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Agency

Caddo Archeology Journal

Abstract

The Caddo salt makers at the Drake’s Salt Works Site Complex in northwestern Louisiana played a critical role in the production and trade of salt during the eighteenth century. Not only was salt used to season food, it would have also been important in the preparation of animal hides and the preservation of meat. Using archaeological data from recent excavations, as well as the historic record, this paper attempts to provide a reconstruction of the salt making process at Drake’s Salt Works. This process involved filtering salt-impregnated soil using water from nearby streams and boiling the resulting liquid brine in a thin-walled, standardized bowl. The salt bowls appear to have been made on site using clay deposits found beneath the salt flats. Once the liquid brine had evaporated leaving behind the solid salt, the salt cakes were removed from the salt bowl and prepared for short-term storage or traded to the French, Spanish, or other American Indian groups without direct access to this commodity.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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