Bureaucratic intransigence in a third-world country is quite like bureaucratic intransigence in a supposedly first-world country. My US archaeology professor resource-person has counseled me to seek Honduran university professors in order to iniciate further study of local ancient sites due to the country’s violence-prone reputation preventing foreign experts from becoming involved. My contact with these local academics, however, reveals a lack of money to pursue the most basic efforts. Instead, officials want me to reveal my sources in order to hunt down illegal possession of artifacts and possibly confiscate the ancient objects. In Honduras, excavating antiquities is prohibited, even on private property. The populace has no confidence in government officials: they avoid them like the plague.
Time passes quickly when one is having fun and living life to the max. I have been so busy with the children at the Home, with my friend Celeste and her family, and with my gardening that the weeks just slide away and before you know it another month has passed. My work trying to inspire an archaeological interest in the ancient buried indigenous riches is at an impasse. No one from the university in Tegucigalpa has contacted me. The students annual summer solstice journey to the nearby El Chircal pyramids did not materialize. The bureaucratic inertia is maddening but I will not be discouraged. Meanwhile I will continue to enjoy. My motto is: Do what you love with the folks who you love. See the baby corn above? I have squash, tomatoes, green beans, and corn growing. There’s more to come.
On a grassy plateau in the rolling foothills above La Paz lies a 42-acre plot of land where a friend was digging holes on his property to plant banana trees. The Valley of Comayagua is not known as the Valley of Rocks for nothing: the area where Mr X chose to dig, however, has a different type of soil. I reached down to pick up a handful of dark, moist earth similar to compost, loamy and soft. The gentleman thinks this area where he found the 1,500-year-old Lenca ollas was an ancient cemetery because he also unearthed human bones that were buried with the ollas. I have contacted a University of California anthropologist, she who dated the ollas, and she provided me with contact information for a Honduran archaeologist. We have communicated and I hope an arrangement can be made to initiate further government-sanctioned exploration of the site. In the foothills surrounding the plateau can be seen terraces carved into the hillsides indicating a possible ancient human settlement.
A University of California, Berkeley anthropology professor has advised that the four ollas in previous posts are of the Santa Rita class of Ulua Polychrome tradition, 550 – 650 A.D., but never in association with human burials.
A friend excavated these ancient Lenca ollas from his property along with the bones of a long-buried skeleton: his wife made him get rid of the bones. This is the second site in the municipality of La Paz that I know of from which artifacts thousands of years old have been dug out of the ground. I haven’t yet visited the first site from which the other olla pictures which I posted earlier were discovered at a construction project. But tomorrow I will be visiting the excavation site that produced these two excellent pieces of ancient pottery, one completely intact. I will take pictures to help establish provenance.