Martin Smith

Dr Martin Smith

  • 01202 965063
  • mjsmith at bournemouth dot ac dot uk
  • Principal Academic in Forensic & Biological Anthropology
  • Christchurch House C134, Talbot Campus, Fern Barrow, Poole, BH12 5BB
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Biography

Martin Smith is a Biological Anthropologist with particular interests in prehistoric populations. After completing his PhD and a subsequent three year postdoctoral post at Birmingham University, Martin took up his current post at BU in 2008. His past work has covered a range of periods with particular focus on the Neolithic. His interests centre principally on areas of taphonomy and trauma with relevance to both forensic and archaeological remains.

Martin has strong interests in the study of conflict from prehistoric to modern times. A question that continues to fascinate him is the extent to which war /organized conflict is ‘hard-wired’ in human beings rather than simply a practical response to environmental or social circumstances.

Ethical questions concerning human remains have become particularly prominent in recent years. Martin has repeatedly involved himself in current debates over the retention of skeletal assemblages and maintains the importance of keeping such collections, as once reburied they are effectively gone forever...

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Research

Martin is currently involved with a range of projects. These include Experimental injuries –investigation of the signatures of various forms of violence related injury using animal bone and synthetic substitutes for human bone. Mechanisms investigated include modern firearms, crossbows and black powder muskets.

Mummified remains -Several small projects examining unusual forms of preservation including the alleged head of a medieval execution victim which was in fact that of an Egyptian mummy and the preserved, tattooed skin of a 19th century French sailor claimed to be a hanged murderer.

The Dead of Prehistoric Dorset- Most famously this involves re-analysis of remains from Wor Barrow -a Neolithic long barrow excavated in 1894 by General Pitt Rivers acknowledged as the first scientific excavation in the world. This English Heritage funded project also includes C14 dating and isotope analysis. These and other burials examined from the same landscape are revealing complex mortuary practices previously not seen in Britain.

The Bioarchaeology of Human Conflict (Co edited with Chris Knüsel, Exeter Univ.) This edited volume constitutes a major contribution to the study of conflict as evidenced by human remains. Contributors include a wide range of international authors many of whom are widely acknowledged as among the top ranking biological anthropologists in the world. as well as young scholars with fresh new ideas. This book is expected to form a major resource in the subject for some years to come...

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Journal Articles

Books

  • The Routledge Handbook of the Bioarchaeology of Human Conflict. Routledge.
  • Smith, M.J. and Brickley, M.B., 2009. People of the Long Barrows: Life, Death and Burial in the Earlier Neolithic. Stroud, England: The History Press.
  • Proceedings of the 8th Annual Conference of the British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology. Oxford: Archaeopress.

Chapters

  • Slater, R.J. and Smith, M., 2012. A Study of Interobserver Variation in Cranial Measurements and the Resulting Consequences when Analysed using CranID. In: Mitchell, P.D. and Buckberry, J., eds. Proceedings of the 12th Annual Conference of the British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology. Oxford: Archaeopress.
  • Smith, M.J., Brickley, M.B. and Leach, S.L., 2011. A Shot in the Dark: Interpreting Evidence for Prehistoric Conflict. In: Saville, A., ed. Flint and Stone in the Neolithic Period. Oxford: Oxbow Books.
  • Mays, S. and Smith, M., 2009. Ethical dimensions of reburial, retention and repatriation of archaeological human remains: a British perspective. In: Clegg, M. and Lewis, M., eds. Proceedings of the Ninth Annual Conference of the British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology. Oxford: Archaeopress, 107-117.
  • Smith, M.J., Brickley, M.B., Adams, J. and Mould, Q., 2009. Death and Burial. In: Forster, M., ed. Life, Work and Death in Birmingham City Centre. London: English Heritage and Birmingham City Council.
  • Jones, L., Woodward, A., Buteux, S. and Smith, M.J., 2006. Human Remains. Iron age, Roman and Saxon occupation at Grange Park: excavations at Courteenhall, Northamptonshire, 1999. Oxford: Archaeopress, 173.

Conferences

  • Smith, M., Fibiger, L. and Schulting, R., 2017. Settled Lives –Unsettled Times: Violence in the Neolithic. In: The Cambridge World History of Violence 20-22 June 2016 University of Notre Dame, Rome.
  • Smith, M., Allen, M.J., Booth, T., Madgwick, R., Bailey, L., O'Malley, F., Delbarre, G., Cheetham, P. and Green, M., 2014. Keeping the Family Together: Curation, Imitation and Veneration of the Dead in a British Prehistoric Landscape. In: European Association of Archaeologists 20th Annual Meeting 11-13 September 2014 Istanbul Turkey.
  • Gerdau Radonic, K., Smith, M., Russell, M., Cheetham, P., Hambleton, E., Manley, H. and Evans, D., 2014. Death Ways of the Durotriges: Dealing with the Dead in Late Iron Age and Early Roman Dorset. In: European Association of Archaeologists 20th Annual Meeting 11 September-13 October 2014 Istanbul University, Turkey.
  • Gerdau-Radonic, K., Smith, M., Russell, M., Cheetham, P., Hambleton, E., Manley, H. and Evans, D., 2014. Death Ways of the Durotriges: Dealing with the Dead in Late Iron Age and Early Roman Dorset. In: European Association of Archaeologists 10-14 September 2014 Istanbul, Tukey.
  • Smith, M.J., 2014. Fantastic Plastic? Investigating the potential of polyurethane bone substitutes in ballistic experiments. In: 8th Experimental Archaeology Conference UK 10-11 January 2014 Oxford University.
  • Smith, M., 2013. Context isn’t Quite Everything: Interpreting complex prehistoric mortuary rituals at Cranborne Chase, Dorset, England. In: Theoretical Archaeology Group Conference (TAG on Sea 2013) 16-18 December 2013 Bournemouth University.
  • Smith, M., 2013. CSI Egypt? Assessing the potential of computerised tomography of mummified remains for developing forensic techniques. In: 15th Annual Conference of the British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology 13-15 September 2013 York University.
  • Starkie, A., 2013. Mort aux Commissaires! Analysis of the preserved, tattooed skin of an adult male from 19th century France. In: 15th Annual Conference of the British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology 13 December-15 September 2013 York University.
  • Smith, M.J. and Allen, M., 2013. Bones of Unknown and Hoary Antiquity: re-assessment of the Neolithic primary burials at Wor Barrow, Cranborne Chase, Dorset. In: 15th Annual Conference of the British Association for Biological Anthropology and Ostearchaeology 13-15 September 2013 York University.

Others

  • Smith, M.J., 2007. Book Review: The Archaeology of Warfare: Prehistories of Raiding and Conquest (Eds. E. Arkush & M.W. Allen) Florida University Press,2006. Published.

PhD Students

  • Alexandria Young (An Investigation of patterns of mammalian scavenging in relation to vertebrate skeletal remains in a Northwestern European context: forensic applications)

External Responsibilities

  • Sheffield University, External Examiner MSc Human Osteology (2016-)

Qualifications

  • PhD in Archaeology (University of Birmingham, 2005)
  • BA (Hons) in Archaeology (University of Birmingham, 2001)

Memberships

  • American Association of Physical Anthropologists, Member,
  • British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology, Member, http://www.babao.org.uk/
  • Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, Member (2016-), http://www.csofs.org/
  • Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, Member (2016-), http://www.csofs.org/
  • The Palaeopathology Association, Member,
  • The Prehistoric Society, Member,
  • The Royal Anthropological Institute, Fellow,
The data on this page was last updated at 04:01 on June 23, 2017.