In the field of archaeology, insights about our past are constantly being brought into light. One of these insights is the preserved Mesoamerican Cerén Site in El Salvador. Archaeologist Payson Sheets describes and analyzes how people of Mesoamerica might have lived, in his book The Ceren Site. This book provides a peek in the life of an archaeologist, while seeing the processes of an excavation, and potentially what life might have been like during 500 AD. .
Originally discovered by a bulldozer in 1976, Sheets knew he had something marvelous on his hands, perhaps evidence that could provide a glimpse into Mesoamerican lifestyle. What made this site even more incredible was that is very well preserved, and for the most part intact, which is rare. This pre-Hispanic farming community, which once flourished, was halted to an end due to volcanic eruptions of Loma Caldera around 600 AD, but it was the ash that was responsible for the preservation of this site. To date, a total of 18 structures have been identified and 10 have been completely or partially excavated which include civic, religious and household buildings.
After reading The Ceren Site, it has exposed me more to Mesoamerican lifestyle, and how advanced they were. The Ceren Cite provided me a window into possible daily activities on the frontier of Mayan civilization. What I find exceptionally aweing is the thought process on the creation of building advanced structures for their time, such as their elaborate religious pyramids. Not only did it provide a look into the culture, but I also learned the process on how excavations are performed, and how sites are unveiled. Which in turn allows us to make connections and relationships between present people and past activities and beliefs.
Whilst reading through the pages I noted Sheets'' passion for Maya anthropology, which translated over to his work. You can see he was very dedicated to making the most of the excavation.