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IN SEARCH OF YAX NUUN AYIIN I: Revisiting the Tikal Project's Burial 10

  • Lori E. Wright (a1)
Abstract

Recent epigraphic decipherments suggest that the child of a Teotihuacan ruler was installed as the ruler of Tikal in a.d. 379. This paper reviews the excavation and osteology of the tomb of this king, Yax Nuun Ayiin I. Estimating the age at death of the skeletons, I found that the skeletons surrounding the principal occupant include at least one adult, who was distinguished by a rare style of dental decoration. I report strontium isotope ratios obtained from the teeth of four of these skeletons. Comparison with a larger data set of strontium isotope ratios on Tikal burials indicates that none of the sampled skeletons from Burial PTP-010 were foreigners to the Maya Lowlands. Although native Tikal children cannot be distinguished from the skeletons of children who lived at nearby Peten sites using strontium isotopes, these results do not support epigraphic readings that identify Yax Nuun Ayiin as a child of Teotihuacan.

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E-mail correspondence to: lwright@tamu.edu
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Ancient Mesoamerica
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