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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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...
Some of Martin’s most enjoyable work has involved experimentation, such as feeding meat on the bone to various carnivorous animals, most memorably coming within inches of a very irritable lynx as well as a rather inquisitive tiger. Martin’s interests in conflict also led to a series of experiments shooting Neolithic arrows at bone to investigate the resulting ‘injuries’ –an engaging project although the health and safety implications were interesting.
Martin enjoys living in rural Dorset where it’s difficult to throw a stone without hitting prehistoric archaeology and enjoys the opportunity to study Neolithic through Iron Age earthworks when walking his dog every morning. It’s good to have personal insights into one’s work and Martin’s GP informs him that he has reached an age where he is developing arthritis in his knees and spine. He looks forward with interest to acquiring further skeletal pathology in years to come…more
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...
The Durotriges Project- Excavation of a late iron Age to Roman complex in Dorset, including over 70 human burials which illustrate a range of differing treatments of the body at a time of dramatic cultural transitionmore
- Forsom, E. and Smith, M.J., 2017. Getting to the point: An experimental approach to improving the identification of penetrating projectile trauma to bone caused by medieval arrows. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 11, 274-286.
- Smith, M., Atkin, A. and Cutler, C., 2017. An Age Old Problem? Estimating the Impact of Dementia on Past Human Populations. Journal of Aging and Health, 29 (1), 68-98.
- Smith, M.J., Allen, M.J., Delbarre, G., Booth, T., Cheetham, P., Bailey, L., O'Malley, F., Pearson, M.P. and Green, M., 2016. Holding on to the past: Southern British evidence for mummification and retention of the dead in the Chalcolithic and Bronze Age. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 10, 744-756.
- Dussault, M.C., Smith, M. and Hanson, I., 2016. Evaluation of trauma patterns in blast injuries using multiple correspondence analysis. Forensic Science International, 267, 66-72.
- Young, A., Stillman, R., Smith, M.J. and Korstjens, A.H., 2016. Applying Knowledge of Species-Typical Scavenging Behavior to the Search and Recovery of Mammalian Skeletal Remains. JOURNAL OF FORENSIC SCIENCES, 61 (2), 458-466.
- Pearson, M.P., Welham, K., Smith, M. et al., 2015. Craig Rhos-y-felin: a Welsh bluestone megalith quarry for Stonehenge. ANTIQUITY, 89 (348), 1331-1352.
- Young, A., Stillman, R., Smith, M.J. and Korstjens, A.H., 2015. Scavenger Species-typical Alteration to Bone: Using Bite Mark Dimensions to Identify Scavengers. JOURNAL OF FORENSIC SCIENCES, 60 (6), 1426-1435.
- Smith, M.J., James, S., Pover, T., Ball, N., Barnetson, V., Foster, B., Guy, C., Rickman, J. and Walton, V., 2015. Fantastic plastic? Experimental evaluation of polyurethane bone substitutes as proxies for human bone in trauma simulations. Legal Medicine, 17 (5), 427-435.
- Hess, C.A., Smith, M.J., Trueman, C. and Schutkowski, H., 2015. Longitudinal and contemporaneous manganese exposure in apartheid-era South Africa: Implications for the past and future. International Journal of Paleopathology, 8, 1-9.
- Young, A., Márquez-Grant, N., Stillman, R., Smith, M.J. and Korstjens, A.H., 2015. An Investigation of Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) and Eurasian Badger (Meles meles) Scavenging, Scattering, and Removal of Deer Remains: Forensic Implications and Applications. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 60 (s1), S39-S55.
- Speith, N., Cheetham, P., Evans, D., Hambleton, E., Manley, H., Hewitt, I., Russell, M., Smith, M. and Gerdau-Radonic, K., 2015. Bronze Age to Late Roman settlement at Winterborne Kingston (The 'Big Dig') - Second Interim Report. Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History & Archaeological Society, 136, 157-161.
- Russell, M., Cheetham, P., Evans, D., Gerdau-Radonic, K., Hambleton, E., Hewitt, I., Manley, H., Speith, N. and Smith, M., 2015. The Durotriges Project, Phase Two: an interim statement. Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History & Archaeological Society, 136, 157-161.
- Young, Stillman, R., Smith, M. and Korstjens, A., 2014. Scavenging in Northwestern Europe: A Survey of UK Police Specialist Search Officers. Policing (Oxford): a journal of policy and practice, 8 (2), 156-164.
- Rickman, J.M. and Smith, M.J., 2014. Scanning electron microscope analysis of gunshot defects to bone: An underutilized source of information on ballistic trauma. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 59 (6), 1473-1486.
