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This paper discusses ritualized practices in domestic spaces as signs of an ongoing and dynamic engagement between the people living there and non-human material and incorporeal social actors, using archaeological evidence from the ancient town of Cerro Palenque and related sites in northwestern Honduras occupied from the 7th to 11th centuries. The paper considers the ways that figurines, pottery, and other kinds of material culture were given meaning through their involvement in these ritualized practices, the materiality of the objects themselves, and their association with human bones. These practices are situated in particular spaces and occur at particular points in the life cycle of individuals and the social groups. They leave behind traces that reflect the desire of the participants in these practices to create social memory and to connect to the larger spatiotemporal order structuring their relations with the world around them.


Presented in the session, "Ancient Permeable Crossings and Modern Bounded Borders: The Materiality of Religious Cosmographies" at the 111th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, San Francisco, CA, November 17th, 2012.