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The Bioarchaeology of Space and Place: Ideology, Power, and Meaning in Maya Mortuary Contexts

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ISBN 10: 1493904787 / ISBN 13: 9781493904785
Published by Springer
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Hardcover. 292 pages. Dimensions: 9.2in. x 6.3in. x 0.9in.The Bioarchaeology of Space and Place investigates variations in social identity among the ancient Maya by focusing on individuals and small groups identified archaeologically by their inclusion in specific, discrete mortuary contexts or by unusual mortuary treatments. Utilizing archaeological, biological and taphonomic data from these contexts, the studies employ a variety of methodological approaches to reconstruct aspects of individuals life-course and mortuary pathways. Following this, specific mortuary behaviors are discussed in relation to their local or regional cultural setting using relevant archaeological, ethnohistoric, andor ethnographic data in an effort to interpret their meaning within the broader social, political and economic contexts in which they were carried out. This volume covers a number of topics that are currently being debated in Maya archaeology, including identification and discussion of the role and extent of human sacrifice in Maya culture, the use of ancestors for maintaining political power, the mortuary use of caves by both elites and non-elites, ethnic distinctions within urban areas and the extent of movement of people between communities. Importantly, the papers in this volume attempt to test and move beyond static, dichotic categories that are often employed in mortuary studies in an effort to better understand the complex ways in which the Maya conceptualized and manipulated social identity. This type of nuanced case-study approach that incorporates historical, archaeological and theoretical contextualization is becoming increasingly important in the field of bioarchaeology, providing valuable sources of data where small, diverse samples impede populational approaches. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Bookseller Inventory # 9781493904785

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Bioarchaeology of Space and Place: ...

Publisher: Springer

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

Book Type: Hardcover

About this title

Synopsis:

The Bioarchaeology of Space and Place investigates variations in social identity among the ancient Maya by focusing on individuals and small groups identified archaeologically by their inclusion in specific, discrete mortuary contexts or by unusual mortuary treatments. Utilizing archaeological, biological and taphonomic data from these contexts, the studies employ a variety of methodological approaches to reconstruct aspects of individuals’ life-course and mortuary pathways. Following this, specific mortuary behaviors are discussed in relation to their local or regional cultural setting using relevant archaeological, ethnohistoric, and/or ethnographic data in an effort to interpret their meaning within the broader social, political and economic contexts in which they were carried out. This volume covers a number of topics that are currently being debated in Maya archaeology, including identification and discussion of the role and extent of human sacrifice in Maya culture, the use of ancestors for maintaining political power, the mortuary use of caves by both elites and non-elites, ethnic distinctions within urban areas and the extent of movement of people between communities. Importantly, the papers in this volume attempt to test and move beyond static, dichotic categories that are often employed in mortuary studies in an effort to better understand the complex ways in which the Maya conceptualized and manipulated social identity. This type of nuanced case-study approach that incorporates historical, archaeological and theoretical contextualization is becoming increasingly important in the field of bioarchaeology, providing valuable sources of data where small, diverse samples impede populational approaches.

About the Author:

Gabriel Wrobel is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Michigan State University and the director of the Central Belize Archaeology Survey (CBAS) project. The primary focus of his research is mortuary contexts in caves and rockshelters in the Caves Branch River and Roaring Creek valleys, in which he seeks to reconstruct funerary pathways and explore aspects of social identity among those placed there. These data inform broader archaeological questions about the sudden and dramatic appearance of sociopolitical complexity in the area during the Middle Classic period, as well as its depopulation in the Terminal Classic period. While most of his research has concentrated on ancient Maya contexts in Belize, he has also worked in the American Southeast, in Kyrgyzstan and in Egypt at the site of Hierakonpolis.

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