Posted by: Johan Normark | April 1, 2009

San Pedro Sacalaca

The interesting small cave site of San Pedro Sacalaca is located three km northeast of Sacalaca. The CRAS project worked there in 2004 and 2005.

Map of San Pedro Sacalaca

Map of San Pedro Sacalaca

The site has a small and narrow cave which can be entered from a sascabera (mine for limestone marl) located in a rejollada (sinkhole). It is located in the eastern part of the map. The entrance to the passage has been walled off at some time but the wall has been breached. Sealed off cave entrances are known elsewhere. A small test pit was excavated at the cave entrance. It included Middle Formative, Late Formative, Terminal Classic and Postclassic sherds. There are several sherds on the surface inside the cave indicating human activity but the cave itself does not seem to have been modified. The cave snakes below a nearby structure which consists of a platform and a large foundation brace with up to one m tall uncut stone, an architectural form often associated with the Late Formative.

Wall inside the cave

Wall inside the cave

A hill west of the cave has also been modified into a large platform that contains several structures and a small sascabera. Roughly 50-150 m west of this hill are two fairly large platforms connected by a low wall or a narrow walkway/causeway.

Feature connecting two platforms

Feature connecting two platforms

The southern platform has traces of two smaller platforms that probably supported superstructures. The northern platform has three superstructures. This platform was test pit excavated. No floor was encountered but the excavated materials mainly included Late Formative sherds, with some Middle Formative sherds in the lowest level. However, Terminal Classic sherds were also found in the same lot. The general lack of Early and Late Classic data from San Pedro Sacalaca suggests that this territory was a smooth space during these periods. It was striated during the Terminal Classic and possibly during the Middle and Late Formative. The Postclassic incensario sherds in front of the cave opening may suggest a smoothing space related to rituals.

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