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SOLAS Lecture Explores Aztec Sacrifice

The UNM Student Organization for Latin American Studies (SOLAS) and the Latin American & Iberian Institute (LAII) are pleased to announce an upcoming lecture, "¡SOLAS Presents! "Who Makes the Cut? What the Skull Masks and Skulls of the Templo Mayor Tell Us About Aztec War and Sacrifice," with field research grant recipient Corey Ragsdale, on Wednesday, March 26, 2014, at 3:00 p.m. in the LAII Conference Room. Please see the SOLAS website for reference.

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Ragsdale's research focuses on the effects of cultural relationships on population structure and interaction during the Postclassic period (AD 900-1520) in Mexico. Using dental morphological features as a proxy for genetic information, his research compares the biological distinctions between sacrificial victims by examining geographic distance, migration history, trade, and political interaction. The research investigates these relationships at the group and individual levels.

In this presentation he will discuss the information provided by the skulls from the Templo Mayor, located in the Aztec capital city of Tenochtitlan. Using available cranial/dental data among the sacrificial victims, he will evaluate how war and status effect the treatment of human remains in the Late Postclassic period (AD 1300-1520) at Tenochtitlan.

Image: Photograph of illustrated sacrifice from Florentine Codex, reprinted from the World Digital Library.

--Posted Thursday, March 20, 2014.