social status, ancient Maya, Mayan
In bioarchaeology, there has been considerable interest in understanding whether social status – derived from mortuary contexts – may have been a buffer against stress, disease, and trauma among ancient people living in a stratified society. This research examines this question through an osteological analysis of a Mayan skeletal collection curated at Baylor University. The analyses performed were of age and biological sex estimation as well as inventory of indications of stress on the bones. Indicators of stress include evidence of periodontal disease (PD), liner enamel hypoplasia (LEH), periosteal reactions, porotic hyperostosis (PH), and cribra orbitalia (CO). Social status of the remains was reconstructed from mortuary evidence including burial location, grave artifacts, and skeletal modifications (e.g. obsidian and jade tooth inlays). A Fisher exact test was run and the results of the statistical analyses concluded that there is a relationship between social status and childhood physiological stress within the Mayan culture.
McManus, Carmella, "Social Status and Health Among the Ancient Maya" (2021). IdeaFest. 325.