Home » Bioarchaeology of violence and site abandonment at Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, Mexico. by Christopher Michael Casserino
Bioarchaeology of violence and site abandonment at Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, Mexico. Christopher Michael Casserino

Bioarchaeology of violence and site abandonment at Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, Mexico.

Christopher Michael Casserino

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ISBN : 9781109378467
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133 pages
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The objective of this dissertation is to address violence at the archaeological site of Casas Grandes (Paquime) in northwest Chihuahua, Mexico. The reasons for the abandonment of Paquime are uncertain. The prevailing theory claims this geographicMoreThe objective of this dissertation is to address violence at the archaeological site of Casas Grandes (Paquime) in northwest Chihuahua, Mexico. The reasons for the abandonment of Paquime are uncertain. The prevailing theory claims this geographic area endured centuries of warfare, ritual sacrifice, and at least one massacre- this theory is supported by numerous unburied bodies recovered at the site. These assertions of violence have never been corroborated by osteological data.-Data were collected from a sample of Medio period (A.D. 1200--1450) human skeletal remains recovered from the 1958--1961 excavations at Casas Grandes. These data were synthesized with accelerator mass spectrometry radiocarbon dates, fluoride ion dates, population demographics, and burial context. Frequencies of ante-, peri-, and postmortem trauma were compared to other studies from the Old and New Worlds.-I argue that warfare was not endemic to this region and that a massacre did not occur. Moreover, cannibalism and probably human sacrifice were practiced. I assert that these activities may have been related to the proliferation of the Mesoamerican ballgame in the American Southwest and to Paquimes role as the distribution center of the regions ritual and exotic goods. This dissertation underscores the importance of including skeletal analysis with other lines of archaeological inquiry when answering questions about human behavior.