Mortal Wounds : The Human Skeleton as Evidence for Conflict in the Past
Martin J Smith argues that the study of human remains is the purest, most reliable and unbiased source of evidence for the reality of conflict in the past. He outlines its value to the new science of Battlefield Archaeology and the wider understanding of historical conflict. He outlines the processes used in examining osteological remains to unlock the clues about what the combatants endured.
Drawing on case studies spanning the millennia, the author shows how skeletal remains can often tell us, in chilling detail, exactly what a warrior suffered in his final moments (though often the evidence of healed wounds from previous battles is just as striking). This enriches our understanding of the human experience of battle as well as providing scientific data on the effects of various weapons on the human body. This is a book written with scientific rigour by a leading archaeologist but it will appeal equally to students of archaeology and the military historian with an interest in the brutal face of battle.