Mortuary Practices of the Pre-Latte and Latte People of Guam Based on Data from the Naton Beach Site

Author(s): Cherie Walth

Year: 2015


The large sample of Pre-Latte and Latte period burials from the Naton Beach Site on Guam offers an opportunity to examine the differences and similarities in the mortuary practices. This poster examines several research questions: What is the pattern of burials in terms of location within the site? Do the patterns relate to potential residence areas? What is the pattern of internment in terms of orientation, position, placement, age, gender, and grave goods? A cluster analysis was completed by affiliation to identify spatial units using a k-means algorithm in the ArcGIS program. The results indicate that both groups had some cohesive clusters that likely represented burial beneath or adjacent to a structure. There were similarities in the body position and orientation, suggesting a similar world view. In terms of horizontal social positioning, both groups are primarily kin based with the Latte having some residence based groups. Vertical social positioning based on the presence and quantity of grave goods, indicate that both have some individuals of a higher social position than others. For both groups, there are a number of individuals that were not in or near a cluster. Further research on the social organization and ethnicity is underway.

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Cite this Record

Mortuary Practices of the Pre-Latte and Latte People of Guam Based on Data from the Naton Beach Site. Cherie Walth. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397611)

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Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: 111.973; min lat: -52.052 ; max long: -87.715; max lat: 53.331 ;