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SaltWhite Gold of the Ancient Maya$
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Heather McKillop

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780813025117

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813025117.001.0001

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The Punta Ycacos Salt Works

The Punta Ycacos Salt Works

A New Source of Salt for the Late Classic Maya

(p.29) 2 The Punta Ycacos Salt Works

Heather Mckillop

University Press of Florida

This chapter discusses three important sites of salt works and production in the Punta Ycacos Lagoon which were submerged by the rise of the sea level and which were hidden from the modern view until they were discovered underwater in 1991. These three Punta Ycacos salt work sites are the Stingray Lagoon site situated in the middle of the Punta Ycacos Lagoon, and David Westby and Orlando's Jewfish, both located offshore. The chapter also discusses the discovery of a possible new source for salt at the Killer Bee Site which was discovered in the adjacent mangroves. All of these sites suggest that Punta Ycacos were special-purpose activity areas which consisted of ceramics displaying similar forms and fabrications which were believed to be used as primary equipment for salt production and salt works. The discovery of the bigger pottery shards which largely contrasts to the smaller size of pottery shards at other Port Honduras sites suggest an absence of postdepositional site trampling which strongly indicates that the Punta Ycacos salt works were submerged soon after they were abandoned due to sea-level rise.

Keywords:   salt works, salt production, Punta Ycacos Lagoon, salt work sites, sea-level rise

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