Department of Society, Culture and Language, University of New England
Saturday 10:45-11:00, Ballroom B
Cerro Mangote (7000-5000 BP) is a Preceramic site on the central Pacific coast of Panama. The archaeological evidence is consistent with a site used both as a mortuary and resource collection site (Piperno and Pearsall 1998, Ranere and Cooke 2003). The presence of a cemetery and with a multi-resource site suggests an important link between rituals by the living to particular foodstuffs and ancestors. To explore these connections, the mortuary treatments of the individuals recovered (n=110) were compared to musculoskeletal stress markers (MSM) and cross sectional geometry. The results highlight the experimentation in mortuary patterns by the living population, illustrating variation not typically assumed in a Preceramic site. The MSM suggest sex-specific activities. Male MSM are consistent with more robusticity in the upper limbs than lower. Female MSM indicate an equal distribution between upper and lower limb markers. The cross-sectional geometry suggests a relatively round shape in both the humeri and femora for males and females, with an equally similar slight anterior-posterior loading. There does not appear to be a statistically significant pattern relating these activity markers with burial treatments, but results suggest sex-specific use of resources at the site potentially related to subsistence based rituals. Previous archaeofaunal studies at the site are used to contextualize these patterns.