Advertisement

Captive Sacrifice and Trophy Taking Among the Ancient Maya

An Evaluation of the Bioarchaeological Evidence and Its Sociopolitical Implications
  • CARRIE ANNE BERRYMAN
Part of the INTERDISCIPLINARY CONTRIBUTIONS TO ARCHAEOLOGY book series (IDCA)

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).

Keywords

Classic Period Grave Good Human Body Part Human Skeletal Remains CARRIE ANNE 
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.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Agrinier, Pierre. (1978). A Sacrificial Mass Burial at Miramar, Chiapas, Mexico. Papers of the New World Archaeological Foundation, No. 42. Brigham Young University, Provo, UT.Google Scholar
  2. Arredondo Leiva, Ernesto. (1999). Patrón Funerario en el sitio Arquelógico de Ujuxte, Retalhuleu: Temporadas.Google Scholar
  3. Arredondo Leiva, Ernesto. (1995–1997). Resultados preliminaries. In: XII Simposio de Investigaciones Arqueológicas en Guatemala, 1998. Juan Pedro Laporte, Hector Escobado, and A. C. Monzon (eds.). Pp. 633–638. Ministerio de Cultura y Deportes-IDAEH-Asociación Tikal. Guatemala City, Guatemala.Google Scholar
  4. Arroyo, Barbara. (1990). Enterramientos de Balberta un sitio en la Costa Sur de Guatemala. BAR International Series 559. Oxford, England: B.A.R.Google Scholar
  5. Barrett, Jason W., and Andrew K. Scherer. (2005). Stones, bones, and crowded plazas: evidence for terminal Classic Maya warfare at Colhá Belize. Ancient Mesoamerica. 16:101–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Baudez, Claude-François. (2000). El botín humano de las guerras Mayas: decapitads y cabezas-trofeo. In: La Guerra Entre los Antiguos Mayas: Memoria de la Primera Mesa Redonda de Palenque. Silvia Trejo (ed.). Pp. 189–204. Mexico, DF: Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia.Google Scholar
  7. Berryman, Carrie A. (2002). Skeletal Analysis of the 2001 Cacaulapa Valley Archaeological Project Excavations. Unpublished report submitted to Patricia Urban and Edward Shortman, Department of Anthropology, Kenyon College, Gambier, OH.Google Scholar
  8. Boone, Elizabeth. H. (ed). (1984). Ritual Human Sacrifice in Mesoamerica. Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks.Google Scholar
  9. Brown, M. Kathryn, and James Garber. (2002). Evidence of conflict during the Middle Formative in the Maya Lowlands: a view from Blackman's Eddy, Belize. In: Ancient Mesoamerican Warfare. M. Kathryn Brown and Travis W. Stanton (eds.). Walnut Creek, CA: Altamira Press.Google Scholar
  10. Cabréra Castro, Rubén, and Carlos Serrano. (1999). Los entierros de la Pirámide del Sol y del Templo de Quetzalcóatl, Teotihuacan. In: Prácticas Funerarias en La Ciudad de Los Dioses: Los Enterramientos Humanos de la Antigua Teotihuacan. Linda Manzanilla and Carlos Serrano (eds.). Pp. 345–397. Mexico, DF: Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico.Google Scholar
  11. Coe, Michael. (1967). Tikal, a Handbook of the Ancient Maya Ruins, with a Guide Map. University Museum, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania.Google Scholar
  12. Colby, Susan M. (1989). Restos oseos de sin cabezas. In Investigaciones Arqueológicas en la Costa Sur de Guatemala. David S. Whitley and Marilyn P. Beaudry (eds.). Institute of Archaeology, Monograph 31. Berkeley: University of California.Google Scholar
  13. Demarest, Arthur A. (1984). Overview: Mesoamerican human sacrifice in evolutionary perspective. In: Ritual Human Sacrifice in Mesoamerica. E.H. Boone (ed.). Pp. 227–247. Washington C: Dumbarton Oaks.Google Scholar
  14. Demarest, Arthur A. (2002). After the maelstrom: collapse of the Classic Maya kingdoms and the Terminal Classic in the western Peten. In: The Terminal Classic in the Maya Lowlands: Collapse, Transition, and Transformation. Arthur Demarest, Prudence Rice, and Don Rice (eds.). Pp. 102–139, Boulder: University Press of Colorado.Google Scholar
  15. Flannery, Kent V., and Joyce Marcus (eds.). (1983). The Cloud People: Divergent Evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec Civilizations. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  16. Foster, Elizabeth A. (trans.). (1950). Motolinía's History of the Indians of New Spain. Elizabeth A. Foster (ed.). Berkeley: The Cortés Society.Google Scholar
  17. Fowler, William R., Jr. (1984). Late Pre-Classic mortuary patterns and evidence for human sacrifice at Chalchuapa, El Salvador. American Antiquity. 49 (4):603–618.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Freidel, David, Linda Schele, and Joy Parker. (1993). Maya Cosmos: Three Thousand Years on the Shaman's Path. New York: Quill/William Morrow.Google Scholar
  19. Golden, Charles W. (2003). Politics of warfare in the Usumacinta Basin: La Pasadita and the realm of Bird Jaguar. In: Ancient Mesoamerican Warfare. M. Kathryn Brown and Travis W. Stanton (eds.). Walnut Creek, CA: Altamira Press.Google Scholar
