The Bioarchaeology of Oaxaca: Talking with the Dead from Southern Mexico

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 80th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (2015)

Bioarchaeological research has become one of the main subdisciplines, either in archaeology or in biological anthropology that has contributed to the information of ancient society through the study of human remains applying different theories and methods. Bioarchaeological research has focused on both individuals (osteobiographies) and populations. From its origin, bioarchaeology has positioned itself in diverse topics such as gender, identity, violence, ethnicity, and so on in different geographic areas. The main aim of this symposium is to put together diverse topics from bioarchaeological specialists who have been working in the area of Oaxaca, Southern México, among groups such as the Zapotecs, Mixtecs and the Chontal people as an example. This symposium is the first academic forum either in the US, Mexico, or in other countries to invite and concentrate a variety of Mexican and foreign researchers to present, share, discuss and enrich the bioarchaeology of Oaxaca.

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-14 of 14)

  • Documents (14)

  • The Bioarchaeological paradigm of human remains decay in the Zapotec mortuary and funerary rituals (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Ricardo Higelin Ponce De Leon.

    Archaeological, iconographic and ethnohistorical sources have been used to examine diverse cultural practices of Zapotec society before European contact. Cultural practices related to violence and warfare, such as captive taking for ritual sacrifice and slave labor, played an important role in Zapotec imperial expansion during the Late Formative through the Classic period. In the Valley of Oaxaca research has been done to understand these cultural practices. Whatever, bioarchaeological data to...

  • The Bioarchaeology of the Cerro de la Cruz Cemetery (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Arthur Joyce. Arion Mayes. Bethany Weisberg. Chris Morgan.

    This paper discusses preliminary bioarchaeological findings from the Late Formative cemetery at Cerro de la Cruz in the lower Río Verde Valley on the Pacific coast of Oaxaca. The Cerro de la Cruz cemetery has figured prominently in a long-running debate over the hypothesized conquest of the region by Monte Albán. We discuss the results of detailed bioarchaeological analyses of four individuals from the cemetery in the context of an ongoing regional study. Although taphonomic processes...

  • Children as social actors within the domestic group at Monte Albán, Oaxaca. Mexico (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Lourdes Marquez-Morfin. Ernesto Gonzalez-Licon.

    This paper starts from a micro and qualitative approach to describe and analyze the social position of individuals: children, women and men within various domestic units in Monte Alban, Oaxaca, through archaeological indicators of prestige, power and wealth. The methodology uses funerary practices and its meaning in social terms within the domestic group, to identify the social role especially of children, a sector of the population rarely studied. The location of burials into de domestic unit...

  • Death on the Early Formative Oaxaca Coast: The Human Remains of La Consentida (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only 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,...

  • The elite of Monte Albán as biosocial group. Methodological considerations. (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Ernesto Gonzalez-Licon.

    In this paper we present a brief outline of what has been considered the elite into the Mesoamerican world. The pros and cons of mayor archaeological indicators used to identify and/or define the elite. Our research goal is to approach the elite as a biological group, not only the ruler itself. The evaluation of the ruling elite from different aspects such as demography, gender relations, funerary practices, health conditions, diet and disease, hierarchy and inequality among its members and...

  • Intra-and-inter Regional Variation of Dental Modification and Social Complexity: a Test Case from the Lower Río Verde Valley, Oaxaca (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Arion Mayes. Sarah Barber. Arthur Joyce. Christopher Morgan.

    Dental modifications are symbolic representations permanently etched into human dentition that can have different cultural interpretations. Often done for aesthetic purposes, these modifications may reflect status, represent social inclusion or exclusion, or display regional variation. Bioarchaeological analysis of skeletons from three sites (Yugüe, Loma Don Genaro, and Río Viejo) from the Lower Río Verde Region of Oaxaca, Mexico (100 CE-800 CE) shows an increase in the frequency of dental...

  • La Tumba 239: Osteobiografias y análisis de un asentamiento del formativo tardío en la periferia de Monte Albán (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Dante Garcia. Ricardo Higelin. Nelly Robles.

