Skeletal analysis and theoretical complications

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Scopus citations


Archaeologists - feminist or otherwise - use biologically sexed human remains to make inferences about cultures' conceptions of gender. Creating an easy link between 'sex' and 'gender', however, is not without problems. Recent debates within the social sciences have centered on the evolving, historical definition and cultural relevance of both of these terms. Interestingly, skeletal analysts' voices tend to remain silent in this debate. What do paradigmatic twists and turns in feminist and queer theorizing mean for burial analysis? To answer this question, I advocate a bioarchaeological approach that facilitates reconciliation of biological classifications, cultural constructions of gender and feminist theories that complicate 'sex' and 'gender'. As an example, I look to the pre-Columbian Maya.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)597-609
Number of pages13
JournalWorld Archaeology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Bioarchaeology
  • Feminist and queer theories
  • Gender/sex
  • Performance
  • Pre-Columbian Maya

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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