Perimortem processing of human remains among the Great Basin Fremont

Shannon A. Novak, Dana D. Kollmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The perimortem butchering of human remains has been proposed for many sites in the Anasazi Culture Area of the southwestern United States at around AD 1000. This paper presents evidence that similar practices occurred in an adjacent culture area to the north. A cluster of Fremont sites in south-central Utah show evidence of this same processing pattern including scalping, dismemberment, cooking, and fracturing of long bones. The material from one of these Fremont sites, Backhoe Village, is presented to illustrate the similarities with butchering patterns found among the Anasazi. These parallels raise questions of contact between the two populations as well as having implications for the motives involved in these butchering practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-75
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Osteoarchaeology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Cannibalism
  • Fremont
  • Great Basin
  • Perimortem trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology


Dive into the research topics of 'Perimortem processing of human remains among the Great Basin Fremont'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this