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Beyond Polychrome and Greenstone: FTIR and SEM-XEDS Analysis of Fine-Grained Remains from Two Ancient Maya Royal Tombs at El Perú-Waka’

Author(s): Michelle Rich

Year: 2017

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Summary

Ample evidence suggests Classic period Maya royal tombs were intentional arrangements of symbolically-charged objects and offerings. Because of this, critical examination of the entire array of a tomb’s contents is vital. Analysis of polychrome vessels, greenstone jewels, and human remains are certainly essential. Relative to these more well-preserved or spectacular components of a mortuary assemblage, small-scale or fine-grained remains have historically tended to be understudied or overlooked, yet provide important clues about other integral elements of elaborate burial tableaux. This paper presents results of FTIR and SEM-XEDS analysis of a variety of pigment, residue, and matrix samples from royal Burials 24 and 39 at El Perú-Waka’, Petén, Guatemala. Specifically, results of these analyses permit fuller appreciation of the gamut of objects, materials, and substances utilized or incorporated in the interment of Maya elites. More broadly, these data enhance contemporary comprehension of the potential range of uses for specific materials and substances, both organic and inorganic, by ancient Maya people.


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Cite this Record

Beyond Polychrome and Greenstone: FTIR and SEM-XEDS Analysis of Fine-Grained Remains from Two Ancient Maya Royal Tombs at El Perú-Waka’. Michelle Rich. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431432)


Keywords

General
FTIR SEM-XEDS Maya Tomb

Geographic Keywords
Mesoamerica


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16440

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