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UNDERSTANDING THE WRAPPED BUNDLE BURIALS OF WEST MEXICO: A CONTEXTUAL ANALYSIS OF MIDDLE FORMATIVE MORTUARY PRACTICES

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 November 2016

Jill A. Rhodes*
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology, Drew University, Madison, New Jersey 07940
Joseph B. Mountjoy*
Affiliation:
Universidad de Guadalajara, Centro Universitario de la Costa, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Fabio G. Cupul-Magaña*
Affiliation:
Universidad de Guadalajara, Centro Universitario de la Costa, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Abstract

This article reports on the discovery of an unusual type of secondary burial found at two Middle Formative sites in the Mascota valley of Jalisco, West Mexico. We examine these burials within a Middle and Late Formative period context as well as a broader temporal context of funerary customs and mortuary programs involving secondary-type burials. Tightly wrapped, elaborately processed bundled burials were recovered at the cemeteries of El Embocadero II and Los Tanques. We report on the human remains from both sites and examine burial context and biological identity to seek explanations. The individuals selected for this burial treatment are not associated with any markers of high status. These burials may represent a different ethnic, familial, community or ancestral identity, and we consider the broader secondary burial phenomenon as the possible expression of a ritual of seasonal interment associated with the use of a mortuary hut to curate and process the bodies.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2016 

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UNDERSTANDING THE WRAPPED BUNDLE BURIALS OF WEST MEXICO: A CONTEXTUAL ANALYSIS OF MIDDLE FORMATIVE MORTUARY PRACTICES
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