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Towards an archaeology of pain? Assessing the evidence from later prehistoric bog bodies
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Chapman, Henry P.
Gearey, Benjamin R.
John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
This paper highlights the potential for what could be termed an ‘archaeology of pain’, reflecting on the potential significance and role of the infliction, suffering, endurance and observation of pain by individuals in the past. It presents a case study of ‘bog bodies’, human remains recovered from wetland which, due to the anoxic, waterlogged conditions, preserves human flesh and associated evidence, including injuries and cause of death. The central argument is that evidence from pathological investigations of certain later prehistoric bodies provides hitherto neglected information concerning the embodied experience of pain, in particular its duration and intensity, which may be central to the interpretation of these events. This understanding can be framed not only in terms of the experience of pain by the victims, but also in the potential perception of pain and suffering by those inflicting these and potentially by any observers of the final moments of these individuals.
Pain , Duration , Intensity , Bog bodies
Chapman, H. P. and Gearey, B. R. (2019) 'Towards an archaeology of pain? Assessing the evidence from later prehistoric bog bodies', Oxford Journal of Archaeology, 38(2), pp. 1-14. doi:10.1111/ojoa.12165
© 2019, John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Chapman, H. P. and Gearey, B. R. (2019) 'Towards an archaeology of pain? Assessing the evidence from later prehistoric bog bodies', Oxford Journal of Archaeology, 38(2), pp. 1-14. doi:10.1111/ojoa.12165, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/ojoa.12165. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.