Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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p. vii

List of Figures

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pp. ix-xii

List of Maps

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pp. xiii-xiv

List of Tables

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pp. xv-xvi

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Foreword

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pp. xvii-xx

The Maya have fascinated scholars and lay-public alike since their ruined jungle-covered cities were brought to the world’s attention by explorers in the mid nineteenth century. Today hundreds of thousands of tourists visit these once remote archaeological...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xxi-xxii

The 1991 and 1994 fieldwork upon which this study is based was made possible by permits from the Belizean government’s Department of Archaeology and the Department of Forestry, through Archaeological Commissioner Harriot Topsey...

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1. Salt as a Maya Trade Good

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pp. 1-28

Although basic to daily human existence, salt was scarce in the southern Maya lowlands of Guatemala and Belize where the Classic period civilization developed between a.d. 300 and 900 (map 1.1). The prevailing interpretation is that salt...

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2. The Punta Ycacos Salt Works: A New Source of Salt for the Late Classic Maya

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pp. 29-50

Three sites in Punta Ycacos Lagoon, submerged by a rise in sea level, were hidden from modern view until they were discovered by underwater reconnaissance in 1991 (figures 2.1– 2.3). They are Stingray Lagoon, located 300 m in the middle...

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3. Salt-Production Equipment

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pp. 51-114

By analogy with the modern Maya in the highlands of Guatemala and elsewhere, the assemblages of artifacts at the Punta Ycacos Lagoon sites were interpreted as evidence of salt production, in which brine was boiled in a dozen or more...

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4. The Organization of Salt Production: Occupational Specialization among the Late Classic Maya

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pp. 115-134

Craft production, often correlated with complex societies, has been difficult to identify archaeologically for the Classic Maya (Adams 1970; Becker 1973; Foias and Bishop 1997; Fry 1980; McKillop 1995a; Rice 1987a; Shafer and Hester...

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5. Salt Production and Sea-Level Rise

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pp. 135-174

The Punta Ycacos salt work shops were submerged by a sea-level rise that inundated the Yucatan coasts of Belize and Mexico. The excavation of 10 inundated sites dating to the Classic period in the Port Honduras region documents this late Holocene sea-level rise for the first time in southern Belize. The evidence has...

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6. Salt Production, Trade, and Late Classic Maya Society

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pp. 175-186

Seasonal salt works were set up along the coast of Belize during the Late Classic period to meet the growing inland demand for salt. At these salt works, lagoon water was preprocessed by pouring it through salty soil in large wooden containers. This process enriched the salt content of the brine before the brine...

Appendix 1. Catalog (Location) Numbers for Artifacts from the Salt Work Shops

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pp. 187-188

Appendix 2. Weights and Counts of Fired Clay from Salt Work Shops

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pp. 189-192

Appendix 3. Catalog Numbers for Artifacts Illustrated in the Text

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pp. 193-216

References Cited

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pp. 217-216

Index

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pp. 217-222

About the Author

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pp. 246-257