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Title: The Technology of the Gibbet
Authors: Tarlow, Sarah
First Published: 14-Sep-2014
Publisher: Springer
Citation: International Journal of Historical Archaeology, 2014, 18 (4), pp. 668-699
Abstract: The practice of “hanging in chains” or gibbeting had been part of the punitive repertoire of the English and Welsh judicial system for centuries before the 1751–52 Murder Act specified it as one of two mandatory post-mortem punishments for murderers. The practice was not abolished until 1834. This article considers the technical and design features of the gibbet cage, through an exhaustive survey and catalogue of their surviving remains. It notes that, given the comparative rarity of hanging in chains, no chronological or regional traditions of design are evident in this kind of artifact, since blacksmiths were individually solving the problem of fulfilling the necessary functions of a gibbet cage without knowledge of previous examples and under great time pressure. The technology of the gibbet shows how state directives intersected with geographical discretion in the creation of idiosyncratic local solutions.
DOI Link: 10.1007/s10761-014-0275-0
ISSN: 1092-7697
eISSN: 1573-7748
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © the authors, 2014. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( ), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Archaeology and Ancient History

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