The identity and worship of humain remains in rockshelter shrines among the northern lacandons of Mensabäk

Andrea Cucina, Vera Tiesler, Joel Palka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

The present bioarchaeological and taphonomic investigation focuses on the skeletal remains deposited on surfaces of Lacandon rock-shelter sanctuaries around the Mensabäk lagoon in Chiapas (in particular the ones of Sak Tak and Mensabäk). The Lacandon locals still identify these remains with their ancestors and deities. Here we examine the minimum number of individuals, the age-at-death and sex profiles of those who comprise the assemblages, and their skeletal indications of physiological stress, trauma and cultural modification. Equally distributed between males and females, the series are made up of mainly middle-age adults, with subadults noticeably missing. Al preserved skulls express the effects of cradleboard use (tabular erect form). The pathological conditions recorded in this study appear as criba orbitalia and porotic hyperostosis in the skull, and periostal reactions in the long bones; however, the secondary nature of the deposit limits the possibility of making specific diagnoses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-169
Number of pages29
JournalEstudios de Cultura Maya
Volume45
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

Keywords

  • Bioarchaeology
  • Chiapas
  • Human taphonomy
  • Lacandons
  • Maya rock-shelter sanctuaries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology

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