5 Defining Community in the Upper Belize River Valley during the Late Classic Period: A Micro-regional Bioarchaeological Approach

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Abstract

For the ancient Maya, mortuary practices offer crucial insight into how communities created and reproduced themselves. For example, most individuals local to the Belize River Valley are interred in a prone position, with head to the south. My research questions whether other rituals involving the deceased body, including body positioning and interaction with human remains through tomb re-entry (i.e., skull removal, interment of multiple individuals in one grave), could indicate affiliation to local or imagined communities. Comparing two Belize River Valley sites, Chan and Zubin, I found similar types of interaction that may indicate participation in a regional imagined community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-65
Number of pages12
JournalArcheological Papers of the American Anthropological Association
Volume28
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2017

Keywords

  • Bioarchaeology
  • Community identity
  • Maya
  • Mortuary practices

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