Providing Cultural Context for ‘sacrifice of the Social Outcasts’
International Journal of Osteoarchaeology
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In ‘Sacrifice of the Social Outcasts’, C.L. Kieffer proposes that the disabled formed a socially marginal group that might have been preferentially targeted for human sacrifice in ancient Maya society. Extensive ethnohistoric and iconographic evidence exists that the disabled and deformed held high status in pre-contact Mesoamerica precisely because of their physical disabilities and played well-defined social roles. Several incidences of the sacrifice of these individuals are produced, but they are associated with extraordinary events. The actual cultural context suggests that the sacrifice of a disabled individual may have larger social implications. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Caves, Disabled, Dwarf, Human sacrifice, Klippel-Feil syndrome, Maya, Social outcast
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Scott, Ann M., "Providing Cultural Context for ‘sacrifice of the Social Outcasts’" (2016). KIP Articles. 6227.