tDAR Logo tDAR digital antiquity

Mortuary archaeology (Other Keyword)

1-25 (86 Records)

$1.87 Each, Four Feet Long and Over; $0.87 Each, Less than Four Feet: A Spatial Analysis of Coffin Type and Coffin Hardware from the Milwaukee County Poor Farm Cemetery. (2017)

Citation DOCUMENT Richard Kubicek. Patricia Richards.

Excavations at the Milwaukee County Poor Farm Cemetery (MCPFC) in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin in 1991 and 1992 recovered 1649 individuals associated with Milwaukee County’s practice from the mid-1800s through 1974 of providing burial for institutional residents, unidentified or unclaimed individuals sent from the Coroner’s Office, and community poor. In 2013, Historic Resource Management Services of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee recovered an additional 632 individual coffin burials representing...


An Accounting of the Dead: Historical Epidemiology and Big Data in the Arch Street Project (2018)

Citation DOCUMENT Nicholas Bonneau.

As of the beginning of September 2017, the remains of over 250 individuals were recovered from the building site at 218 Arch Street. While the presence of bodies in what was once the First Baptist Church of Philadelphia burial ground should not surprise us, contemporary documents and written histories of the congregation state that all burials had been moved to the Mount Mariah Cemetery in the mid-nineteenth century. The abundance of human remains left on the original site raises questions for...


An Archaeology of Aesthetics: the Socio-Economic and Ideological Elements of Coffin Plate Selection at the Spring Street Presbyterian Church (2013)

Citation DOCUMENT Katherine Hicks.

Material shifts among decorative coffin fittings reflect how past populations conceptualized death, memory, and social status.  Coffin plates recovered during the excavation of four burial vaults (ca. 1820-1843) associated with the Spring Street Presbyterian Church, New York City, were simple and uniform in design, inscribed only with the names, ages, and death dates of the individuals with whom they were interred.  This paper examines the socio-economic and ideological elements that may have...


Archaeothanatological Analysis of Mortuary Practices in the Prehistoric Sonoran Desert and Implications for Interpreting Sickness through Postmortem Processing (2018)

Citation DOCUMENT Jordan Krummel. James Watson.

The La Playa archaeological site in the Sonoran Desert represents one of the earliest agricultural settlements in northwest Mexico. Over 310 mortuary features have been uncovered during salvage excavations since the site was discovered in 1930, revealing a wide variability in mortuary practices that may reflect specific treatments for pathological or transgressive individuals after death. This paper describes analyses of burials uncovered during the 2017 field season utilizing the...


Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust in Caddoan Mortuary Ritual (2018)

Citation DOCUMENT Marvin Kay.

Sediment of varied textures and colors, ash among them, is highlighted from deliberately burnt Harlan-style charnel houses. These were erected in sub-mound pits. In one rendition that followed an earlier house burning, light gray ash alternates in the superior, or upward, position with the black charcoal layer of a collapsed burnt thatch and cane roof. The ash was levelled as a platform. This completed a mortuary cycle linked lineally to subsequent pyramidal mound construction. In other cases...


Beads, Burials, and African Diaspora Archaeology: Documenting a Pattern of Black and White Bead Use within African-American Mortuary Contexts (2018)

Citation DOCUMENT James Davidson.

African Diaspora Archaeology has its roots in Plantation Archaeology of the 1960s and 1970s.    One artifact initially associated with enslaved contexts was the simple blue-glass bead (though other colors were recovered), recognized by some as signifying African-derived culture and beliefs, and by others as a controversial and potentially erroneous stereotype.  Simultaneously emerging in the 1970s was the field of historical mortuary archaeology, where graves of African-Americans as well as...


The Bioarchaeology of Greater Chiriquí: Challenges, Finds, and Future Directions (2018)

Citation DOCUMENT Nicole Smith-Guzmán.

Greater Chiriquí, the pre-Columbian cultural sphere encompassing western Panama and southern Costa Rica, has been subjected to intense looting activities since the mid-19th century. Nevertheless, archaeological exploration of the area to date has successfully contextualized the nature and transitions of non-perishable material culture. However, organic remains rarely survive in funerary contexts due to the high acidity of the soil, high humidity, and high precipitation in this region. Human...


The Bioarchaeology of None: Recovery and Analysis of an Historic Coffin from Fort McAllister State Park, Georgia. (2016)

Citation DOCUMENT Rachel Black.

In the spring of 2013, the office of the Georgia State Archaeologist was contacted by personnel from Fort McAllister State Park in Richmond Hill, GA, concerning what appeared to be an historic coffin eroding out of the marsh edge. Emergency salvage excavation was conducted to recover the remaining portions of the coffin. Initial field analysis indicated a sharp shouldered, hexagonal style coffin. Neither the lid nor any mortuary hardware was recovered. The coffin’s location is within the...


