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ganulv
12-30-2011, 05:51 AM
The Economist has a recent piece about salvage archaeology of a mass grave resulting from the Battle of Towton. Popular coverage of archaeology is typically embarrassingly poor in that the journalist either clearly doesnít understand the topic and/or writes down to the audience, but this write-up isnít so bad despite centering on forensics (I personally find the post-CSI glut of forensic procedurals and their popularity unnerving; thereís something both desensitizing and pornographic about their treatment of violence in my eyes). LINK (http://www.economist.com/node/17722650) for those interested.

AdamG
12-30-2011, 06:54 AM
The Economist has a recent piece...

Neat article, but... Dec 16th 2010

ganulv
12-30-2011, 12:30 PM
Neat article, but... Dec 16th 2010
Ha! Thanks, I guess Iím getting to that age where one year kind of slips into the other without me taking too much notice. Iíve actually always been at that age. :p

Stan
12-30-2011, 02:17 PM
Ha! Thanks, I guess Iím getting to that age where one year kind of slips into the other without me taking too much notice. Iíve actually always been at that age. :p

Well Matt, in your defense, Towton has been dead for quite some time ;)

The description of blows to the head and forensics sounds like writer was a cop. Fantastic details !

Many Britons have never heard of it: school history tends to skip the 400-or-so years between 1066 and the start of the Tudor era.

At least you only slipped a year without much notice :D

davidbfpo
12-30-2011, 07:10 PM
Ganulv,

Excellent find. It is a period of English history that I have never looked at in depth, but this passage struck me as important:perhaps 10% of the countryís fighting-age population, took the field that day.

One in ten on one day. Has that level of participation been seen on any other battlefield?

ganulv
01-01-2012, 03:10 PM
The description of blows to the head and forensics sounds like writer was a cop. Fantastic details !
Paleopathologists can be a little, umm, quirky, but they can do some interesting stuff. For her dissertation research (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/19877909/Cova%E2%80%94Cultural%20patterns%20of%20trauma%20a mong%2019th%20century%20born%20males%20in%20cadave r%20collections.pdf) my friend Carlina analyzed a skeletal collection representing the remains of late 19th and early 20th century male laborers and found substantive differences in trauma along ethnic lines (Euro-American remains in the collection showed a higher incidence of fractures than did African American remains and African American remains showed a higher incidence of weapon–related trauma than did Euro-American remains).

One in ten on one day. Has that level of participation been seen on any other battlefield?
That’s an interesting question. I can think of instances involving American Indian groups—the Mohican lost such a large portion of their adult male population in one engagement during the Revolutionary War (http://gnadenhutten.tripod.com/patriotsblood/id4.html) that they were subsequently released from service—all relatively small groups in terms of total population. Nothing immediately comes to mind regarding larger polities. The Paraguayan War resulted in massive population loss in terms of percentage but I don’t know anything about particular events over its course.