SKELETAL EVIDENCE FOR ELITE CRAFT SPECIALIZATION AMONG THE TERMINAL CLASSIC MAYA OF COPÁN, HONDURAS
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The burials beneath the workshops of Patio H at the 9N-8 compound of Copan, Honduras were examined for signs of occupational markers and skeletal robusticity to indicate if these people were craft specialists. According to archaeological evidence, crafting activity at this location included both sacred and secular traditions. Workshop burials were compared with other burials from 9N-8 in order to determine if differing degrees of robusticity and bone size existed between these groups. Measurements of the shoulders and arms were utilized to determine differences. The presence of osteoarthritis and entheseal markers was also analyzed to assess activity levels in the upper and lower body. No significant difference in skeletal size was found to exist between the workshop burial population and the rest of 9N-8. Based on observations of osteoarthritis and entheseal markers in the workshop burial group, it was determined that both craftspeople and non-craftspeople were buried in this location.