IAN ARMIT. Headhunting and the body in Iron Age Europe. xii+260 pages, 86 illustrations, 5 tables. 2012. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 978-0-521-87756-5 hardback £60.
oday, 'headhunting' is a term more often used in employment recruiting than in later prehistoric archaeology. Ian Armit's book, however, makes a convincing case that societies in Iron Age Europe did indeed engage in practices for which 'headhunting' is an appropriate description. The opening chapter of the book defines the vocabulary used and clarifies the meaning of headhunting, head veneration, cosmology, religion, ideology and ritual violence. Armit defines headhunting as "a form of group-sanctioned, ritualised violence, in which the removal of the human head plays a central role" (p. 11).
Review by Katharina Rebay-Salisbury
School of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Leicester, UK