  20. Heizer, Robert F. (1967). Analysis of Two Low Relief Sculpture from La Venta. Contributions of the University of California Archaeological Research Facility, No. 3, pp. 25–55. Berkeley, CA.Google Scholar
  21. Inomata, Takeshi, and Daniela Traidan. (2002). El espectaculo de la muerta en las Tierras Bajas Mayas. In: Antropología de la Eternidad. Andrés Ciudad Ruiz, Mario Humberto Ruz Sosa, and Josefa Iglesias Ponce de León (eds.). Pp. 195–207. Sociedad Española de Estudios Mayas, Publicación No. 7. Madrid: Universidad Complutense.Google Scholar
  22. Jiminez Moreno, Wigberto. (1966). Mesoamerica before the Toltecs. In: Ancient Oaxaca. John Paddock (ed.). Pp. 3–82 Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Marcus, Joyce. (1992). Mesoamerican Writing Systems: Propaganda, Myth, and History in Four Ancient Civilizations. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Massey, Virginia K. (1989). The Human Skeletal Remains from a Terminal Classic Skull Pit at Colha, Belize. Papers of the Colha Project, Vol. 3 Texas Archaeological Research Laboratory, The University of Texas Austin, and Department of Anthropology, Texas A&M University, College Station.Google Scholar
  25. Massey, Virginia K., and Gentry Steele. (1997). A Maya skull pit from the Terminal Classic Period, Colha, Belize. In:Bones of the Maya: Studies of Ancient Skeletons. S. L. Whittington and D. M. Reed (eds.). Pp. 62–77. Washington DC: Smithsonian Institution Press.Google Scholar
  26. McAnany, Patricia A. (1995). Living with the Ancestors: Kinship and Kingship in Ancient Maya Society. Austin: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar
  27. McAnany, Patricia A. (1997). Ancestors and the classic Maya built environment. In: Function and Meaning in Classic Maya Architecture. Pp. 271–298. Washington DC: Dumbarton Oaks.Google Scholar
  28. Miles, S. W. (1965). Sculpture of the Guatemala–Chiapas Highlands and Pacific Sloes, and associated hieroglyphics. In: Handbook of Middle American Indians, Robert Wauchope and Gordon Willey (eds.). Vol. 2, pp. 237–275. Austin: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar
  29. Miller, Virginia. (2003). Representaciones de sacrificios de sacrificio en Chichen Itza. In: Antropología de la Eternidad. Andrés Ciudad Ruiz, Mario Humberto Ruz Sosa, and Josefa Iglesias Ponce de León (eds.). Pp. 383–404. Sociedad Española de Estudios Mayas, Publication No. 7. Madrid: Universidad Complutense.Google Scholar
  30. Mock, Shirley B. (1998). Defaced and forgotten: decapitation and flaying/mutilation as a termination event at Colha, Belize. In: The Sowing and Dawning: Termination, Dedication, and Transformation in the Archaeological and Ethnographic Record of Mesoamerica. S. B. Mock (ed). Pp. 113–123. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.Google Scholar
  31. Moser, Christopher L. (1973). Human decapitation in ancient Mesoamerica. In Studies in Precolumbian Art and Archaeology, No. 11. Pp. 5–72. Washington DC: Dumbarton Oaks.Google Scholar
  32. Pagden, Anthony R. (ed. And trans.). (1975). The Maya: Diego de Landa's Account of the Affairs of Yucatan. Chicago, J. P. O'Hara.Google Scholar
  33. Pendergast, D. M. (1982). Excavations at Altun Ha, Belize: 1964–1970, Vol. 2. Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum Publications in Archaeology.Google Scholar
  34. Pereira, Grégory, and Ximena Chávez. (2002). Restos humanos en el entierro 6 e la Piramide de la Luna. In: Sacrificios de Cosagración en la Piramide de la Luna, Teotihuacan. Saburo Sugiyama and Leondardo López Luján (eds.). Pp. 53–60. Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes. Mexico, DF: Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia.Google Scholar
  35. Robin, Cynthia. (1989). Pre-Classic Maya Burials at Cuello, Belize. BAR International Series 480. Oxford.Google Scholar
  36. Robin, Cynthia, and Norman Hammond. (1991). Burial practices. In Cuello: An Early Maya Community in Belize. Norman Hammond (ed.). Pp. 204–225. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  37. Romero, Ivo Luis. (2004). Desmembraciones Humanas en Ritos Realizados con la Construcción de la Estructura23 del Sitio Arqueológico Ixlú, para el Postclássico Temprano, Flores, Petén. Thesis for Licenciado in Archaeology, Escuela de Historia, área de Arqueología, Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala, Guatemala City, Guatemala.Google Scholar
  38. Ruppert, Karl. (1935). The Caracol at Chichen Itza, Yucatán, Mexico. Carnegie Institute of Washington Publication No. 454.Google Scholar
  39. Saul, Frank P., and Julie M. Saul. (1991). The pre-Classic population at Cuello. In: Cuello: An Early Maya Community in Belize. Norman Hammond (ed.). Pp. 134–158. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  40. Saul, Frank P., and Julie M. Saul. (1997). The Pre-Classic skeletons from Cuello. In: Bones of the Maya: Studies of Ancient Maya Skeletons. S. L. Whittington and D. M. Reed (eds.). Pp. 28–50. Washington DC: Smithsonian Institution Press.Google Scholar
