University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Sitio Conte in Real Time: February 5, 1940


February 5, 2015

Mon. Feb 5. Warm, happy, rather clear. 9 diggers & foreman. Lothrop & I troweled on large area of broken pottery & [?] in w[est]. end of trench. Merrill surveying. Photo’d skeleton & cache in Tr I & [?] took up broken broken pottery. Corning washing & selecting sherds. John [?] [?] rolls of canvas on main house. Found first small gold plaque which Corning treated with gum arabic. Many men with hangover, tomorrow is Carnival. Victor left at 11, making 8 men plus Eulogio.

-J. Alden Mason, Field Notes, Feb. 5, 1940

Mon. Feb 5. Warm, happy, rather clear. 9 diggers & foreman. Lothrop & I troweled on large area of broken pottery & [?] in w[est]. end of trench. Merrill surveying. Photo'd skeleton & cache in Tr I & [?] tool up broken broken pottery. Corning washing & selecting sherds. John [?] [?] rolls of canvas on main house. Found first small gold plaque which Corning treated with gum arabic. Many men with hangover, tomorrow is Carnival. Victor left at 11, making 8 men plus Eulogio.
Some of Mason’s writing is difficult to read. Words unable to be deciphered are marked with [?] in the transcription above.

Mason’s daily journal entry generally describes the weather, who worked on what, and the day’s main activities. On a typical day, they worked from 7 am to 4 pm with an hour break for lunch at noon.

The “9 diggers & foreman” were from the local area. They received $1.00 a day, the foreman $1.25. In later writings, Mason described them as such: “Most of men belong to one family, Ramos. 4 brothers & many other relatives. Clannish, but don’t fight with outsiders, that is with workmen from other fincas.” The foreman at this early point was Eulogio Ramos, eldest of the brothers and “more or less the patriarch of the region.” Sam Lothrop told Mason that Eulogio was a “‘witch’ (brujo), [and] that everyman on the job would quit if he gave the order, etc., and that he must be employed as foreman or favored person at higher salary.”  Mason did employ him as the foreman until he began to doubt his “authority and influence” later on and let him go with no trouble. The worker, Victor, who “left at 11” worked mainly on running errands because he had a horse and lived the closest.


Merrill’s field notes for Feb. 5, 1940.

Includes surveys of both Trench I and Trench II.  The photographs from each page are included below.
02-05-40_journal202-05-40_journal302-05-40_journal4


workmen
Fig. 1. Looking W. Feb. 5, 1940 Trench 2
General View
Photo C-5
twoskeletons
Fig. 2 Trench 1
Two skeletons
Burial or Grave 3
burial3_grid
Fig. 3. Same (as Fig. 2) with grid but not vertically down
genview
Fig. 4. General View Feb. 5, 1940
Trench 1 looking N

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