Sunday, June 30, 2013

Shovel testing

After several days of rain, which made the dirt road impassable, we got to work this past Thursday at Isla San Francisco, a small island of forest just south of Santa Ana del Yacuma. Before we open a larger excavation, we are digging small "shovel tests", which are about 50 centimeters across, and help us determine whether or not people lived at this place in the past. In this picture, Mary Luz Choque, Alex Rivas and Mabel Ramos (left to right) are discussing the shovel test that can just be seen at the bottom center of the picture. This was one of the first tests on Thursday, and it is out in the open savanna just north of the forest. The line of shovel tests continues to the south, through the forest and out to the other side. -JW

Friday, June 21, 2013

Ferris Wheel

June 17, 2013
Alex and I ventured into La Paz to try and find the stadium, armed with the hotel map, we made our way out into the city. Unfortunately, we could find then entrance to the parque urbano central, which (we think) the stadium is on the other side of. Tomorrow is another day. On the walk back toward la plaza de los estudiantes, where our hotel is, Alex spotted a Ferris Wheel, so naturally we went to find it. There was a Peruvian food festival this weekend which we missed, but the remnants of it were still present. The Ferris Wheel and a 'viking ship' ride were still operating, and there were vendors cleaning up and breaking down their stalls. We paid 16bs and rode in the pink, Miley Cyrus Ferris Wheel car (are they called cars?). This city is full of cultural events and takes pride in its diverse cultural heritage, we're glad we could catch the end of the Peruvian food festival, although we enjoyed neither Peruvian culture or food. Now we know yet another plaza where events are held and will be careful to check it out if we remain in the city. --RK

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Blogging from Bolivia

The blog is going to take a new direction for the next six weeks or so, and post from our fieldwork in Bolivia. With me in the field this season is an excellent crew, and I hope that as a group we will be able to post at least a few times per week, with contributions in both Spanish and English. I'll ask each of our guest bloggers to introduce themselves as they post, but I can tell you that we have two students from the University of Central Florida, Rachael Kangas and Alex Rivas, and two students from the Universidad Mayor de San Andres, Mabel Ramos and Mary Luz Choque. The photo above is from the Hotel El Dorado in La Paz, looking up through the city towards the altiplano and El Alto.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Lake returning to the Mamoré River

This photo was taken on the banks of the Mamoré, looking across at an oxbow lake as it empties back into the river. We had come to the edge of the big river as part of our survey and reconnaissance around Santa Ana in 2007. When a lake like this one breaks through the bank and pours back into the river, a huge number of fish comes along for the ride, and this fact is not lost on the birds that congregate over the breach, feasting on the fish. The lake is connected to the river for much of the year in the wet season (perhaps December to May), and then is isolated during the dry season (perhaps June to November). These kinds of seasonal changes are obviously important to plants, animals and people today, and they were likely important in the pre-Columbian past as well. This photo was taken on June 14, 2007, with a Canon PowerShot A640.