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Ritual Fauna Use in an Elite Ancient Maya Burial: Examination of an Animal Long-Bone Cache in the Recently Discovered Royal Tomb at Xunantunich, Belize

Author(s): Chrissina Burke ; Katie Tappan ; Gavin Wisner ; Gregory Allen

Year: 2017

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Summary

Animal use in elite burials can provide a more holistic perspective on the importance of specific fauna as prestige goods or as status and power markers in the Maya world. This presentation discusses a discrete cache of animal long-bones located at the feet of a human burial recovered from the newly discovered royal tomb at Xunantunich during the 2016 field season of the Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance (BVAR) project. Maya zooarchaeologists have long held that the use of specific species or the identification of right or left sided elements in ritual contexts can indicate cultural ideas of masculinity, power, or social status.This presentation discusses the results of analysis, specifically skeletal elements recovered, species identification, and taphonomic signatures present to determine if these faunal remains can contribute to our greater understanding of the individual buried in the tomb and help us better understand fauna in Maya ritual.


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Ritual Fauna Use in an Elite Ancient Maya Burial: Examination of an Animal Long-Bone Cache in the Recently Discovered Royal Tomb at Xunantunich, Belize. Chrissina Burke, Katie Tappan, Gavin Wisner, Gregory Allen. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429292)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16363

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