Essays in this volume examine borderland settings in cultural contexts that include Roman Egypt, Iron Age Italy, eleventh-century Iceland, and the precontact American Great Basin and Southwest. Contributors look at isotope data, skeletal stress markers, craniometric and dental metric information, mortuary arrangements, and other evidence to examine how frontier life can affect health and socioeconomic status. Illustrating the many meanings and definitions of frontiers and borderlands, they question assumptions about the relationships between people, place, and identity.
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This volume integrates data from researchers in bioarchaeology and forensic anthropology to explain when and why group-targeted violence occurs. Massacres have plagued both ancient and modern societies, and by analyzing skeletal remains from these events within their broader cultural and historical contexts this volume opens up important new understandings of the underlying social processes that continue to lead to these tragedies.
Experts on a wide range of ancient societies highlight the meaning and motivation of past uses of violence, revealing how violence often plays an important role in maintaining and suppressing the challenges to the status quo, and how it is frequently a performance meant to be witnessed by others.