Mobility, Ethnicity, and Ritual Violence in the Epiclassic Basin of Mexico


Within Mesoamerica, ritual violence and human sacrifice have long been topics of anthropological inquiry. In this study, we investigate how the perception of social difference contributed to the selection of victims of ritual violence at an Epiclassic (600-900 CE) shrine site in the Basin of Mexico. The Epiclassic was a period of dramatic political upheaval and social reorganization. In such a volatile geopolitical climate, aspects of individuals’ social identities, such as their residential histories or ethnicity, could have acted as powerful indicators of social difference that culminated in violence. We present preliminary reconstructions of the residential histories of a sample of these individuals using stable oxygen isotope analysis of bioapatite carbonate (n=73). Additionally, we examine the ethnicity of sacrificed individuals through geometric morphometric analysis of the variation in cranial modification form and extent (n=61). These multiple lines of evidence contribute to an ongoing project examining how diverse categorical identities predisposed individuals to suffer ritual violence during a period of socio-political upheaval and reorganization.

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Mobility, Ethnicity, and Ritual Violence in the Epiclassic Basin of Mexico. Sofía Pacheco-Forés, María García Velasco. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 445185)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 18.48 ; max long: -94.087; max lat: 23.161 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 20352