Marco Gonzalez, Ambergris Caye, Belize - Evidence for Salt Production


Investigations carried out at Marco Gonzalez, a Maya site on Ambergris Caye in Belize, were aimed at examining site formation processes, particularly the dynamics that led to dark surface and subsurface soils (Maya Dark Earths), which have a higher nutrient capacity than would be possible under natural conditions. Sediments of critical interest in soil formation were those deposited in the Late Classic period and associated with intensive processing. Features of the ceramics in the deposits as well as the coastal location led us to suspect salt processing. The evidence that resulted from soil micromorphological investigation of these deposits provided further supporting evidence in the identification of tidal flat muds, some of which adhered to the vessel interiors. The tidal flat sediments were likely collected to concentrate salt as brine, and the brine was then heated in the ceramic containers to drive off water and produce salt for shipment.

Cite this Record

Marco Gonzalez, Ambergris Caye, Belize - Evidence for Salt Production. Elizabeth Graham, Richard Macphail, Phillip Austin, Lindsay Duncan. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443016)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -94.197; min lat: 16.004 ; max long: -86.682; max lat: 21.984 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 20692