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The Bioarchaeology of Violence$
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Debra L. Martin and Ryan P. Harrod

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780813041506

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813041506.001.0001

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Biological Distance Analysis in Contexts of Ritual Violence

Biological Distance Analysis in Contexts of Ritual Violence

(p.251) 12 Biological Distance Analysis in Contexts of Ritual Violence
The Bioarchaeology of Violence

William N. Duncan

University Press of Florida

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

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