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1 September 2008 Pine As An Element Of Household Refuse In The Fertilization Of Ancient Maya Agricultural Fields
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Abstract

Research on agricultural terraces at the ancient Maya site of Chan in Belize has provided data on early intensive farming practices. Excavations and paleoethnobotanical analysis yielded pine charcoal, a tree not currently found in the immediate vicinity of the site. Pine has been studied primarily as an item of ritual or economic importance, and its significance in an agricultural context has gone unexplored. In this article I suggest that wood ash from household refuse, indicated by small fragments of pine charcoal recovered from agricultural terraces, was used to amend agricultural soil. Understanding the practical and ritual use of pine in can illuminate the ways in which the ancient Maya maintained soil fertility and aid in our reconstructions of agricultural practices.

Andrew R. Wyatt "Pine As An Element Of Household Refuse In The Fertilization Of Ancient Maya Agricultural Fields," Journal of Ethnobiology 28(2), (1 September 2008). https://doi.org/10.2993/0278-0771-28.2.244
Published: 1 September 2008
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