Identity, ritual, and violence in the Epiclassic Basin of Mexico

Author(s): Sofia Pacheco-Fores; Christopher Morehart

Year: 2016


The practice of human sacrifice has a remarkable time depth within Mesoamerica. However, it is often misunderstood as a social practice. In this project, I investigate an Epiclassic (600-900 CE) shrine site in the northern Basin of Mexico, where over 150 male, human crania showing evidence of decapitation were unearthed. The Epiclassic period in the Basin of Mexico was a period of political fragmentation, migration, and warfare. I explore the identities of the individuals using a combination of archaeological, biological, and ethnohistoric data in order to understand the social practices embedded within their deposition. Using intra-cemetery biodistance analysis, I assess if kinship-based identities affected how particular individuals were targeted and, ultimately, deposited as victims of ritual violence.

Cite this Record

Identity, ritual, and violence in the Epiclassic Basin of Mexico. Sofia Pacheco-Fores, Christopher Morehart. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404856)

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Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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