“PLEASE PASS THE SALT” – AN ETHNOARCHAEOLOGICAL STUDY OF SALT AND SALT FERMENTED FISH PRODUCTION, USE AND TRADE IN NORTHEAST THAILAND.
Northeast Thailand is known for salt production, both today and in the past. Prehistoric salt sites are found throughout the region and ethnographic and historical data demonstrates the importance of salt as a commodity as well as for preserving and fermenting fish. This paper explores the archaeology and cultural history of salt and salt fermented fish products in Northeast Thailand and the Greater Mekong Delta region. Using archaeological, historical and ethnographic data, it addresses how the foods we eat and our preparation methods can be deeply rooted in our cultural history and identity, and discusses the ways in which they can be studied in the archaeological record to learn about the past.