Analysis of Human Skeletal Remains from Late Postclassic Iximché, Guatemala


This is an abstract from the "Innovations and Transformations in Mesoamerican Research: Recent and Revised Insights of Ancestral Lifeways" session, at the 88th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Analysis of human skeletal remains from the Postclassic Kaqchikel Maya capital of Iximché, Guatemala, supports the interpretation that many of the partial skeletal remains were trophies taken in war or were from war captives sacrificed at the site. Other, more complete, remains generally represented local residents who died of causes unrelated to war. Extensive data on paleopathology, paleodemography, and stable isotopes were included in a 2003 book that built on George Guillemin’s earlier publications about his excavations at the site. This poster will present previously unpublished data about additional stable isotopes and perimortem bone damage to explore regional variations in diet, ethnic identities of victims of violence buried at Iximché, and the pattern of highland Maya warfare on the eve of the Spanish conquest. Photographs of human remains will be minimized but may be necessary to support conclusions. Please note that the original analyses took place during the 1990s, long before the 2021 SAA Statement Concerning the Treatment of Human Remains. The research was performed ethically and with permission of Guatemalan authorities, but did not involve consultation with indigenous descendant communities, which was not an expectation at that time or in that place.

Cite this Record

Analysis of Human Skeletal Remains from Late Postclassic Iximché, Guatemala. Stephen Whittington, Robert Tykot, Karyn Olsen, Fred Longstaffe. Presented at The 88th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. 2023 ( tDAR id: 473541)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -94.197; min lat: 14.009 ; max long: -87.737; max lat: 18.021 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 35628.0