Cueva del Lazo: Child Sacrifice or Special Funerary Treatment? Discussion of a Late Classic Context from the Zoque Region of Western Chiapas (Mexico)


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The Bioarchaeology of Space and Place


In the following chapter we discuss the archaeological remains from Cueva del Lazo (Chiapas, Mexico), a ritual precinct that yielded a group of 11 Late-Terminal Classic children’s partially mummified remains. Uncommon and rich contextual information, mainly derived from the exceptional preservation of perishable materials due to the dry climate of the cave, suggests that the interments could be interpreted as postsacrificial deposits or, alternatively, as funerary contexts whose special character could be linked to the specific sociocultural identity of the buried individuals, all of whom are under six years of age. In order to discuss these possibilities, we describe the archaeological context of the cave as well as review the available archaeological and ethnohistorical information on child sacrifices in Mesoamerica, in order to sketch a meaningful framework useful for interpreting the excavated burials.

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Book Chapter