Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory

, 15:300

Negotiations with the Animate Forest: Hunting Shrines in the Guatemalan Highlands


    • Department of AnthropologyThe George Washington University
  • Kitty F. Emery
    • Florida Museum of Natural HistoryUniversity of Florida

DOI: 10.1007/s10816-008-9055-7

Cite this article as:
Brown, L.A. & Emery, K.F. J Archaeol Method Theory (2008) 15: 300. doi:10.1007/s10816-008-9055-7


Ethnoarchaeological research at highland Maya hunting shrines documents the material remains of interactions between two types of animate beings: humans and the forest. When either active agent enters the others’ domain there are accompanying ceremonial activities to assuage the inherent danger, often leaving physical traces in the material record. These traces, if found in the archaeological record, might reveal similar ancient interactions. Using the material correlates of modern hunting rituals, we explore the utility of ethnoarchaeological research in identifying negotiations with non-human agents associated with the animate forest – an active agent in many societies.


MayaEthnoarchaeologyHunting ceremonialismZooarchaeology

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008