[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This paper seeks to examine the osteological evidence for decapitation from 30 skeletal assemblages dated to the medieval period (6th to 16th century) from Ireland. This is the first time that this data has been examined in a comparative manner and across the population of medieval Ireland. Decapitation is traditionally presented and interpreted in the literature on a case study basis with most decapitations being attributed to an action that was carried out as a direct result of warfare. This paper aims to use the osteological data to re-assess these interpretations and to use this data along with historical and literary sources to try to gain a fuller understanding of this practice.
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