Burial Practices during the Late Formative/Early Classic in the Banderas Valley Area of Coastal West Mexico.

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Joseph B. Mountjoy, Professor, Emeritus (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: In this article we report on the results of our attempts to locate and study shaft-and-chamber tombs in the Municipality of Puerto Vallarta on the southern (Jalisco) side of the Banderas Valley of coastal West Mexico and to place these tombs in the broader context of burial practices in this area during a time corresponding to the Late Preclassic and Early Classic of Mesoamerica. We located and studied nine sites where shaft-and-chamber tombs had reportedly been discovered and looted, but here we focus on three (El Reparito, El Pozo de Doña Amparo, and La Pedrera) where we were able to excavate un-looted as well as partially looted shaft-and-chamber tombs. In the process we obtained evidence of (1) the location and type of soil selected for the excavation of such tombs; (2) variation in the form and content of the shafts and tomb chambers; (3) the tools used for digging and the manner of sealing such tombs; (4) chronological placement of the tombs; (5) burial of infants, sub-adults, and adults in the chambers; (5) pathology in the pre-Hispanic population responsible for such tombs; (6) cremation of bodies and their curation for different periods of time before incineration; and (7) alternative forms of interment along with shaft-and-chamber tombs in the same cemetery. Also, the data obtained lend support for the idea that the Ameca River and the Banderas Valley formed a “soft frontier” at this time between fairly distinct pre-Hispanic cultural traditions found to the north and to the south of the river, an area in which there was some intermixing of these traditions.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2006
archaeology, Mexico, tombs, Peurto Vallarta, burial practices, anthropology, mesoamerica

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