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Archaeology

How Useful Are Osteoarchaeological Methods in Supporting Current Interpretations for Violent Death? A Review of the Data from Iron Age Burial Contexts in England

Author:

Andrew Simms

Cardiff University, GB
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Abstract

A picture of the violent 'headhunting' Celtic peoples of Britain was painted by Roman historians and writers thousands of years ago. Even to this day, it is an image that has likely, though perhaps inadvertently, affected the interpretations of many incidents of skeletal trauma. This paper looks at a number of these narratives from a range of different burial contexts from the Iron Age in England. The secondary osteoarchaeological data from these sites was reviewed to understand the extent to which these interpretations can be scientifically supported. Results demonstrate that the study of the skeletal trauma was often unable to provide tangible support to most interpretations and raised some key issues with the limitations of the current techniques.

How to Cite: Simms, A., 2020. How Useful Are Osteoarchaeological Methods in Supporting Current Interpretations for Violent Death? A Review of the Data from Iron Age Burial Contexts in England. SHARE: Studies In History, Archaeology, Religion And Conservation, 4(1), pp.1–23. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18573/share.11
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Published on 09 Jul 2020.
Peer Reviewed

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