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This paper may be of particular interest to:  Students
Type: Paper
Paper Title: INSCRIBED ON THE BODY AND WRITTEN IN THE BONES: THE HUMAN DEBT OF FEMALE CAPTIVES
Author: DEBRA MARTIN (University of Nevada-Las Vegas), RYAN HARROD (University of Nevada-Las Vegas)   
Date/Time: Fri., 2:00 PM
Co-Author(s): DEBRA MARTIN (University of Nevada-Las Vegas), RYAN HARROD (University of Nevada-Las Vegas) 
Abstract: The circulation and trafficking of women and children as commodities is a common and world-wide phenomenon that has been part of human history for a very long time. Its persistence into today’s globalized commodity market demonstrates how institutionalized this form of violence is. Gendered violence is found in many different contexts, but it is most sustained in groups that practice raiding and abduction of women (and often children). Raiding, as part of endemic warfare strategies, is cyclical and part of a long-term strategy with economic and political implications for both males and females. Women as commodities are traded, bought and sold, and suggest a form of structural violence that is culturally sanctioned and deeply embedded. Women are used to pay off debts and accrue wealth for their owners. How can these kinds of practices be empirically supported by the bioarchaeological record and what are the effects of these practices? Data from several skeletal series are provided. The bioarchaeological signature of forced captivity includes healed head wounds, healed broken bones, and a variety of trauma-related musculo-skeletal changes. Captives and indentured servants form a category of targeted individuals who show repeated trauma and injury over the course of their lifetime (called injury recidivism). These nonlethal forms of violence are perhaps the most powerful of all coercive techniques available. Fear of being hurt (or killed) or actually being hurt (and not killed) creates an immediate situation of power imbalance and subordination that can be exploited in many different political-economic contexts. Captives with healed fractures, inflamed muscles, infections, and other signs of abuse reveal the biological costs of this form of debt service and the processes by which captives circulate within political-economic systems.

Program Number: 3-0830
Session Title: MATERIALIZING AND EMBODYING DEBT
Session Sponsor: Archaeology Division
Session Date/Time: Fri., 1:45 PM-5:30 PM
Organizer(s): CHARLES COBB, MARK HAUSER (Northwestern University) 
Chair(s): ANN STAHL (University of Victoria)  
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