Aging well: Treherne’s ‘warrior’s beauty’ two decades later
Over the (slightly more than) two decades that the European Journal of Archaeology (formerly the Journal of European Archaeology ) has been in print, we have published a number of excellent and high profile articles. Among these, Paul Treherne's seminal meditation on Bronze Age male identity and warriorhood stands out as both the highest cited and the most regularly downloaded paper in our archive. Speaking informally with friends and colleagues who work on Bronze Age topics as diverse as ceramics, metalwork, landscape phenomenology, and settlement structure, I found that this paper holds a special place in their hearts. Certainly, it is a staple of seminar reading lists and, in my experience at least, is prone to provoke heated discussions among students on topics as far ranging as gender identity in the past and present, theoretically informed methods for material culture studies, and the validity of using Classical texts for understanding prehistoric worlds. Moreover, in its themes of violence, embodiment, materiality, and the fluidity or ephemeral nature of gendered identities, it remains a crucial foundational text for major debates raging in European prehistoric archaeology in the present day.