Chapter

The Taking and Displaying of Human Body Parts as Trophies by Amerindians

Part of the series INTERDISCIPLINARY CONTRIBUTIONS TO ARCHAEOLOGY pp 377-399

Captive Sacrifice and Trophy Taking Among the Ancient Maya

An Evaluation of the Bioarchaeological Evidence and Its Sociopolitical Implications
  • CARRIE ANNE BERRYMAN

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Abstract

The practice of taking human body parts as trophies of war can be traced as far back as the Middle Formative period (800–500 BC) in Mesoamerica. Suprisingly, although scholars have given a great deal of attention to the iconographic and ethnohistoric evidence of this practice (Boone 1984; Moser 1973; Miller 2003), little attention has been given to the actual skeletal remains that provide the most direct evidence of trophy taking (but see Baudez 2000).