|1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 Hilites||Page 1 - 2 - 3|
|Eventually it became apparent that the depth of loosely consolidated fill in the excavation area and the corresponding height of the excavation walls made further digging in these areas dangerous.|
|In order to safely investigate these areas the excavation was expanded to the east and the top of the basamento and four layers of unorganized stones and fill were removed.|
During the process of investigation, Terraces 7, 8 and 9 were found to extend across the entire west side of the basamento of the Temple of the Cross whereas Terraces 6 and 5 do not.
At the floor level of Terrace 9, the poorly preserved remains of a stucco platform was encountered. Although this platform is better preserved to the north, traces of deteriorated stucco indicate that it probably extended as far south as the approzimate centerline of the west side of the Temple of the Cross.
After four layers of fill were removed from this area, and all architectural and other features had been drawn, photographed, and recorded, it was deemed safe to return to investigate the first radar anomaly.
To do so, a two meter section of the feature directly above was removed. Beneath this feature, the mouth of a roughly circular extinct spring with a diameter of 1 meter was discovered.
|The discovery of an extinct spring or seep area associated with the soft laminated flowstones in the predicted location of Anomaly 1 strongly corresponds with the interpretations given in the GPR study.|
The GRP system was almost certainly recording marked differences in the densities between the porous and relatively soft flowstones and the surrounding limestone bedrock.
The exposed portions of Terraces 7, 8, and 9 were consolidated with soft lime mortar and a tin roof was constructed over them to protect these features from rain. The top of the tin roof was then camoflaged with palm fronds to effect a more asesthetic result.