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Title: Healed impact trauma to a Neolithic cattle frontal bone: a posthuman perspective
Authors: Banfield, E
Stoll, A
Thomas, R
First Published: 3-Dec-2018
Publisher: Elsevier for Paleopathology Association
Citation: International Journal of Paleopathology, 2018, 24, pp. 197-200 (4)
Abstract: Trauma associated with slaughter is identified occasionally archaeologically in the cranial remains of domesticated animals, with evidence for pole-axing occurring in Europe, especially from the Roman period onwards. The injury typically extends through the frontal bone and sinuses to penetrate the braincase, causing haemorrhage, loss of consciousness, brain damage, and death. Evidence for slaughter methods in the British Neolithic, however, is lacking. We report such evidence from a healed blunt-force impact trauma to the frontal bone of a domestic cattle skull from Beckhampton Road Neolithic long barrow, Wiltshire. The injury suggests a failed attempt at slaughter. To our knowledge, this is the first such report for domestic cattle from the British Neolithic. We contextualise this discovery, drawing on research into the role and meaning of faunal remains from Neolithic long barrows in Wiltshire. This work has been undertaken from a posthuman perspective. Thus, we demonstrate the opportunities for paleopathologists to inform and engage within posthumanist interpretative frameworks.
DOI Link: 10.1016/j.ijpp.2018.11.001
ISSN: 1879-9817
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © the authors, 2018. 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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