Taphonomic Examination of the Skeletal Collection from Etlatongoa, Mixteca Alta, Oaxaca
Recent excavations at the Middle Formative (850 – 400 BCE) site of Etlatongo, in the Mixteca male bearing striking red stains on the anterior cranium. These findings may suggest alteration of remains associated with burial rituals. However, human remains may be modified through several post-mortem taphonomic effects, including: trauma, rodent activity, discoloring, staining, cultural modification, interment rituals, damage throughout archaeological investigation procedures, biological and environmental effects. Here we present a preliminary assessment of taphonomic variability among the Etlatongo sample, using a combination of quantitative and qualitative bioarchaeological methods to distinguish skeletal modification resulting from cultural practices vs. post-depositional alteration. We propose that from this sample there is high variability attributed to cultural modification and environmental factors. However, the state of decomposition and completeness of this collection makes distinguishing post-mortem practice indistinct in many cases.
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Taphonomic Examination of the Skeletal Collection from Etlatongoa, Mixteca Alta, Oaxaca. Alicia Gonzales, Jeffrey Blomster, Ricardo Higelin Ponce de León. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 442920)
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min long: -98.679; min lat: 15.496 ; max long: -94.724; max lat: 18.271 ;
Abstract Id(s): 22028