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Empowered and Disempowered During the Late to Terminal Classic Transition: Maya Burial and Termination Rituals in the Sibun Valley, Belize

  • Eleanor Harrison-Buck
  • Patricia A. McAnany
  • Rebecca Storey
Chapter
Part of the Interdisciplinary Contributions to Archaeology book series (IDCA)

The peri- and postmortem treatment of human remains speaks directly to social and political conditions as both Verdery (1999) and Weiss-Krejci (2004) have shown. Unfortunately, the ability of archaeologists and osteologists to correctly link human remains with political and social circumstances has been limited by under-developed and under-applied forensic techniques compounded by the poor preservation of skeletal remains in the humid, tropical Maya lowlands (see Tiesler in this volume, for expanded discussion). Another factor — insufficient analysis of archaeological context — often hinders a full appreciation of the political and social circumstances surrounding the treatment and deposition of human remains. Elsewhere, McAnany (1995) has drawn attention to the methodological ambiguity surrounding the distinction between the remains of human sacrifice and those of protracted, but reverential, mortuary practices. The joint biocultural approach advocated in this volume and followed in...

Keywords

Human Remains Terminal Classic Mortuary Ritual Maya Site Late Classic Period 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors wish to acknowledge the financial support of the National Science Foundation (BCS-0096603) and the Division of International Programs at Boston University. The project staff members, field school students, and local villagers who conducted the field work reported upon in this analysis deserve a large note of appreciation. The Institute of Archaeology as part of the National Institute of Culture and History in Belize issued permission to conduct field work in the Sibun Valley during 1997, 1999, 2001, and 2003 and we thank the staff and directors at the Institute, particularly Dr. Jaime Awe, Dr. John Morris, Dr. Allen Moore, and Mr. Brian Woodye for their patience, collegiality, and assistance.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eleanor Harrison-Buck
    • 1
  • Patricia A. McAnany
    • 1
  • Rebecca Storey
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ArchaeologyBoston UniversityBostonUSA
  2. 2.Anthropology DepartmentUniversity of HoustonHoustonUSA

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