The 82nd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2013)

Conflicting Evidence of Warfare in Mycenaean Athens, Greece: Bodies versus Bronzes


1Geography and Anthropology, Kennesaw State University, 2Anthropology, University of Waterloo

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Cyclopean walls, bronze weapons, boars tusk helmets, military iconography – the evidence of militarism in Bronze Age Greece cannot be disputed. Burials have provided us with abundant evidence of military equipment in the form of bronze weaponry, yet the skeletons from burials have not always been adequately assessed in conjunction with the grave goods. There is ample evidence of violent injuries on skeletons from Greece and other countries, and often these injuries can be linked specifically to military activity. Recent research on skeletons from Mycenaean Athens have suggested that there is an weak inverse relationship between weaponry in burials and injuries resulting from interpersonal violence. In this study, we expand this analysis to two additional Mycenaean Athenian chamber tombs to assess whether the previous pattern would be supported, and indeed it was. For Mycenaean Athens, the lack of a relationship between burial with weapons and skeletal evidence of trauma related to interpersonal violence holds.

Global Learning Grant, Institute for Global Initiatives, Kennesaw State University

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