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Seats and Domains of Sociopolitical and Sacred Power: Ritual Cave Use in the Southern Mexican Highlands.

Author(s): Carlos Rincon Mautner

Year: 2016

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Numerous caves in the Southern Mexican Highlands are found in remote locations far from settlements and presumably along boundaries between what were once Classic and/or Late Post-Classic period polities. These caves were recognized as unique features of the ritual landscape and differed in terms of location, difficulty of access, and entity venerated. While some caves seem to have had a more local, even domestic use, others were of inter-regional renown. Influenced by socioeconomic and political factors they seem to have varied widely in terms of their historical and cultural trajectories and in their impacts on collective identity and behavior. Determining which centers of power would have benefited from the sacred power of these caves, the nature of the ritual ceremonies performed in their interiors, the manner in which these, as well as long-distance pilgrimages to cave shrines would have informed and affected local beliefs and ritual life, and how access was controlled, are among the thematic questions addressed in this presentation.

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Seats and Domains of Sociopolitical and Sacred Power: Ritual Cave Use in the Southern Mexican Highlands.. Carlos Rincon Mautner. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403347)


Geographic Keywords

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