Using Isotope Analysis To Understand The Interaction Between Migration And Burial At The Eastern Structure Of Group 1 At Actuncan, A Maya Archaeological Site In Belize
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Strontium, oxygen, and carbon isotope ratios for seven individuals buried at the eastern shrine of Group 1 at Actuncan were analyzed in an attempt to elucidate the relationship between natal origin, burial location, and mortuary patterns. These data were correlated with archaeological evidence of burial practices to better understand who was interred at this ritually significant space. Results indicate that none of the individuals sampled could be identified as originating outside the Belize River Valley. Burials 7-1 and 9-1 had strontium and oxygen isotope ratios closest to expected values for the area surrounding Actuncan and the Upper Belize River Valley. While Burial 13 appeared nonlocal based on burial presentation, isotope ratios could not exclude an origin within the Belize River Valley.