Эти участки расположены в морской лагуне, окруженной мангровым лесом (вечнозеленым лиственным лесом). Повышение уровня моря полностью погрузило участки под воду, а сырая мангровая почва, или торф, сохраняет древесину, которая обычно разлагается в тропических лесах Центральной Америки.

Найденный инструмент из жадеита является первым в своем роде, который был восстановлен с неповрежденной деревянной ручкой. Анализ структуры древесины показывает, что ручка сделана из палисандра, или центральноамериканского розового дерева (Honduras rosewood).

Хотя инструмент из жадеита, вероятно, не использовался для работ по древесине или твердым материалам, отмечают ученые, его, возможно, применяли в других работах на соляных участках: например, для очистки соли, разделки и очистки рыбы или мяса.

Источник: www.lsu.edu

Anthropologists have discovered a tool made of translucent jadeite with an intact rosewood handle in Belize, at the site where the ancient Maya treated sea salt. The discovery of these high-quality materials – jadeite and rosewood – used for tools shows that salt workers played an important role in the market economy of the Mayan civilization more than 1000 years ago, according to the website of the University of Louisiana (USA). An article with the results of the study has been published in the journal Antiquity.

"Salt miners were successful entrepreneurs who were able to obtain high-quality tools for their craft through the production and distribution of the basic biological need – salt. Salt was in demand in the Mayan diet. We found that it was also suitable for storing valuable property and was used as an important preservative for fish and meat," said the first author of the study and anthropologist from the University of Louisiana, Heather McKillop.

Jadeite is a green mineral that looks like jade, but is less common than jade and is valued higher. During the classical period (300-900 ad), translucent jadeite was usually used to make unique products: plaques, figurines and earrings – for members of the Royal family and other members of the elite. However, Heather McKillop and her colleagues discovered a working tool from a valuable mineral at a salt mining site in southern Belize called Ek Way Nal. This site is part of a network of 110 ancient salt sites, covering an area of about eight square kilometers, discovered by McKillop in 2004.

These sites are located in a marine lagoon surrounded by mangrove forest (evergreen deciduous forest). Sea-level rise has completely submerged areas, and raw mangrove soil, or peat, preserves wood that is normally decomposed in the tropical forests of Central America.

The found jadeite tool is the first of its kind that has been restored with an intact wooden handle. Analysis of the structure of the wood shows that the handle is made of rosewood, or Central American rosewood (Honduras rosewood).

Although the jadeite tool was probably not used for work on wood or solid materials, scientists say, it may have been used in other work on salt sites, for example, for cleaning salt, cutting and cleaning fish or meat.