Ancient Southwestern Mortuary Practices chronicles the modal patterns, diversity, and change of ancient mortuary practices from across the US Southwest and northwest Mexico over four thousand years of Prehispanic occupation. The volume summarizes new methodological approaches and theoretical issues concerning the meaning and importance of burial practices to different peoples at different times throughout the ancient Greater Southwest.
Chapters focus on normative mortuary patterns, the range of variability of mortuary patterns, how the contexts of burials reflect temporal shifts in ideology, and the ways in which mortuary rituals, behaviors, and funerary treatments fulfill specific societal needs and reflect societal beliefs. Contributors analyze extensive datasets—archived and accessible on the Digital Archaeological Record (tDAR)—from various subregions, structurally standardized and integrated with respect to biological and cultural data.
Ancient Southwestern Mortuary Practices, together with the full datasets preserved in tDAR, is a rich resource for comparative research on mortuary ritual for indigenous descendant groups, cultural resource managers, and archaeologists and bioarchaeologists in the Greater Southwest and other regions.
Contributors: Nancy J. Akins, Jessica I. Cerezo-Román, Mona C. Charles, Patricia A. Gilman, Lynne Goldstein, Alison K. Livesay, Dawn Mulhern, Ann Stodder, M. Scott Thompson, Sharon Wester, Catrina Banks Whitley