Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Winner takes all : reconstructing the decapitation of a warrior in Bronze Age China from osteological evidence
Authors: Zhou, Yawei
Lin, Shuang
Qin, Rangping
Yeh, Hui-Yuan
Zhang, Qun
Keywords: Humanities::History
Issue Date: 2020
Source: Zhou, Y., Lin, S., Qin, R., Yeh, H. & Zhang, Q. (2020). Winner takes all : reconstructing the decapitation of a warrior in Bronze Age China from osteological evidence. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, 12(9), 219-.
Journal: Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences
Abstract: Decapitation is an ancient practice in Asia with inadequate research. The present study reports on the osteological examination of a headless skeleton excavated from a high-status tomb in Chu State style dating back to the late Warring States Period (ca. 3th century BC) in Lu’an, Anhui, China. The individual is identified as a victim of decapitation with five peri-mortem sharp force cut marks on the posterior parts of the cervical vertebrae, and another one on the right second metacarpal. Microscopic observation of the kerfs, the historical records and archaeological evidence support the speculation that the individual could be a warrior of Chu State, who is decapitated after being wounded during the war against the Qin State. The hacking implement and the sequences of the cut marks are further discussed to reconstruct the process of execution. This multidisciplinary reconstruction is the first scientific osteological analysis of the decapitation on the human remains from the Chinese Bronze Age. Moreover, it will enrich our knowledge of the decapitation phenomenon in terms of war and execution in ancient China.
ISSN: 1866-9557
DOI: 10.1007/s12520-020-01183-2
Schools: School of Humanities 
Rights: © 2020 The Author(s). All rights reserved.
Fulltext Permission: none
Fulltext Availability: No Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SoH Journal Articles

Citations 50

Updated on Sep 22, 2023

Web of ScienceTM
Citations 50

Updated on Sep 22, 2023

Page view(s)

Updated on Sep 23, 2023

Google ScholarTM




Items in DR-NTU are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.