Graduation Year


Graduation Month


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

School or Department



Anthropology – Forensic Anthropology

Faculty Mentor Department


Faculty Mentor

Dr. Kirsten Green-Mink


Maya, Osteology, Bioarchaeology, Belize, Lower Dover, Mortuary

Subject Categories

Biological and Physical Anthropology


In 2017, John Walden led an excavation of the Tutu Uitz Na intermediate elite center, found in the Maya site of Lower Dover, Belize. He and his team uncovered two burials, designated SG1-BU2 and SG1-BU3. Their initial report claims that there were three individuals, all sacrificially bound and killed within an eastern triadic shrine. In 2019, Dr. Kirsten Green-Mink and Justine Bye, both of the University of Montana, re-analyzed the Tutu Uitz Na burials and performed a comprehensive bioarchaeological analysis. SG1-BU2 was found to contain three individuals – 2 adults and 1 subadult. SG1-BU3 contained one adult, likely of high status as they presented cranial and dental modifications. None of the individuals were found to have any binding material, nor did the layout of the skeletal elements strongly validate a sacrificial theory. We propose that alternative scenarios be considered in explaining the presence of these interments in the Tutu Uitz Na eastern triadic shrine. The purpose of the 2019 analysis is to better explain mortuary behavior and the identities of those interred within the highly ritualized space of the eastern triadic shrine.

Honors College Research Project


GLI Capstone Project




© Copyright 2020 Justine Marie Bye