To Eat, Discard, or Venerate: Faunal Remains as Proxy for Human Behaviors in Lowland Maya Terminal or Problematic Deposits
Deciphering middens, feasting, ritual, or terminal deposits in the Maya world requires an evaluation of faunal remains. Maya archaeologists have been and continue to evaluate other artifacts classes, but often simply offer NISP values for skeletal elements recovered from these deposits. To further understand their archaeological significance, we analyzed faunal materials from deposits at the sites of Baking Pot and Xunantunich in the Upper Belize River Valley. We identified the species, bone elements, bone artifacts, taphonomic signatures, and quantitative ratios recovered to test whether a deposit can be identified as a midden, part of a feasting ritual, terminal ritual, or other rituals significant to the Maya. Our analyses allow us to begin building a system for using faunal remains as a proxy for interpreting the significance of these deposits. In this paper, we present our results and hope to open the conversation for future evaluations of faunal remains in similar deposits.
Cite this Record
To Eat, Discard, or Venerate: Faunal Remains as Proxy for Human Behaviors in Lowland Maya Terminal or Problematic Deposits. Chrissina C. Burke, Katie K. Tappan, Gavin B. Wisner, Julie Hoggarth, J. Britt Davis. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444065)
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min long: -94.197; min lat: 16.004 ; max long: -86.682; max lat: 21.984 ;
Abstract Id(s): 19951