Biological Kinship and Cemetery Organization in Eastern Zhou Period China (2018)

Citation DOCUMENT Tommy Budd.

The social significance of large kinship structures such as clans and lineages has been demonstrated throughout Chinese history, and kinship has in part determined social ties and participation in various social activities. Clan emblems appear on artifacts from as early as the Shang Dynasty, and kinship remains an important element of social identities in modern China. In relation to mortuary practices, kinship identities may affect factors such as mortuary assemblages and burial location. This...


A Biological Profile of an Individual from Xultún Using Bioarchaeological, Starch, and Isotopic Analyses (2018)

Citation DOCUMENT Elizabeth Hannigan. Shintaro Suzuki. Felipe Trabanino. Boris Beltran.

Micro and macroscopic bioarchaeological analyses enable archaeologists to generate biological profiles of past individuals, including characteristics such as diet, sex, age, occupational stress, pathologies, and social status, among others. In this paper, we discuss the significance of a Maya individual by constructing a biological profile from both micro and macroscopic analyses. The individual of interest was excavated during the 2012 field season at Xultún, Guatemala in a patio situated in...


The Blown Glass Beads of Garden Bay, British Columbia (2018)

Citation DOCUMENT Stephanie Halmhofer.

In May 2015, a disturbed burial was uncovered in Garden Bay, British Columbia, within close proximity to the large shíshálh village site of Sexwamin (DjSa-3). Found in association with the burial were 244 intact smooth, unadorned mold-blown (SUMB) glass beads and 40 SUMB glass bead fragments. Due to their extremely fragile nature, blown glass beads are rare in archaeological contexts and the beads from Garden Bay are from one of only five sites in North America where SUMB glass beads have been...


Bodies, Bowls, and Burial: New Perspectives on the Bab adh-Dhra’ Mortuary Assemblage (2017)

Citation DOCUMENT Charles Morse. Meredith Chesson.

Though death may seem an instantaneous experience, the treatment of death by a mortuary community provides implications for activity and identity that stretch far beyond a stilled heart. Archaeologically, we can use evidence associated with mortuary practices to inform us about lifeways and beliefs of the interred and the community at large. Mortuary contexts from the Early Bronze I (3500 – 3100 BCE) at Bab adh-Dhra’ provide just such an opportunity. The site, situated in the Southern Ghor...


Burial Distribution as a Reflection of Social Organization in Late Postclassic Tlaxcallan (2016)

Citation DOCUMENT Keitlyn Alcantara. Lane F. Fargher. Aurelio Lopez Corral. John K. Millhauser. Verenice Y. Heredia Espinoza.

The Late Postclassic state of Tlaxcallan represents a void in Aztec hegemony that is still poorly understood. Ethnohistoric studies, extensive archaeological survey and limited excavation suggest that the social and political organization of this group diverged from the empire’s policies of rule, allowing for much local authority and cooperative governance. Fargher et al. (2010) argue that a unique form of social organization may have contributed to the state’s ability to remain autonomous from...


Burial Diversity at the Angel Site: How Many People and How Many Ways? (2016)

Citation DOCUMENT Mark Schurr. Erica Ausel. Della Cook.

The Angel site is a Middle Mississippian civic-ceremonial center that sat on the northeastern periphery of the Mississippian world. Excavations at the site, especially during the WPA era and a series of archaeological field schools just after World War II, created a collection representing several hundred human burials. Previous studies of this collection have emphasized relatively intact burials, either primary fleshed inhumations or easily identified secondary burials of single individuals....


Burial Mound as Palimpsest (2015)

Citation DOCUMENT Douglas Charles.

Time perspectivism has been defined as "the belief that differing timescales bring into focus different features of behaviour" or "or different sorts of processes." These different behaviors and processes require different concepts and explanatory principles. Criticism of time perspectivism has ranged from seeing it as advocating environmental determinism to it simply being a version of Annales history. Research under the umbrella of time perspectivism has generally focused on processes...


Caches, Burials, and Vases, Oh My: Ritual Deposits in an Elite Courtyard at the Ancient Maya Site of Pacbitun, Belize (2018)

Citation DOCUMENT Sheldon Skaggs. Peter Cherico.

Recent investigations in a large, enclosed courtyard on the southwest corner of the ancient Maya site of Pacbitun, Belize, revealed evidence of successive emplacements of ritually important deposits. Initial analysis of the ceramic material suggests that the entire courtyard plaza has only one or two floors, with construction and use only during the Late to Terminal Classic period (600 – 900 CE). Five caches and two cyst graves were related directly to the plaza floor. The caches consisted...


A Comparative Bioarchaeology of Health and Status in Pre-Classical K’axob and Cuello (2018)

Citation DOCUMENT Katherine McElvaney.

