Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Rain Drops Keep Falling on... Our Mound

Since the rainy season began in mid-July, Pueblo Grande has received 3.56 inches of rain.  Multiple storms during the month of August hit the site especially hard.  Drop boxes were submerged in water.  We had to look for one of the drain covers, which had floated about 75 feet south of its original location. 

Submerged drain
The southern walls of what we call the “Solstice Room,” stabilized last spring, are badly in need of capping.  Check out the before and after photographs below.

Solstice Room Wall Before Rain
Solstice Room Wall After Rain

A portion of the interior wall of one of the northwest compound rooms is collapsing.  This is somewhat unusual, because damage typically hasn’t been occurring on the north side of the rooms. 

The exception, of course, is the northeast wall of the platform mound, which never really dries out completely, and therefore, is easily affected by the elements.

NE Wall After July Rains
NE Wall After August Rains

Jim Britton walked the site last week and remarked that the deep channels that formed as a result of water careening over the side of the platform mound were the worst he has ever seen.  He has been the leader of the PGM Mudslingers for about 19 years, so he would know!

The PGM Mudslingers start work in September, but in the meanwhile, we are making minor repairs (filling holes, cleaning and re-cleaning drop boxes, etc.).  On September 15, the mudslingers and other volunteers, in addition to re-pointing and capping walls, will probably be filling many deep channels and holes with “clean” fill dirt.  I think there will be plenty of work for everyone who shows up and wants to help.

Posted by Laurene Montero, City Archaeologist

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