Making plaster cast of footprint
University of Colorado-Boulder Professor Payson Sheets uses dental plaster to cast a footprint found on an elevated road, known as a sacbe (SOCK-bay), that was buried under 16 feet of volcanic ash. The large, white road led in and out of the Maya village of Ceren in El Salvador.
In A.D. 660, the village was blasted by toxic gas, pummeled by lava bombs and then choked by a 17-foot layer of ash falling over several days after the Loma Caldera volcano, less than half a mile away, erupted, leaving Ceren frozen in time.
Learn more about National Science Foundation-supported archaeological research taking place in Ceren in the NSF News From the Field story Buried in ash, ancient Salvadoran village shows images of daily life. (Date image taken: 2000-2015; date originally posted to NSF Multimedia Gallery: Oct. 10, 2019)
Credit: Rachel Egan, University of Colorado
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