Ashes to ashes, dust to dust : the role of wood in ancient maya funerary sequences

Author(s): Hemmamuthé Goudiaby; Lydie Dussol

Year: 2017


From 2014 to 2016, the intensive excavation of the residential unit 5N6 in Naachtun (Guatemala) has yielded 13 burials intricately linked with the evolution of the architecture. Put together, these funerary contexts allow for a fine-scale reconstruction of the local dynamics and everyday life in the unit. However, funerary archaeologists often fail to consider the burial itself as a micro-context, a combination of significant gestures and actions that can be analyzed using the same principles as those used in a larger scale.

The presence of layers of ashes and charcoal in the ancient maya burials is a very well-known fact. Spatial analysis adapted to the dimensions of single burials demonstrate the existence of ritualized, cultural selection of the woods rather than random deposits. When combined with archaeothanatology, this fine-scale analysis gives us a new insight on ancient maya funerary practices as a whole.

Cite this Record

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust : the role of wood in ancient maya funerary sequences. Hemmamuthé Goudiaby, Lydie Dussol. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430023)


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15281