Pottery Type #1: Waha Leaf Red

The first pottery type we have named is Waha Leaf Red. The sandy clay was likely collected from small creeks near Alabama that originate in the Maya Mountains and drain into the larger Waha Leaf Creek. We were able to determine the type of clay used by comparing the pottery to clay samples we collected around Alabama. First, we compared the pottery and clay using a DinoLite USB microscope in the laboratory in Maya Centre. The samples were exported with permission from the Belize Institute of Archaeology (IA) and we conducted thin section petrography to confirm our initial observations. Waha Leaf Red pottery has a red paste that was used to make a variety of vessel forms from jars used to transport water and bowls used to serve food. The soil around Alabama is acidic and slips are often not preserved but occasionally a deep red slip can be observed on some sherds. The use of clays related to the Waha Leaf Creek, and the red color of the paste and slip, provided valuable information that factored into how we assigned this pottery the Waha Leaf Red type name. This is one of two pottery types produced locally at Alabama. Stay tuned for our next pottery description!