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    Jadeite artefacts at Maya sites are normally associated with ritual and ceremonial loca-tions, with high-quality jadeite reserved for elite objects. The discovery of a jadeite gouge with a wooden handle at a Classic Maya salt-working site submerged by sea-level rise—Ek Way Nal, Belize—is therefore unexpected and provides new information about the utilitarian use of this stone. The extremely high quality of this jadeite tool is particularly surprising, offer-ing new insight into the Classic Maya exchange systems and the role of salt makers such as those based at Ek Way Nal.

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    McKillop, Heather; Harlow, George; Sievert, April; Smith, C. Wayne; Wiemann, Michael C. 2019. Demystifying jadeite: an underwater Maya discovery at Ek Way Nal, Belize. Antiquity. 93(368): 502-518.


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    Belize, classic Maya, jadeite, underwater archeology, use-wear

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