Bodies buried in unusual postures and without funeral rites could suggest a history of revenge and blood feud in certain ancient Sonoran Desert cultures, according to a paper in the August 2016 edition of Current Anthropology.
The authors say a rude burial would have deeply distressed the victim’s family and community — and sent a message of dominance and defiance. Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Food is both mundane and magical, ephemeral and essential – the ultimate cultural touchstone. Our religions proscribe taboo foods, oblige sacred meals and employ food as a conduit for sacred power. Our myths abound with divine edibles that grant gods immortality, while our folktales counsel against feasting in fairyland lest we trap ourselves forever.
But for all the reverence we pay them, many comestibles arose from humble, bizarre or even disgusting sources, while what we choose, or are compelled, to eat is driven by everything from necessity to neurosis. For better or worse, food scientists, molecular gastronomists and, yes, marketing firms channel these impulses in profitable (if not always healthy directions). The results are, shall we say, appetizingly bizarre …