Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Injury and Trauma in Bioarchaeology
Interpreting Violence in Past Lives


Debra L. Martin
View all contributors
  • Date Published: December 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521115735

£ 49.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • The remains of past people are a testament to their lived experiences and of the environment in which they lived. Synthesising the latest research, this book critically examines the sources of evidence used to understand and interpret violence in bioarchaeology, exploring the significant light such evidence can shed on past hierarchies, gender roles and life courses. The text draws on a diverse range of social and clinical science research to investigate violence and trauma in the archaeological record, focussing on human remains. It examines injury patterns in different groups as well as the biological, psychological and cultural factors that make us behave violently, how our living environment influences injury and violence, the models used to identify and interpret violence in the past, and how violence is used as a social tool. Drawing on a range of case studies, Redfern explores new research directions that will contribute to nuanced interpretations of past lives.

    • A critical overview of the sources of social science, clinical and archaeological evidence bioarchaeologists use to study injury in past communities
    • Explores the consequences of violence and trauma, demonstrating how bioarchaeological evidence sheds new light on the hierarchies and social relationships of past societies
    • Presents new studies of injury patterns in different groups (such as hunter-gatherers, urban dwellers, and victims of domestic violence) and establishes new directions of study
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'With Injury and Trauma in Bioarchaeology Redfern skilfully illustrates the potential of a truly bio-cultural approach to the skeletal record. Her interdisciplinary analysis, elegantly integrating knowledge and insights from medicine, social science and ecology, conveys the evolution and diversity of interpersonal violence on a global scale. Rich in exemplary case studies and illustrations, the volume takes us beyond the 'when', 'where' and 'how' to a genuine appreciation of the varied experience of past violence and its impact on the individual, those close to them and society as a whole. This insight into past lives is instructive and affecting in equal measure, setting a new benchmark for violence studies.' Linda Fibiger, University of Edinburgh

    'This comprehensive, rigorous, and theoretically informed volume is a significant contribution to the social and forensic sciences. It is a 'must read' for scholars across these and other fields.' Jane Buikstra, Arizona State University, Tempe

    '… much has been written on this subject matter in a variety of outlets, but nothing close to what we find here. It is a monumental approach to understanding the past experience of trauma in people from the stories they can tell us through the lens of their remains (the primary archaeological evidence for people). It melds together a clinical perspective that includes medical anthropological research, with an archaeological and historical contextual approach. By helping us to understand the experience of trauma in past peoples, embracing a multi-method and multidisciplinary approach, it also sheds light on the 'here and now' from a deep time point of view; was it always like this? Increasingly, bioarchaeology is showing its 'worth' through publications such as this, a trend that our discipline should embrace and develop.' Charlotte Roberts, Durham University

    '… it is difficult to convey the sheer multiplicity of themes covered in this book, clearly illustrated by numerous case studies and accompanied by an impressive bibliography. It will most certainly find a very favourable audience not only among specialists in this area, but also among social anthropologists, archaeologists and historians.' Philippe Lefranc, Human Remains and Violence

    'Elegantly written and immensely interesting, this book may be of interest to readers from a wide range of disciplines, including social scientists, sociologists, bioarchaeologists, medical anthropologists, forensic scientists, psychologists and historians.' Sue Howarth, The Biologist

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2016
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521115735
    • length: 340 pages
    • dimensions: 253 x 180 x 30 mm
    • weight: 0.83kg
    • contains: 20 b/w illus. 12 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Foreword Debra L. Martin
    1. Introduction
    2. Approaches to understanding and interpreting violence in the past
    3. Violent behaviour in humans and human societies
    4. Environmental factors and violence
    5. Trauma in life course perspective
    6. Violent happenings: intentional injury patterns
    7. Living with the consequences of injury
    8. Conclusions

  • Author

    Rebecca C. Redfern, Museum of London
    Rebecca C. Redfern is Curator of Human Osteology at the Centre for Human Bioarchaeology, Museum of London, and Honorary Research Associate in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Durham. Her research interests include palaeopathology, the archaeologies of ageing and gender, impairment and disability, and medical practices.


    Debra L. Martin


Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.