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Leaving Their Mark on the Wall: Determining Sex in Ancient Maya Rock Art

Author(s): Allan Cobb ; Linda Palit

Year: 2017

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Handprints and stencils are ubiquitous elements in rock art throughout the world. Numerous well preserved examples have been noted in Maya caves. These elements provide a clue as to the sex of the person whose hand is recorded on the cave wall. Recent studies have shown that sex may be estimated with a high degree of accuracy using anthropometric hand measurements. Sex is estimated by applying a variety of mathematical models based on sexual dimorphism in hand dimensions to direct measurement from rock art elements. Measurements have been collected from hand-prints in a number of caves in Yucatan to provide a large database for this project. Sex determination from rock art elements may improve the understanding of gender roles of ancient Maya within the context of cave use.

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Leaving Their Mark on the Wall: Determining Sex in Ancient Maya Rock Art. Allan Cobb, Linda Palit. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430311)


Geographic Keywords
Central America

Spatial Coverage

min long: -94.702; min lat: 6.665 ; max long: -76.685; max lat: 18.813 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17118

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