Interpreting middens, feasting events, ritual, or terminal deposits in the Maya world requires an evaluation of faunal remains. Maya archaeologists consistently evaluate other artifact classes, but often offer simply number of identified specimens values for skeletal elements recovered from these deposits. To further understand their archaeological significance, we analyzed faunal materials from deposits at the sites of Baking Pot and Xunantunich in the Upper Belize River Valley. We identified the species, bone elements, bone or shell artifacts, taphonomic signatures, and quantitative ratios recovered to test whether a deposit can be identified as a midden, part of a feasting ritual, terminal ritual, or other rituals significant to the Maya. Our analyses allow us to begin building a system for using faunal remains as a proxy for interpreting the significance of these deposits. In this paper, we present our results and hope to open the conversation for future evaluations of faunal remains in similar deposits.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)