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A Bioarchaeological Approach to Diversity and Complexity of Ancient Maya Society at Copan: Results from New Strontium and Biodistance Data

Author(s): Katherine Miller

Year: 2015

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Summary

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Copan is uniquely situated to address the question of migration and culture contact in ancient Mesoamerica. The city is nestled at the southeastern frontier of the Maya region and the western edge of culturally diverse Honduras. Copan was a dynamic urban city populated by peoples of various places of origin, affiliations, and identities. Research focused on the Copan human skeletal collection, the largest yet recovered in Mesoamerica, to explore the lives of residents in twenty-two patios from eight neighborhoods during the Late Classic period (AD 600-820). New biogeochemical and biodistance data are drawn from those who directly participated in the creation and maintenance of social organization and were subsequently interred at Copan. Radiogenic 87Sr/86Sr ratios from ancient Copanecos are compared to a new baseline for Honduras. Taken together these data provide insights into the complex social and biological relationships of Copan’s inhabitants to each other, to their neighbors, and those beyond their borders.

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A Bioarchaeological Approach to Diversity and Complexity of Ancient Maya Society at Copan: Results from New Strontium and Biodistance Data. Katherine Miller. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396921)


Keywords

Geographic Keywords
Mesoamerica


Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;

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