- Young, A., Stillman, R., Smith, M.J. and Korstjens, A.H., 2014. An Experimental Study of Vertebrate Scavenging Behavior in a Northwest European Woodland Context. Journal of Forensic Sciences.
- Rickman, J.M. and Smith, M.J., 2014. Scanning Electron Microscope Analysis of Gunshot Defects to Bone: An Underutilized Source of Information on Ballistic Trauma. Journal of Forensic Sciences.
- Russell, M., Cheetham, P., Evans, D., Hambleton, E., Hewitt, I., Manley, H. and Smith, M., 2014. The Durotriges Project, Phase one: an interim statement. Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society, 135, 217-221.
- Dussault, M.C., Smith, M. and Osselton, D., 2014. Blast injury and the human skeleton: An important emerging aspect of conflict related trauma. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 59, 606-612.
- Cheetham, P., Hambleton, E., Russell, M. and Smith, M., 2013. Digging the Durotriges - life and death in late Iron Age Dorset. , 36-41.
- Dussault, M.C., Smith, M.J. and Osselton, M., 2013. Blast injury and the Human skeleton: An important emerging aspect of conflict related trauma. Journal of Forensic Sciences, in press.
- Hess, C., Cooper, M.J., Smith, M.J., Trueman, C. and Schutkowski, H., 2013. Lead exposure in adult males in urban Transvaal Province, South Africa during the apartheid era. PLoS One, 8 (3), e58146.
- Smith, M., Kneller, P., Elliott, D., Young, C., Manley, H. and Osselton, D., 2012. Multidisciplinary analysis of a mummified cranium claimed to be that of a medieval execution victim. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, 4, 75-89.
- Smith, M., Knüsel, C.J., Chamberlain, A.T. and Mitchell, P.D., 2012. We cannot change the past –but we can learn from it. BMJ: British Medical Journal, 344.
- Smith, M., Knüsel, C., Chamberlain, A. and Mitchell, P.D., 2012. We cannot change the past, but we can learn from it. BMJ (Online), 344 (7841).
- Smith, M., Howard, A.J. and Hodder, M., 2011. Birmingham’s earliest inhabitants? A newly discovered Palaeolithic axe from Sutton Coldfield. PAST the newsletter of the Prehistoric Society, 66, 6-7.
- Bacon-Martin, H., Woodward, A. and Smith, M.J., 2008. "Cremated Bone": In Prehistoric and Roman Derby: Excavations at Littleover, Derby, 2003-4. Derbyshire Archaeological Journal, 128, 19-39.
- Faulkner, N., Smith, M.J. and Mays, S., 2008. Whose Death is it Anyway? The controversy surrounding the treatment of human remains is becoming more intense by the day. Current Archaeology, 214, 40-44.
- Smith, M.J. and Mays, S., 2007. Ancestors of Us All. Museums Journal, 107, 18.
- Smith, M.J. and Brickley, M.B., 2007. Boles Barrow: Witness to Ancient Violence? British Archaeology, 93, 22-27.
- Smith, M.J., Brickley, M.B. and Leach, S.L., 2007. Experimental Evidence for Lithic Projectile Injuries: Improving Identification of an Under-Recognised Phenomenon. Journal of Archaeological Science, 34, 540-553.
- Smith, M.J. and Brickley, M.B., 2006. The Date and Sequence of Use of Neolithic Funerary Monuments: New AMS Dating Evidence From the Cotswold-Severn Region. Oxford Journal of Archaeology, 25, 335-355.
- Smith, M.J., 2006. Bones Chewed by Canids as Evidence of Human Excarnation: A British Case Study. Antiquity, 80, 671-685.
- Brickley, M.B. and Smith, M.J., 2006. Culturally Determined Patterns of Violence: Biological Anthropological Investigations at a Historic Urban Cemetery. American Anthropologist, 108, 163-177.
- Smith, M.J. and Brickley, M.B., 2006. Metacarpal Fractures as a Key to Understanding Culturally Patterned Violence in a Historic Urban Cemetery Sample. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 167.
- Smith, M.J. and Brickley, M.B., 2004. Analysis and Interpretation of Flint Toolmarks Found on Bones from West Tump Long Barrow, Gloucestershire. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, 14, 18-33.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Alexandria Young (An Investigation of patterns of mammalian scavenging in relation to vertebrate skeletal remains in a Northwestern European context: forensic applications)
- Sheffield University, External Examiner MSc Human Osteology (2016-)
- PhD in Archaeology (University of Birmingham, 2005)
- BA (Hons) in Archaeology (University of Birmingham, 2001)
- 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,