Department of Anthropology, Yale University
Thursday All day, Park Concourse
While there is a rich archaeological record for Venezuela, few human remains have been recovered or described. Here, we provide an inventory and description of unpublished human skeletal material curated by the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. Based on museum records, these remains were recovered from Venezuelan archaeological sites dating to the Regional Development Period, between 500BC & 500AD. We review seven catalogued sets of remains comprising at least twelve individuals from multiple archaeological sites. Both sexes and a variety of ages are represented. While preservation is poor for the majority of the remains, there are indicators of cranial reshaping, caries and periodontal disease associated with subsistence agriculture, indicators of nutritional stress, and blunt force trauma evidence on an adult male’s cranium, suggesting interpersonal violence. Our results are compared to previously reported data on Latin American skeletal material, and together they provide further insights into the life histories of prehistoric Venezuelan people. We suggest additional isotopic and genetic analyses to further enhance our knowledge of these and other human skeletal remains from this region and time period.
This work was supported by the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History and by the Yale University Department of Anthropology.