Bioarchaeology of Imperialism and Violence

Tiffiny A. Tung

in Violence, Ritual, and the Wari Empire

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780813037677
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813042183 | DOI:
Bioarchaeology of Imperialism and Violence

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  • Prehistoric Archaeology


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This chapter presents the theoretical background that informs its research, and discusses, generally, how the political organization of states and empires can structure health outcomes. For example, tribute demands in foodstuffs by imperial elites may negatively impact the nutritional status of tribute communities, and the promotion of violence as a tool for imperial expansion may lead to increased injuries and premature death, as well as the creation of a military class. The author discusses how individuals and communities may affect imperial policies and practices, arguing that the path of influence is not solely top-down, but that the practices and their biocultural outcomes are mediated. The chapter closes with an extended discussion of violence and its use in imperial agendas, and with a more general discussion of the various social contexts in which violence may emerge.

Keywords: structure and agency; imperial policies; elites; heartland vs. hinterland; core vs. periphery; social bioarchaeology; violence

Chapter.  6506 words. 

Subjects: Prehistoric Archaeology

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