New Perspectives on Human Sacrifice and Ritual Body Treatments in Ancient Maya Society

New Perspectives on Human Sacrifice and Ritual Body Treatments in Ancient Maya Society

Paperback Lecture Notes in Mathematics; 731

Edited by Vera Tiesler, Edited by Andrea Cucina

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  • Publisher: Springer-Verlag New York Inc.
  • Format: Paperback | 329 pages
  • Dimensions: 156mm x 234mm x 17mm | 467g
  • Publication date: 1 September 2008
  • Publication City/Country: New York, NY
  • ISBN 10: 0387095241
  • ISBN 13: 9780387095240
  • Edition statement: 2007 ed.
  • Illustrations note: biography
  • Sales rank: 1,548,291

Product description

This book examines Maya sacrifice and related posthumous body manipulation. The editors bring together an international group of contributors from the area studied: archaeologists as well as anthropologists, forensic anthropologists, art historians and bioarchaeologists. This interdisciplinary approach provides a comprehensive perspective on these sites as well as the material culture and biological evidence found there

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Back cover copy

Human sacrifice among the ancient Maya is a topic of widespread interest. It has triggered awe and romanticism in the general public, which often leads to unfounded myths misjudgments. This book dispels those myths by bringing together an international group of both well-established scholars and accredited young experts in the field to provide a fresh, objective look at ritual violence in the Mayan realm from an academic perspective. These experts offer examine new evidence of of human sacrifice in Classic and Postclassic period sites like Calakmul and the Sacred Cenote of Chichen Itz, as well as cave contexts from Belize. The contributions analyze meanings, agents, occasions, and sacrificial procedures, along with post-sacrificial body processing. They address questions about the recognition and interpretation of ancient Mayan sacrificial behavior with a multidisciplinary approach. Generalized issues of provenance and the social and health status of sacrificial victims are presented, as well as a joint discussion that gives the work an updated, Continental scope. This will be of interest to students studying Mayan and Mesoamerican culture as well as those interested in bioarchaeology and human sacrifice.

Table of contents

New Perspectives on Human Sacrifice and Postsacrificial Body Treatments in Ancient Maya Society: An Introduction.- Funerary or Nonfunerary? New References in Identifying Ancient Maya Sacrificial and Postsacrificial Behaviors from Human Assemblages.- The Creation and Sacrifice of Witches in Classic Maya Society.- Empowered and Disempowered During the Late to Terminal Classic Transition: Maya Burial and Termination Rituals in the Sibun Valley, Belize.- Posthumous Body Treatments and Ritual Meaning in the Classic Period Northern Peten: A Taphonomic Approach.- Human Sacrifice in Late Postclassic Maya Iconography and Texts.- Skeletons, Skulls, and Bones in the Art of Chichen Itza.- Sacrifice and Ritual Body Mutilation in Postclassical Maya Society: Taphonomy of the Human Remains from Chichen Itza's Cenote Sagrado.- Sacred Spaces and Human Funerary and Nonfunerary Placements in Champoton, Campeche, During the Postclassic Period.- Human Sacrificial Rites Among the Maya of Mayapan: A Bioarchaeological Perspective.- Nutrition, Lifestyle, and Social Status of Skeletal Remains from Nonfunerary and "Problematical" Contexts.- Victims of Sacrifice: Isotopic Evidence for Place of Origin.- The Bioarchaeology of Maya Sacrifice.