Published online by Cambridge University Press: 03 November 2014
The temporality of bodies has featured prominently in bioarchaeologists’ studies of embodiment, lifecycle, plasticity and ancestor veneration, amongst other topics. We focus here on the temporality of violence, as evidenced by peri-mortem marks on and post-mortem treatments of bodies. Such evidence can signal violence that is either interpersonal or symbolic, though we realize the distinction may be a materially subtle one. To this end, we look to archaeologists’ recent theoretical forays into temporality. More specifically, we deliberate about relationality, which invites reflective comparison between past and present bodies. Relationality allows bioarchaeologists to examine bodies qua bodies, as well as demands that they contextualize their ancient (or historic) case studies and present-day research in time and place. To explore these ideas, we draw upon a variety of sources, not all of which are traditional (i.e. impersonal) academic discussions. The latter can obfuscate or overlook the more emotional or politicized dimensions of violated bodies.