Chapter

Biological Distance Analysis in Contexts of Ritual Violence

William N. Duncan

in The Bioarchaeology of Violence

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780813041506
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780813043876 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813041506.003.0013
Biological Distance Analysis in Contexts of Ritual Violence

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The focus of this study by William N. Duncan is to use dental traits that represent biological relatedness to explore sacrifice and ritual violence using a collection of crania from the Post classic Petén of Guatemala. The intent is to understand who these sacrificial victims were and what criteria were used to select them for sacrifice. The approach to this research was to analyze both metric and nonmetric dental traits to assess kinship and thus identify who these people were. The results of the research suggests that the some of the individuals who were sacrificed were related, meaning they were likely part of a lineage or other corporate group that may have been selected for sacrifice as a result of being captured in battle or by a raiding party.

Keywords: Biodistance; Dental traits; Trophy taking; Ritual violence; Ideology

Chapter.  7837 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Prehistoric Archaeology

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