Systematic flotation survey and spatial analysis of artifacts at the submerged salt work of Ek Way Nal reveal evidence of a residence, salt kitchens, and additional activities. Ek Way Nal is one of 110 salt works associated with a Late to Terminal Classic (A.D. 600-900) salt industry known as the Paynes Creek Salt Works. Wooden posts that form the walls of 10 buildings are remarkably preserved in a peat bog below the sea floor providing an opportunity to examine surface artifacts in relation to buildings. Numerous salt kitchens have been located at the Paynes Creek Salt Works by evidence of abundant briquetage - pottery associated with boiling brine over fires to make salt. As one of the largest salt works with 10 buildings, there is an opportunity to examine variability in building use. Systematic flotation survey over the site and flagging and mapping individual artifacts and posts provide evidence that the Ek Way Nal salt makers had a residence near the salt kitchens, along with evidence of salting fish for subsistence or surplus household production. The results are compared with ethnographic evidence from Sacapulas and other salt works
Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. doi:10.1017/S0956536121000341
Cambridge University Press
Date of publication
Mckillop, Heather and Sills, Cory E., "Briquetage And Brine: Living And Working At The Classic Maya Salt Works Of Ek Way Nal, Belize" (2023). Geography Faculty Publications and Presentations. Paper 2.