Linking Gender to Teeth: Dental Modifications and the Expression of Gender at Monte Albán, Oaxaca, Mexico

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Linking Gender to Teeth: Dental Modifications and the Expression of Gender at Monte Albán, Oaxaca, Mexico

Type: Research master thesis
Title: Linking Gender to Teeth: Dental Modifications and the Expression of Gender at Monte Albán, Oaxaca, Mexico
Author: Svenja, K. Kerkhof
Issue Date: 2016-01-29
Keywords: Dental modification
Monte Albán
Gender
Mexico
Teeth
Cultural practices
Prehispanic
Oaxaca
Archaeology
Abstract: This study aims to investigate how evidence from human dentition contributes to the knowledge of cultural practices of the Prehispanic indigenous society of Monte Albán, Oaxaca, Mexico. As such, it focusses on the expression of gender through the analysis of dental modifications. The study is twofold, as it focusses on the one hand on the dental modifications of the individuals found in the archaeological record of the city of Monte Albán, while on the other hand, it deals with the theoretical struggle to relate the biological body to socio-theoretical understanding of gender and the expression of this concept. A theoretical standpoint is chosen where the body is seen as a material culture, and changes to the body – temporal and permanent – are made to express certain cultural values, such as gender. It is assumed that the concepts of sex and gender are related, but not equal. Statistical analysis is conducted to test if there is a difference in the use of dental modifications between men and women, and the exploration of ethnohistorical sources dating from the Colonial period, are used to interpret these results. This exploratory data analysis has established that dental modifications in the skeletal assemblage of Monte Albán is indicative of different gendered identities, however future research is necessary to understand the full extent of the expression of gender through dental modifications discovered in the archaeological record of Monte Albán, and several propositions are made to aid this future research.
Supervisor: Jansen, M.E.R.G.N.
Faculty: Faculty of Archaeology
Department: Archaeology (Research master)
Specialisation: RMA Religion and Society in Native American Cultures
ECTS Credits: 35
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/37760
 

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