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Archaeology of Early Colonial Interaction at El Chorro de Maíta, Cuba$
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Roberto Valcárcel Rojas

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813061566

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813061566.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 25 June 2022

The Cemetery

The Cemetery

Death and Human Diversity

(p.163) 6 The Cemetery
Archaeology of Early Colonial Interaction at El Chorro de Maíta, Cuba

Roberto Valcárcel Rojas

University Press of Florida

Chapter 6 discusses the new studies of human remains located in the site cemetery. The osteological investigation established the presence of 133 individuals. There is a low incidence of pathologies, and in terms of ancestors one individual was distinguished as being of African origin and three others that could be mestizos. The majority exhibit cranial modification, although this was found to be absent in a significant number of juveniles. The analysis of Strontium, Carbon, and Oxygen isotope ratios indicate that the major part of the population is of local origin, although there are also individuals from elsewhere in the Caribbean, and from more remote areas like Africa and possibly the Yucatán. The taphonomic analysis show the predominence of primary articulated burials, although there are also secondary burials and cases of the management or movement of bones and remains possibly associated with a situation of rapid burial. The latter coincide with demographic indicators that point to a cemetery where the interred population probably was affected by epidemic diseases. All of the radiocarbon dates for the remains are after the arrival of the Spanish.

Keywords:   Taphonomy, Mestizo, Cranial modification, African, Yucatán, Dental modification, Ethnic diversity

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