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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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Mortuary Practices in a Colonial Environment

Mortuary Practices in a Colonial Environment

(p.199) 7 Mortuary Practices in a Colonial Environment
Archaeology of Early Colonial Interaction at El Chorro de Maíta, Cuba

Roberto Valcárcel Rojas

University Press of Florida

Chapter 7 treats the study of the objects located in the cemetery and their relation with mortuary practices. It establishes the European origin of many of the pieces or their connection with the action of importation by the Europeans. What is clear is that their presence was determined by the territorial origin of the individuals and their social status. The study established the presence of lace-ends (agujetas) made of brass, that together with certain taphonomic details indicate the burial of clothed individuals. The cemetery is distinguished by the variety of mortuary practices, some of which combine practices of indigenous origin with those of Christian origin, on occasion in the same burial. These show clear variations that depend on the territorial origin of the individuals, which together with the demographic structure of both groups indicates that the non-locals arrived at the site as part of the colonization process. More than a third of the burials were realized after European arrival and there is no evidence consistent with pre-Columbian burial. These characteristics and the absence of cemeteries in Antillean communities with Meillacan ceramics suggest that it was established in colonial times.

Keywords:   Cemetery, Meillacan ceramics, Mortuary practice

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