|People of the Long Barrows Dr Martin J Smith & Megan Brickley|
Dr. Martin J Smith, lecturer in Forensic Anthropology from the School of Conservation Sciences, has co-authored a new book entitled People of the Long Barrows: Life, death and burial in the Earlier Neolithic alongside Mega Brickley.
Long barrows represent the oldest standing architecture in the British Isles. They are interpreted as houses for the dead but made and used by living communities. In this book the authors bring their combined experience of biological and forensic anthropology to study the barrow builders themselves. They consider the history of the study of human remains from long barrows, the sample of society selected for burial in such structures and how their bodies were treated during burial rituals and beyond. They also look at the lived experiences of barrow-using communities, their health, diet and demography.
Rather than being peaceful farmers, the authors suggest that the long barrow people lived largely as mobile herders, at times plagued by warfare and frequently absorbed with drawn-out rituals associated with the dead.
Both authors have a number of years of experience examining Neolithic skeletal remains. Martin Smith is Lecturer in Forensic and Biological Anthropology at Bournemouth University. Megan Brickley is Senior Lecturer in Environmental Archaeology in the Institute of Archaeology and Antiquity at the University of Birmingham.