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.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.