Texas Tech University

Alumni College Fellow

Anna Novotny


"An Ethnoarchaeological Study of Yucatec Maya Exhumation Rituals and Their Implications for Understanding Ancient Maya Funeral Practices"

The way that the human body is treated after death has been shown to reflect culturally specific beliefs about the fate of the deceased's soul. If the soul was thought to endure a journey before it reached the land of the dead, for instance, then extended funerary rituals are often seen. These involve the exhumation of skeletonized remains followed by a second funeral and subsequent re-interment. In this talk, I discuss exhumation rituals of contemporary Yucatec Maya people and how they can be used to aid in interpretation of the belief systems that underlie mortuary rituals of the ancient Maya.

To learn more about Dr. Novotny, please visit: Anna Novotny.

Humanities Center