The 81st Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2012)

Preliminary osteological analysis of human skeletal remains from El Cerro del Teú Archaeological Project


1Department of Anthropology, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2El Cerro del Teúl Archaeological Project, Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia

Thursday All day, Plaza Level Add to calendar

El Cerro del Teúl Archaeological Project in Western Mexico focuses on a site that was continuously occupied for over 18 centuries (200 BC – 1500s AD). Archaeological excavations conducted under the auspices of Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH) have uncovered skeletal remains (MNI = 24) dating to several different eras within the 18 centuries of occupation. The first six skeletons excavated were fragile and fragmented, limiting data collection. This led to the development of a protocol developed jointly by El Cerro del Teúl archaeologists and University of Massachusetts Amherst bioarchaeologists to take osteological measurements and photographs in situ. This poster will present preliminary analysis of the osteological data from El Cerro del Teúl Archaeological Project , including population demographics and cases of pathology and trauma. These findings will be discussed in relation to the archaeological context, which suggests distinct patterns of internment, and will highlight at least two cases of cultural modification—one individual features cranial deformation and dental mutilation and one individual features dental mutilation. In addition, we will discuss the feasibility of data collection from fragile, fragmented remains vs. the in situ measurements and photographs. Excavations at El Cerro del Teúl are ongoing, providing the opportunity to expand this data set. This research represents the ongoing collaboration between the Osteology and Trauma Lab of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, directed by Ventura Pèrez, and El Cerro del Teúl Archaeological Project, co-directed by archaeologists Peter Jiménez and Laura Solar from INAH’s Office in Zacatecas.

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