Bioarchaeological analyses of violence largely fail to consider the bio-cultural complexity that result from hostility. Here, we utilize an expanded definition of burial taphonomy to test if individuals exhibiting evidence for violence differed in other identifiable ways in early farming communities from the Sonoran Desert, circa 2,000-4,000 ybp. A variable matrix is constructed to conduct a more inclusive analysis considering demographic variables, decomposition, taphonomy, health status, and mortuary treatment. We postulate that although numerous community members experienced violence during a time of known subsistence intensification, specific individuals were selected for differential treatment as a form of postmortem signaling.
Watson, James T.; Fields, Misty; and Stoll, Marijke
"Violence and Postmortem Signaling in Early Farming Communities of the Sonoran Desert: An Expanded Taphonomic Approach,"
Landscapes of Violence:
2, Article 11.
Available at: http://scholarworks.umass.edu/lov/vol2/iss2/11