The 85th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2016)


Subadult Human Sacrifices in Midnight Terror Cave, Belize

MICHAEL G. PROUT.

Anthropology MA, California State University, Los Angeles

April 15, 2016 , Atrium Ballroom A/B Add to calendar

Children throughout Mesoamerica were preferred sacrificial victims, especially to water deities. Because caves were associated with rain, ethnohistoric sources mention the sacrifice of children in caves. The importance of children in sacrifice was documented early on by Edward Thompson’s dredging of the Cenote of Sacrifice at Chichen Itza. More recently archaeological investigations of caves have recovered and identified the skeletal remains of children that have been interpreted as sacrificial victims. This poster reports on the impressive juvenile skeletal assemblage from Midnight Terror Cave with an eye toward refining our understanding of subadult human sacrifice using this large sample.