united in blood! Rituals of violence and warfare in Iron Age britain

Author(s): Eric Harkleroad

Year: 2017


Discussions of ritual in society often focus on how ritual is used to bring individuals, communities, and larger social groups together. The role of ritual in violent interactions and warfare is less often considered and often what discussion there is focuses on the use of warfare to procure captives for public rituals, such as execution. Virtually ignored in this discussion is the role ritual plays in routinizing violence and warfare and how this ultimately impacts individuals and societies. This is especially true for the Iron Age in Britain, with virtually no serious consideration of violence and ritual. I examine evidence from sites across Wessex, in southern England, looking at the intersection of ritual and violence in everyday life during the Iron Age. Specifically I examine the ways rituals associated with violence and warfare impacted individuals and communities while examining the regional effects of these practices. Here the emphasis is on ritualized aspects of warfare and violence, not "ritual warfare", a phenomena that is observable in today's modern armies as well as in the past.

Cite this Record

united in blood! Rituals of violence and warfare in Iron Age britain. Eric Harkleroad. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429428)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Iron Age Ritual Warfare

Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17072