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Blood Red Roses


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Table of Contents

Site discovery, context and excavation The context of the discovery (Veronica Fiorato) The historical background to the battle and the documentary evidence (Andrew Boardman) The excavation and finds (Andrea Burgess) Recording the grave (Tim Sutherland) The Human Remains The physical anthropology (Anthea Boylston, Malin Holst and Jennifer Coughlan) Health status (Jennifer Coughlan and Malin Holst) Dental health and disease (Malin Host and Jennifer Coughlan) Battle-related trauma (Shannon Novak) Arms and Armour of the Fifteenth Century: Weapons (Graeme Rimer) Armour (Thom Richardson) Combat techniques (John Waller) The wider implications of the discovery The potential of the site for improved understanding of the Towton battle and battlefield (Tim Sutherland) How has the Towton project contributed to our knowledge of medieval warfare? (Christopher Knusel and Anthea Boylston) Battlefield protection and the current extent of archaeological research (Veronica Fiorato)

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edited by Veronica Fiorato, Anthea Boylston and Christopher Knusel, with a foreword by Robert Hardy


A thorough and elegant volume... The photographs are excellent, and Caroline Needham's drawings outstanding... Blood Red Roses is distinguished by its unusual combination of broad scope, painstaking detail and sensitivity.' -- Antiquity Antiquity This book tells the fascinating story of the piecing together of the evidence as to how the soldiers died...Not least this book is a medieval murder mystery. Draw your own conclusion from the wealth of evidence provided. -- BBC History Magazine BBC History Magazine This book presents a compelling study of the remains of those killed in the bloodiest battle on English soil. This well-written volume is for anyone interested in military history, medieval warfare, skeletal biology and bioarchaeology. The editors draw together a wonderful collection of superbly written essays that detail the various aspects of how skeletons should be studied, including the range of important contextual information that informs our understanding of the past. As a bioarchaeologist, I was especially impressed with the studies dealing with health and disease, traumatic injury, and activity reconstruction.' -- Clark Spencer Larsen, Ohio State University Clark Spencer Larsen, Ohio State University The archaeologists, anthropologists, pathologists, and historians of Bradford should be thanked for the care and skill they brought to this work. In this lucidly written and beautifully edited book, the scholars of Bradford have helped the dead of Towton to speak, to tell us who they were, and how they lived, fought, and died.' -- Journal of the American Medical Association 286, No. 21 Journal of the American Medical Association 286, No. 21 This book showcases the broader role of mortuary and forensic data as an adjunct to history, particularly since the nature and location of the mass grave raised several cultural-historical questions. These revolve around the non-Christian manner of interment, the particularly brutal manner of death (e.g. excessive and mutilating head trauma), and the 2-km distance of the grave from the traditional location of the battlefield.' 'The editors target both a professional and lay audience and succeed extraordinarily well, considering the breadth and depth of the subjects covered. Though professionally written, the text is not peppered with jargon or paradigm issues. Each chapter has a comprehensive bibliography. For the professional archaeologist/bioarchaeologist, the raw data for each individual are provided in tabular and/or descriptive format, either in the text or in an appendix. There is also careful description of the unconventional recovery technique (e.g., use of the electronic distance meter dovetailed with rectified vertical photography) and a thoughtful reassessment of archaeological field techniques effective for location battlefield sites (which typically have a long history of looting). For the avocational historian, there is a comprehensive glossary of pathological terms and several pages of simple line drawings of basic skeletal anatomy, with the bones and essential landmarks labelled. Additionally, each chapter provides a clear overview of the goals and of the data analysis, and concludes with an outline of the main points. Therefore, there is no ambiguity about the role particular research has in contributing to the total picture. This includes the role the Towton analysis plays in corroborating history and providing a point of departure for archaeological or forensic (e.g. massacre episodes) analyses.' -- American Journal of Physical Anthropology 117 American Journal of Physical Anthropology 117 This book is magnificently produced ... . It advances forensic analysis of burials and of mass graves, in particular, and points the way for future analysis of catastrophe cemeteries and of multi-disciplinary historical studies, generally.' -- The Ricardian 12 The Ricardian 12 ... an impressive report which will stand as a model of its kind, superseding that of Thordeman (1939) who examined over a thousand skeletons in four mass burial pits from the battle of Wisby in 1361.' 'The value of this report lies in the thoroughness with which the burials are placed within the context of the battle and the skill with which the battle is set within the historic landscape.' -- Yorkshire Archaeological Journal Yorkshire Archaeological Journal The book is well produced and ... eminently readable. It is amply illustrated with many excellent diagrams and plates.' -- Assemblage Assemblage

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