Excavations at Motul de San Jose

The Motul de San Jose Archaeological Project began excavations in 1998, and has conducted 7 seasons in total (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005) at this site and in its periphery.  Details and preliminary results from each field season have been published as reports entitled Proyecto Arqueologico Motul de San Jose Informes #1 (1998), #2 (1999), #3 (2000), #4 (2001), #5 (2002, #6 (2003), and #7 (2005). These are attached here.
The primary aim of these excavations was to establish the chronological parameters of human occupation and the waning and waxing history of Motul de San Jose. A secondary but still critical goal was to correlate political and economic power by identifying the economic activities that were carried out by the different socioeconomic strata residing at Motul de San Jose during its heyday in the Late Classic period between A.D. 600/650 and 800/850.
Most of the excavations conducted in this first stage of the Motul de San Jose Project have been penetrating or vertical, meant to obtain important chronological information about the site. Residential plaza groups were tested with 2 test pits and series of small shovel tests (50 x 50 cm units) that stopped at the first level of fill. These shovel tests were implemented to identify the locations of residential middens. When these were located, the shovel test was expanded to larger excavation units.
A small number of excavation operations were broader, with more substantial horizontal areas uncovered. These operations explored a royal group in MSJ15, a sub-royal residence in the Late Classic royal court in MSJ2, an elite compound in the core of the site in MSJ29, two elite compounds in the North Zone of the site in MSJ31 and MSJ39, and a non-elite compound in the North Zone in MSJ42.  These horizontal excavations revealed details about the architectural styles of Motul de San Jose, and differences in economic activities and labor investment between the socioeconomic strata resident there.
Here, you can find photographs and line drawings of the excavations from the different operations.

Click here to view descriptions of the different excavation operations and suboperations

Click here go to the Maps Page

Click here to navigate to the Unbound: Motul de San Jose site