Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version

Spring 2012

Thesis Advisor

Janet Monge


The following is a report on the perimortem cranial traumas observed at the Hasanlu archaeological site with the sole purpose of relating these traumas to their causative implements. Nineteen of 187 skulls from Hasanlu were selected for extended analysis based on the clarity of their perimortem wounds; a sample of all weapon types recovered from the site was also analyzed. Sixty-three definite or very likely perimortem primary points of impact were identifiable on the 19 skulls, corresponding to both blunt and sharp force trauma. Evidence was found for cranial trauma induced by falls, maceheads, swords, daggers, and possibly spears. As a whole, the association of the cranial traumas with causative weapons suggests something previously unknown about the battle at Hasanlu: that combat took place at very close range. Thus, this novel association of trauma with weapons may enhance our understanding of a single devastating day 2200 years ago, ancient Near Eastern warfare as a whole, and ultimately, the history of human violence.

Included in

Anthropology Commons



Date Posted: 08 June 2016


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