I don’t have just one cave project, but instead I’m running a “hegemony” (a disorganized empire) of projects…
- One is in the highlands of Semetabaj – my wife’s Kakchiquel hometown – with co-director Carlos Alvarado (Universidad Del Valle)
- A big excavation is at the ruins of the ancient city of Cancuen in the Vanderbilt owned Pasion River jungle with co-director Paola Torres (University of San Carlos)
- The Raxruja Viejo project is in collaboration with the French with my co-director Chloe Andrieu (CNRS) and assistant co-director, Julien Sion (Sorbonne)
- There are also cave explorations coordinated by the same team of the Raxruja Viejo project
- And finally, the exploration and reconnaissance led is by this year’s A Team – me, Guicho (a.k.a. Luis Fernando Luin), and our “security man” Julio Lopez. In addition to exploration, this involved negotiations with the really “big men” of the region to get permission to work in certain zones, but that we didn’t film for fear of losing our testicles to a machete!
After all negotiations had succeeded, we still needed to go to each potential excavation site to meet with the local Q’eqchi’ Maya elders councils to ask permission to work there, and then go to convince the local school teachers (who are influential), and then give (generator powered) power-point talks in each area, and then get the permission of Maya family farmers at each site in order to work on their land.
This first set of videos (yes, part two is coming soon!) are of my supervisory visit to the cave subproject (“4” above) under Andrieu and Sion. I was checking on their progress and I took the opportunity to film some of the cave and the cave excavations.
In the video you can listen to me sharing exclusive, behind the scenes information about the site and our process. Enjoy!