    Desde las primeras exploraciones de Alfonso Caso en Monte Albán y hasta fechas recientes, la capital zapoteca ha sido ampliamente estudiada por distintas disciplinas que buscan comprender a las sociedades que construyeron, habitaron y proveían a la ciudad de todo lo necesario, sin embargo, los estudios se han enfocado primordialmente en el área central y en los conjuntos monumentales que la componían. Este trabajo presenta la información bioarqueológica obtenida a partir de un rescate...

  • Living on the Dead in the Mixteca Alta, Oaxaca (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Jeffrey Blomster.

    In exploring the bioarchaeology of ancient Oaxaca, an important component is the social context of human burials. This paper explores the placement of four burials, containing seven individuals, associated with the same Yucuita phase (500-300 BCE) household at Etlatongo, Oaxaca. This household appears to have been located in the same space for several generations, shifting slightly both horizontally and vertically through time. These burials are associated with the first occupation of this...

  • Mortuary practices in the Nejapa region of Oaxaca, Mexico (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Stacie King. Ricardo Higelin Ponce de Leon.

    To date, we have documented or recovered the remains of over 15 individuals in the Nejapa region of Oaxaca. This paper summarizes these finds and takes a first step in comparing the mortuary practices of Nejapa to those in other regions of Oaxaca. Eight individuals were found buried nearby one another at the site of Majaltepec, an early Colonial period town in the mountains surrounding Nejapa. Morphoscopic dental analyses indicate the presence of at least 4 younger individuals between 15 and 21...

  • Oaxaca and its Eastern Neighbors in Prehispanic Times: Population Movements from the Perspective of Dental Morphological Traits (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Andrea Cucina.

    The dynamic interaction among human groups in Prehispanic Mesoamerica led to population exchange and migrations that have began to be untangled from a bioarchaeological perspective. Still, little is known about the demic biological exchange between Southern Sierra Madre populations and their coeval Eastern neighbors along the isthmic and Maya corridors. The present paper focuses on dental morphology and affinities among Prehispanic settlers that inhabited the present state of Oaxaca (Mexico)...

  • An Osteobiography of a Oaxacan Chontal Young Adult Female (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Martha Alfaro. Dr. Andrea L. Waters-Rist;. Danny Zborover.

    Skeleton Sk-CV-01 is a female around 18 years of age, carefully buried in a stone cist in the Chontal Highlands of southern Oaxaca during the Late Postclassic or Early Colonial period. She is the first and only human skeleton known from controlled excavations in the area, and the archaeological context and historical documentation associate her with the Chontal people who still inhabit the region. In this presentation the results of the archaeological, osteological, and stable isotope analyses...

  • Representación Bioarqueológica de la colectividad funeraria en San Sebastián Etla, Oaxaca. (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Jose Cervantes Perez. Tito Mijangos. Agustin Andrade Cuautle.

    El estudio de los entierros colectivos es una de las vertientes que presentan las prácticas funerarias, y mediante el registro minucioso en campo y el análisis de los materiales arqueológicos en el laboratorio, es posible estudiar de manera integral y multidisciplinaria, un trabajo en conjunto entre la antropología física y la arqueología de dichas expresiones culturales. La investigación que será presentada se enfoca en la distribución y depósito de una serie de esqueletos humanos excavados en...

  • The Rio Viejo Weaver: Burial Practices, Osteobiography, and the Early Classic Collapse (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Sarah Barber. Arion Mayes. Arthur Joyce.

    The Early Classic (AD 250 – 500) in the lower Río Verde valley was marked by political fragmentation and significant transformations in social, political and economic relations following the collapse of a regional polity centered at Río Viejo. How the region’s inhabitants navigated these transformations remains poorly understood, although regional-scale evidence from settlement patterns and excavation indicates the abandonment of many communities and major changes in the way people engaged with...

  • Un estudio sobre la iconografía de los huesos grabados de la Mixteca Baja (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Angel Rivera.

    Los huesos humanos grabados, encontrados como ofrenda en depósitos funerarios, representan un marcador especial del gremio sacerdotal de la sociedad del Oaxaca antiguo. Por un lado, al ser huesos humanos, establecen un lazo con los ancestros del grupo; por otro, la imaginería que muestran permiten establecer el tipo de rituales y oblaciones a los que estaban dedicados. Más aún, estos objetos eran considerados como reliquias y en algunos casos se les ilustra en la imaginería de los códices...