Zapotec Funerary Tradition: A Perspective Between Bioarchaeology and Landscape Archaeology


This is an abstract from the "Living and Dying in Mountain and Highland Landscapes" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

The state of Oaxaca, southern Mexico has a very diverse topography, from highlands to floodplains, where mortuary and funerary patterns have been practiced by the prehispanic indigenous Zapotec for at least 3000 years. From simple graves to very complex and elaborate tombs, the Zapotecs used and reused their mortuary space within the household or specific buildings, like temples. Therefore, in this paper we discuss the relationship between the Zapotec beliefs in the afterlife and how this ideology was stronger that any political barriers and beyond any political loyalties across time.

Our study includes a spatial analysis of 20 Zapotec archaeological sites from the Valley of Oaxaca, Sierra Norte and Isthmus of Tehuantepec, from Early Formative (circa 1600 BC) to the Late Postclassic (circa AD 1521). Focusing on the differences and similarities of architecture, location and grave goods, from mortuary context located across all topographic variation from the plains, the mountains, and the coast, this paper contributes to the dialogue between landscape archaeology and bioarchaeology by exploring compared mortuary analysis and beliefs systems.

Cite this Record

Zapotec Funerary Tradition: A Perspective Between Bioarchaeology and Landscape Archaeology. Ricardo Higelin Ponce De Leon, Pedro Guillermo Ramón Celis, Alex Elvis Badillo. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 452167)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -98.679; min lat: 15.496 ; max long: -94.724; max lat: 18.271 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 23405