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A demographic analysis of Maiden Castle hillfort: Evidence for conflict in the late Iron Age and early Roman period

Redfern, Rebecca C. and Chamberlain, Andrew T. (2011) A demographic analysis of Maiden Castle hillfort: Evidence for conflict in the late Iron Age and early Roman period. International Journal of Paleopathology, 1 (1). pp. 68-73. ISSN 1879-9817

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Abstract

The late Iron Age human remains from the British hillfort of Maiden Castle are frequently cited within the archaeological and bioarchaeological literature as providing evidence for conflict. This interpretation is based on osteological work undertaken in the late 1930s. In order to test the validity of using this sample in conflict research, the authors undertook a detailed analysis of the site’s demography in comparison with contemporary late Iron Age attritional cemeteries from Dorset (England) and additional conflict mortality data. These results showed that the 1st century BC to 1st century AD samples conformed to a catastrophic profile, as greater numbers of young adult males had been buried during this phase of occupation. In combination with new bioarchaeological findings and the identification of an embedded Roman projectile weapon, we conclude that individuals had died during an episode of warfare, one of which probably included the Roman conquest of 43AD.

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > Department of Archaeology (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Professor Andrew T Chamberlain
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2011 15:51
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 17:31
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpp.2011.02.004
Status: Published
Publisher: Elsevier
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.ijpp.2011.02.004
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/42975

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