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“Presents an understanding of the science, skills, and craft of the archaeologist and how these can be used to unravel many criminal mysteries.” —Police History Society Newsletter
Today, police forces all over the world use archaeological techniques to help them solve crimes—and archaeologists are using the same methods to identify and investigate crimes in the past.
This book introduces some of those techniques, and explains how they have been used not only to solve modern crimes, but also to investigate past wrongdoing. Past Crimes presents archaeological and historical evidence of crimes from mankind’s earliest days, as well as evidence of how criminals were judged and punished.
Each society has had a different approach to law and order, and these approaches are discussed here with examples ranging from Ancient Egypt to Victorian England—police forces, courts, prisons, and executions have all left their traces in the physical and written records. Also discussed here is how the development of forensic approaches has been used to collect and analyze evidence that were invented by pioneer criminologists.
From the murder of a Neanderthal man to bank fraud in the nineteenth century, via ancient laws about religion and morality and the changes in social conditions and attitudes, a wide range of cases are included—some terrible crimes, some amusing anecdotes, and some forms of ancient law-breaking that remain very familiar.