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Analysis of Marine Sediment of Ancient Maya Saltworks in Paynes Creek National Park, Southern Belize.

Author(s): Roberto Rosado Ramirez ; Heather McKillop ; E. Cory Sills

Year: 2017

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In this paper we present the results of archaeological research at two Classic period Maya salt works currently submerged in a shallow salt-water lagoon in Paynes Creek National Park, Southern Belize. These two contexts are part of the more than 100 locations so far identified in the area where salt was produced by boiling brine over fires near wooden structures. Through the study of marine sediment recovered at excavations from sites 24 and 35, we were able to document environmental and anthropogenic changes over time. This research included loss-on ignition of 32 sediment samples, along with macroscopic and microscopic descriptions of marine sediment. The results of these marine sediment analyses, in conjunction with data on their spatial distribution and their relation with cultural remains, provide insights on the timing and rate of sea-level rise at these submerged salt works. These results advance our understanding of the abandonment of such salt production facilities in Southern Belize at the end of the Classic period.

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Analysis of Marine Sediment of Ancient Maya Saltworks in Paynes Creek National Park, Southern Belize.. Roberto Rosado Ramirez, Heather McKillop, E. Cory Sills. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431475)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15165

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America