The Zooarchaeology of La Corona: Sustenance and Symbol

Author(s): Diana Fridberg

Year: 2018


The tropical lowland surroundings of La Corona support a wide range of indigenous fauna. Zooarchaeological analysis demonstrates that the site’s ancient inhabitants made use of this diversity, exploiting many terrestrial and aquatic taxa in subsistence and ritual activity. This paper summarizes major zooarchaeological findings from the duration of the La Corona Regional Archaeological Project. Excavations at La Corona have not targeted areas expected to be "fauna rich" and have produced approximately 5,000 specimens, but this relatively low count belies the interpretive value of the material. Zooarchaeological remains at La Corona from a discrete feasting event and palace middens reveal dietary flexibility and breadth by the high elite, including exploitation of smaller-bodied mammals. Animal bodies in these contexts operate as symbol as well as subsistence. This symbolic role is also present in faunal remains from burials at La Corona, where both fresh- and saltwater aquatic species associate the deceased with the watery Underworld. The diversity of remains found at La Corona, coupled with the rich information that deposits have provided to date, indicate the site’s noteworthy potential to inform our understanding of ancient Maya human-animal relations.

Cite this Record

The Zooarchaeology of La Corona: Sustenance and Symbol. Diana Fridberg. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 445414)

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Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 21748