© 2007

New Perspectives on Human Sacrifice and Ritual Body Treatments in Ancient Maya Society

  • Vera Tiesler
  • Andrea Cucina

Part of the Interdisciplinary Contributions to Archaeology book series (IDCA)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Lisa J. Lucero, Sherry A. Gibbs
    Pages 45-73
  3. Gabrielle Vail, Christine HernÁndez
    Pages 120-164
  4. Araceli Hurtado Cen, Aleida Cetina Bastida, Vera Tiesler, William J. Folan
    Pages 209-231
  5. T. Douglas Price, James H. Burton, Lori E. Wright, Christine D. White, Fred Longstaffe
    Pages 263-292
  6. Jane E. Buikstra
    Pages 293-307
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 309-319

About this book


Human sacrifice among the ancient Maya is a topic of widespread interest. It has triggered awe and romanticism in the general public, which often leads to unfounded myths misjudgments.

This book dispels those myths by bringing together an international group of both well-established scholars and accredited young experts in the field to provide a fresh, objective look at ritual violence in the Mayan realm from an academic perspective. These experts offer examine new evidence of of human sacrifice in Classic and Postclassic period sites like Calakmul and the Sacred Cenote of Chichen Itz, as well as cave contexts from Belize.

The contributions analyze meanings, agents, occasions, and sacrificial procedures, along with post-sacrificial body processing. They address questions about the recognition and interpretation of ancient Mayan sacrificial behavior with a multidisciplinary approach.

Generalized issues of provenance and the social and health status of sacrificial victims are presented, as well as a joint discussion that gives the work an updated, Continental scope.  This will be of interest to students studying Mayan and Mesoamerican culture as well as those interested in bioarchaeology and human sacrifice.


Bioarchaeology Maya sacrifice Mesoamerica Mesoamerican culture Ritual ancient Maya society human sacrifice material culture mayans posthumous body manipulation ritual body treatments ritual practice taphonic research

Editors and affiliations

  • Vera Tiesler
    • 1
  • Andrea Cucina
    • 1
  1. 1.Facultad de Ciencias AntropológicasUniversidad Autónoma de YucatánMéridaMexico

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title New Perspectives on Human Sacrifice and Ritual Body Treatments in Ancient Maya Society
  • Editors Vera Tiesler
    Andrea Cucina
  • Series Title Interdisciplinary Contributions to Archaeology
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag New York 2007
  • Publisher Name Springer, New York, NY
  • eBook Packages Humanities, Social Sciences and Law Social Sciences (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-0-387-48870-7
  • Softcover ISBN 978-0-387-09524-0
  • eBook ISBN 978-0-387-48871-4
  • Series ISSN 1568-2722
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages X, 319
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Archaeology
    Religious Studies, general
    History, general
  • Buy this book on publisher's site