Interpretations of social violence from skeletal remains is key in providing data that informs us on the origin and evolution of violence in human groups and provides information on how and why violence is used by humans to solve a problem or produce an effect. Through the integration of biological and contextual data with social theory, bioarchaeologists have identified and interpreted a broad range of violent practices, including warfare, ritualized combat, hand to hand fighting, raids and ransacking, massacres, torture, executions, witchcraft, captive-taking, slavery, anthropophagy, intimate partner and child abuse, scalping, and human sacrifice. Distinguishing trauma due to social violence versus trauma from accidents and other causes is similarly challenging but possible by integrating all available skeletal and contextual information to identify socially significant patterns in the skeletal data. Integrating biological data with culturally specific contextual information offers offer how and why violence manifests in a wide variety of forms and expressions across different cultures from the past to the present.