This paper explores whether there is a statistical difference in rates of non-specific infection between two Maya pre-classic villages, K’axob and Cuello, and whether these findings can be correlated to social status within and between the two villages. Using representative skeletal samples from these populations, an osteological analysis is performed to determine the presence of non-specific infection markers in the form of periosteal reactions. Any signs of reaction are scored by level of...


Cultivation and Herding Practices, Fiber Colors and Textile Styles in the Paracas-Nasca Transition (2018)

Citation DOCUMENT Ann Peters.

Improving documentation of artifact assemblages in the funerary contexts of the Necropolis of Wari Kayan (Paracas site, south coast of the Central Andes) leads to identification of multiple contemporary textile styles as well as their transformation over the period of cemetery use (c. 250 BCE to 250 CE). While artifact variability in the region has largely been organized in hypothetical phases, expanded data on garment design and production details, as well as imagery, is most usefully organized...


Cut Marks and Decaying Bodies: An Experimental Study (2018)

Citation DOCUMENT Rosalind Wallduck. Silvia M. Bello.

It has been suggested that cutting into decaying bodies occurred in the past, for instance during the cleaning or dismemberment of corpses during protracted funerary rituals. However it can be difficult to confirm the timings of such interactions, particularly for secondarily deposited bones. An experimental study was therefore conceived to test whether the frequency, location and micro-morphometric characteristics of cut marks might differ on fresh compared to decaying bodies. In order words,...


Death at Birth: Changing Mortuary Practices from the Late Ptolemaic to the Romano-Christian Period in Egypt (2015)

Citation DOCUMENT Sandra Wheeler. Lana Williams. Tosha Dupras.

Human burials and mortuary practices are the result of cultural attitudes and ideological beliefs that have been selected and shaped by the living for the dead. These beliefs and concomitant mortuary practices have changed through time, thus the treatment, space, and place for the dead varies, particularly in the context of the very young. While it is likely that adults were given the opportunity to make decisions about their own place of burial, treatment of the body, or grave assemblage, in...


Death on the Early Formative Oaxaca Coast: The Human Remains of La Consentida (2015)

Citation DOCUMENT Guy Hepp. José Aguilar. Paul Sandberg.

The initial Early Formative period site of La Consentida was occupied between 1950 and 1550 calBC. This early village community on the western Oaxaca coast has produced evidence of some of Mesoamerica’s oldest known ceramics, mounded earthen architecture, and musical instruments but the site’s human remains have received little attention thus far. The people of La Consentida lived and died during a period of social and economic transformations, including the establishment of sedentary villages,...


Entre símbolos de poder y género. Nuevas Interpretaciones sobre la Señora de Cao (2018)

Citation DOCUMENT Arabel Fernandez.

Excavaciones en el segundo templo de la Huaca Cao Viejo del Complejo Arqueológico El Brujo (valle de Chicama, costa norte centroandina), revelaron un hallazgo sin precedentes en la arqueología peruana. Este sector fue el lugar de enterramiento de tres personajes de alto estatus social, acompañados de otros dos individuos de menor jerarquía. En esta oportunidad presentaremos los resultados del proceso de apertura del fardo del personaje femenino conocido como la Señora de Cao. Diversos factores,...


Establishing Cultural Affinity through Multiple Lines of Evidence (2018)

Citation DOCUMENT Joseph Hefner. Michael Heilen.

Repatriation and reburial efforts following the 2006-2008 excavation of the Alameda-Stone cemetery—a multiethnic, historical-period cemetery in downtown Tucson, Arizona—required a determination of cultural affinity for all human remains recovered from the civilian section. Goldstein played a key role in developing for the project a transparent and objective biocultural approach to determining cultural affinity that overcame problems encountered by previous projects in assessing cultural...


Examination of Mortuary Ritual Associated with Construction Events in peripheral sites of the Motul de San Jose polity, Peten, Guatemala (2015)

Citation DOCUMENT Megan Greenfelder.

This poster presents preliminary mortuary and human osteological data from the Proyecto Arqueologico Periferia de Motul de San Jose 2013 and 2014 field seasons, examining several aspects of mortuary ritual associated with periods of construction and site expansion at the sites of Kante’t’u’ul and Chachaklu’um, located approximately 2 and 5km from the core of the Motul de San Jose polity, respectively. Occupation at Kante’t’u’ul ranged from the Late Preclassic to the Early Post-Classic, while...


Exploring the Evidence for Infectious Diseases in Byzantine Thebes, Greece (2018)

Citation DOCUMENT Maria Liston.

The excavation of an early and middle Byzantine cemetery, located in the former Sanctuary of Ismenion Apollo in Thebes, Greece, has provided an opportunity to examine the impact of infectious diseases in post-Classical Greece. The cemetery appears to be associated with a previously undocumented hospital, probably connected with the nearby church of St. Luke the Evangelist. The skeletons were found in rectangular rock-cut graves, all of which contained multiple burials. Two non-standard graves...

Next
Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America