Sunday, January 7, 2007

Cotzumalguapa Bound

Going to be taking a red-eye flight tonight to Guatemala. I'll leave LAX at 11:50 and arrive in Guatemala City a bleary 7:30AM or so. I'm prepared - though - for sleeping the entire way. At least I hope. I am hauling with me an FLIR thermal infrared camera that we rented from www.americaninfrared.com. This is a sweet camera - 14-bit resolution, false color imaging, and 0.1degree C sensitivity. Check out the crazy image of Maeve, our collie/australian shepherd hound mix. Wild. We are going to be suspending the camera from a 9' foot helium blimp (www.floatograph.com) and then studying the surface of the deposit at night (or just around dusk). As the temperatures change we expect that the buried stone architecture will cool slower than the surrounding matrix. This has worked well for other archaeologists (e.g., Ken Kvamme at the Double Ditch Site. ). We are hopeful for our work at El Baul given that we have a good solid aerial platform and an excellent camera. What we don't know is if the stone architecture is too deep to detect with thermal images. We shall certainly see!
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