  41. Schele, Linda. (1983). Human sacrifice among the Classic Maya:. In Ritual Human Sacrifice in Mesoamerica. E. H. Boone (ed.). Pp. 7–48. Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks.Google Scholar
  42. Schele, Linda, and David Freidel. (1989). A Forest of Kings: the Untold Story of the Ancient Maya. New York: William Morrow.Google Scholar
  43. Schele, Linda, and Peter Mathews. (1998). The Code of Kings. New York: Touchstone.Google Scholar
  44. Schele, Linda, and Mary Ellen Miller. (1986). The Blood of Kings: Dynasty and Ritual in Mayan Art. New York: George Brazilier.Google Scholar
  45. Sharer, Robert J. (1994). The Ancient Maya. Fifth edition. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  46. Sharer, Robert, and David W. Sedat. (1997). Archaeological Investigations in the Northern Maya Highlands, Guatemala. University Museum Monograph 59. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania.Google Scholar
  47. Stirling, Mathew W. (1943). Stone monuments of southern Mexico. Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 138. Washington DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  48. Sugiyama, Saburo, and Leondardo López Luján. (2006). Sacrificios de cosagración en la Piramide de la Luna, Teotihuacan. In: Sacrificios de Cosagración en la Piramide de la Luna, Teotihuacan. Saburo Sugiyama and Leondardo López Luján (eds.). Pp. 25–52. Consejo Nacional para la Cultura. y las Artes. Mexico, DF: Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia.Google Scholar
  49. Tedlock, Dennis. (1985). Popol Vuh: The Mayan Book of the Dawn of Life. New York: Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar
  50. Thompson, J. Eric S. (1954). The Rise and Fall of Ancient Maya Civilization. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.Google Scholar
  51. Tiesler, Vera, and Andrea Cucina. (2003). Sacrificio, tratamiento y ofrenda del cuerpo humano entre los Mayas del Clásico: una mirada bioarqueológica. In: Antropología de la Eternidad. Andrés Ciudad Ruiz, Mario Humberto Ruz Sosa, and Josefa Iglesias Ponce de León (eds.). Pp. 337–354. Sociedad Española de Estudios Mayas, Publication No. 7. Madri: Universidad Complutense.Google Scholar
  52. Tozzer, Alfred M. (trans.) (1941). Landa's Relacíon de las cosas de Yucatán. Papers of the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, Vol. 18.Google Scholar
  53. van Bussel, Gerard W. (1991). Balls and ppenings: the Maya ballgame as an intermediary. In: The Mesoamerican Ballgame. G. W. van Bussel, P. L. F. van Dongen, and T. J. L Leyennar (eds.). Pp. 245–258. Leiden: Riksmuseum voor Volkenkunde.Google Scholar
  54. Verano, John. (2001). The physical evidence for human sacrifice in ancient Peru. In: Ritual Sacrifice in Ancient Peru. Elizabeth Benson and Anita Cook. Austin: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar
  55. Webster, David. (1977). Warfare and the evolution of Maya civilization. In The Origins of Maya Civilization. Richard E. W. Adams (ed.). Pp. 335–372. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.Google Scholar
  56. Webster, David. (2000). The not so peaceful civilization: a review of Maya war. Journal of World Prehistory. 14:65–119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Weiss-Krejci, Estella. (2003). Victims of human sacrifice in multiple tombs of the ancient Maya: a critical review. In: Antropología de la Eternidad. Andrés Ciudad Ruiz, Mario Humberto Ruz Sosa, and Josefa Iglesias Ponce de León (eds.). Pp. 355–381. Sociedad Española de Estudios Mayas, Publication No. 7. Madrid: Universidad Complutense.Google Scholar
  58. Wells, Christian. (2003). Artisans, Chiefs, and Feasts: Classic Period Social Dynamics at El Coyote, Honduras. Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Anthropology, Arizona State University, Tempe. Ann Arbor: University Microfilms International Research Press.Google Scholar
  59. Wells, Christian, Carrie Anne Berryman, Karla L. Davis-Salzar, and Anna C. Novotny. (n.d.). Mortuary Programs and Social Power in Prehispanic Northwest Honduras. Unpublished manuscript. Department of Anthropology, University of South Florida, Tampa.Google Scholar
  60. Welsh, W. B. M. (1988). An Analysis of Classic Lowland Maya Burials. BAR International Series 409, Oxford, England.Google Scholar
  61. Willey, Gordon R., W. R. Bullard, Jr., J. B. Glass, and J. C. Gifford. (1965). Prehistoric Maya Settlements in the Belize Valley. Papers of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, Vol. 54. Cambridge: Peabody Museum.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • CARRIE ANNE BERRYMAN

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations