  surface.	
   	
   In	
  addition	
  to	
  recovering	
  a	
  sample	
  of	
  Barra	
  phase	
  material	
  from	
  natural	
   stratigraphic	
  contexts,	
  excavations	
  at	
  Mound	
  5	
  produced	
  evidence	
  that	
  the	
  Barra	
  phase	
   inhabitants	
  of	
  the	
  area	
  may	
  have	
  settled	
  lower	
  areas	
  near	
  the	
  bajo	
  edges	
  rather	
  than	
  the	
   high	
  ground	
  occupied	
  by	
  later	
  Early	
  Formative	
  populations;	
  the	
  shift	
  may	
  be	
  the	
  result	
   of	
  changing	
  subsistence	
  as	
  well	
  as	
  political	
  configurations	
  in	
  the	
  region.	
   	
   Mound	
  13	
   	
   We	
  located	
  Test	
  Pit	
  1,	
  a	
  1	
  m	
  x	
  2	
  m	
  unit	
  excavated	
  on	
  the	
  summit	
  of	
  the	
  mound	
  in	
   1990	
  (Clark	
  et	
  al.	
  1990),	
  and	
  then	
  proceeded	
  to	
  excavate	
  Test	
  Pit	
  2,	
  a	
  2	
  x	
  2	
  m	
  unit,	
   adjacent	
  to	
  Pit	
  1	
  on	
  its	
  eastern	
  side.	
  	
  The	
  purpose	
  of	
  this	
  excavation	
  was	
  to	
  further	
  	
   investigate	
  the	
  Cherla	
  phase	
  deposits	
  discovered	
  in	
  Pit	
  1.	
  	
  We	
  excavated	
  in	
  arbitrary	
  20	
   cm	
  levels,	
  screening	
  with	
  a	
  5	
  mm	
  mesh.	
  	
  We	
  discovered	
  more	
  Cherla	
  refuse	
  and	
  a	
   burned	
  Ocós-­‐phase	
  floor	
  in	
  our	
  renewed	
  excavations	
  in	
  this	
  mound.	
   	
   Mound	
  14	
   	
   A	
  2	
  m	
  by	
  2	
  m	
  test	
  pit	
  was	
  excavated	
  on	
  a	
  low	
  portion	
  of	
  Mound	
  14,	
  on	
  the	
   western	
  slope	
  of	
  the	
  mound.	
  This	
  test	
  pit	
  was	
  excavated	
  in	
  an	
  attempt	
  to	
  locate	
  refuse	
   deposits	
  associated	
  with	
  Mound	
  14.	
  	
  Arbitrary	
  20	
  cm	
  levels	
  were	
  used	
  and	
  each	
  level	
   was	
  100%	
  screened	
  (Figure	
  11).	
  	
   	
    	
   Figure 11. Profile of Unit 1, Mound 14.	
    	
    22  In	
  the	
  first	
  20	
  cm,	
  a	
  mixture	
  of	
  artifacts	
  was	
  found.	
  	
  This	
  zone	
  was	
  disturbed	
  by	
   ploughing.	
  	
  In	
  levels	
  2	
  and	
  3,	
  Cherla	
  phase	
  material	
  was	
  found,	
  including	
  an	
  earspool,	
   ceramic	
  spatula,	
  and	
  reconstructible	
  hollow	
  seated	
  figurine.	
  	
  Levels	
  4	
  and	
  5	
  contained	
   mixed	
  Locona	
  and	
  Ocós	
  phase	
  deposits.	
  	
  The	
  sherds	
  of	
  these	
  two	
  levels	
  were	
  badly	
   eroded.	
  	
  Levels	
  6,	
  7,	
  and	
  8	
  contained	
  exclusively	
  Locona	
  phase	
  material,	
  with	
  very	
  little	
   mixing.	
  	
  The	
  artifact	
  density	
  dropped	
  abruptly	
  in	
  levels	
  9	
  and	
  10.	
  	
  At	
  the	
  bottom	
  of	
  Level	
   10,	
  a	
  borrow	
  pit	
  was	
  encountered	
  which	
  was	
  excavated	
  from	
  a	
  depth	
  of	
  190	
  cm	
  to	
  238	
   cm	
  BD.	
  	
  Very	
  few	
  artifacts	
  were	
  found	
  in	
  the	
  borrow	
  pit,	
  which	
  was	
  filled	
  with	
  a	
  fine,	
   brown	
  sandy-­‐clay.	
  	
  Sterile	
  soil	
  was	
  encountered	
  at	
  210	
  cm	
  BD	
  and	
  continued	
  to	
  the	
   bottom	
  of	
  the	
  borrow	
  pit.	
  	
  The	
  artifact	
  densities	
  were	
  high	
  in	
  Levels	
  2-­‐7	
  and	
  much	
  of	
  the	
   material	
  appeared	
  to	
  be	
  primary	
  midden.	
  	
  No	
  evidence	
  of	
  structural	
  features,	
  such	
  as	
   house	
  floors	
  or	
  postholes,	
  was	
  found	
  in	
  the	
  test	
  pit.	
  	
  	
   	
   	
   ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS	
   	
   Many	
  individuals	
  and	
  institutions	
  have	
  contributed	
  to	
  the	
  success	
  of	
  the	
  present	
   project.	
  	
  We	
  are	
  grateful	
  for	
  the	
  financial	
  help	
  and	
  logistical	
  help	
  of	
  the	
  New	
  World	
   Archaeological	
  Foundation	
  (N.W.A.F.),	
  Brigham	
  Young	
  University,	
  funding	
  from	
  the	
   Social	
  Sciences	
  and	
  Humanities	
  Research	
  Council	
  of	
  Canada	
  (S.S.H.R.C.),	
  and	
  the	
  support	
   of	
  the	
  University	
  of	
  British	
  Columbia.	
  This	
  work	
  could	
  not	
  have	
  been	
  done	
  with	
  out	
  the	
   encouragement	
  of	
  the	
  members	
  of	
  the	
  Consejo	
  de	
  Arqueología,	
  Instituto	
  Nacional	
  de	
   Antropología	
  e	
  Historia	
  (I.N.A.H.),	
  who	
  we	
  thank	
  for	
  granting	
  permission	
  to	
  carry	
  out	
   our	
  research.	
   	
   On	
  the	
  coast	
  of	
  Chiapas,	
  we	
  relied	
  on	
  the	
  valuable	
  help	
  of	
  the	
  Municipality	
  of	
   Mazatán	
  and	
  the	
  Ejido	
  of	
  Buenos	
  Aires.	
  We	
  are	
  especially	
  indebted	
  to	
  many	
  people	
  in	
   the	
  municipality	
  of	
  Mazatán	
  who	
  offered	
  us	
  help	
  in	
  the	
  field	
  and	
  in	
  the	
  lab.	
  	
  We	
  are	
   grateful	
  to	
  land-­‐owners	
  Manuel	
  Palomeque	
  and	
  Concepción	
  Gómez	
  for	
  providing	
   permission	
  to	
  excavate	
  at	
  the	
  site	
  of	
  Paso	
  de	
  la	
  Amada.	
  	
  All	
  the	
  people	
  of	
  the	
  Soconusco	
   coast	
  received	
  us	
  with	
  much	
  friendship,	
  which	
  we	
  greatly	
  appreciated.	
   	
   	
   	
    23  	
   REFERENCES	
  CITED	
   	
   	
   Blake,	
  M.,	
  	
  J.	
  E.	
  Clark,	
  V.	
  Feddema,	
  R.	
  G.	
  Lesure,	
  and	
  M.	
  Ryan	
   	
   1992	
   1990	
  Excavations	
  at	
  Paso	
  de	
  la	
  Amada:	
  Early	
  Formative	
  Chiefdoms	
  in	
   Southeastern	
  Mexico.	
  	
  Ms.	
  on	
  file,	
  Social	
  Sciences	
  and	
  Humanities	
  Research	
   Council	
  of	
  Canada,	
  Ottawa,	
  and	
  Laboratory	
  of	
  Archaeology,	
  University	
  of	
  British	
   Columbia,	
  Vancouver.	
   	
   Ceja	
  Tenorio,	
  J.	
  F.	
   1985	
   Paso	
  de	
  la	
  Amada:	
  An	
  Early	
  Preclassic	
  Site	
  in	
  the	
  Soconusco,	
  Chiapas.	
  	
   Papers	
  of	
  the	
  New	
  World	
  Archaeological	
  Foundation,	
  49.	
  Provo,	
  Utah.	
   	
   Clark,	
  J.	
  E.,	
  and	
  R.	
  G.	
  Lesure	
   1992	
  	
   Investigaciones	
  del	
  Formativo	
  Temprano	
  del	
  Litoral	
  Chiapaneco:	
  Segunda	
   Temporada.	
  	
  Preliminary	
  Report	
  to	
  the	
  Instituto	
  Nacional	
  de	
  Antropología	
  e	
   Historia,	
  Mexico.	
  	
  	
  Ms	
  on	
  file,	
  Department	
  of	
  Anthropology,	
  Brigham	
  Young	
   University,	
  Provo,	
  and	
  Instituto	
  Nacional	
  de	
  Antropología	
  e	
  Historia,	
  México.	
   	
   Clark,	
  J.	
  E.,	
  M.	
  Blake,	
  P.	
  Guzzy,	
  M.	
  Cuevas,	
  and	
  T.	
  Salcedo	
   	
  	
  	
  	
   1987	
   El	
  Preclásico	
  Temprano	
  en	
  la	
  Costa	
  del	
  Pacífico.	
  Final	
  Report	
  to	
  the	
  Instituto	
   Nacional	
  de	
  Antropología	
  e	
  Historia,	
  México.	
  Ms	
  on	
  file,	
  Department	
  of	
   Anthropology,	
  Brigham	
  Young	
  University,	
  Provo,	
  and	
  Instituto	
  Nacional	
  de	
   Antropología	
  e	
  Historia,	
  México.	
   	
   Clark,	
  J.	
  E.,	
  M.	
  Blake,	
  B.	
  Arroyo,	
  M.	
  E.	
  Pye,	
  R.	
  G.	
  Lesure,	
  V.	
  Feddema,	
  and	
  M.	
  Ryan	
   	
   1990	
   Reporte	
  Final	
  del	
  Proyecto	
  Investigaciones	
  del	
  Formativo	
  Temprano	
  en	
  el	
   Litoral	
  Chiapaneco.	
  	
  Ms.	
  on	
  file,	
  Department	
  of	
  Anthropology,	
  Brigham	
  Young	
   University,	
  Provo,	
  and	
  Instituto	
  Nacional	
  de	
  Antropología	
  e	
  Historia,	
  México.	
  	
    

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