Procedures in Human Heart Extraction and Ritual Meaning: A Taphonomic Assessment of Anthropogenic Marks in Classic Maya Skeletons

  title={Procedures in Human Heart Extraction and Ritual Meaning: A Taphonomic Assessment of Anthropogenic Marks in Classic Maya Skeletons},
  author={Vera Tiesler and Andrea Cucina},
  journal={Latin American Antiquity},
  pages={493 - 510}
The present study reports on the cultural marks encountered in three (possibly four) skeletons retrieved from primary deposits of the Maya Classic period at Palenque, Calakmul, and Becán, Mexico. We propose that the patterns of cut and stab lesions encountered in the trunks of these individuals stem from perimortem violence that accompanied heart removal from below the rib cage rather than from postmortem evisceration. We confirm the feasibility of this procedure by experimental replication in… 
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