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posted by janrinok on Thursday March 16 2023, @03:34PM   Printer-friendly
from the turning-ploughshares-into-swords dept.

Violence and warfare were widespread in many Neolithic communities across Northwest Europe:

Of the skeletal remains of more than 2300 early farmers from 180 sites dating from around 8000 – 4000 years ago to, more than one in ten displayed weapon injuries, bioarchaeologists found.

Contrary to the view that the Neolithic era was marked by peaceful cooperation, the team of international researchers say that in some regions the period from 6000BC to 2000BC may be a high point in conflict and violence with the destruction of entire communities.

The findings also suggest the rise of growing crops and herding animals as a way of life, replacing hunting and gathering, may have laid the foundations for formalised warfare.

[...] More than ten per cent showed damage potentially caused by frequent blows to the head by blunt instruments or stone axes. Several examples of penetrative injuries, thought to be from arrows, were also found.

Some of the injuries were linked to mass burials, which could suggest the destruction of entire communities, the researchers say.

Journal Reference:
Linda Fibiger, Torbjörn Ahlström, Christian Meyer, and Martin Smith, Conflict, violence, and warfare among early farmers in Northwestern Europe [open], PNAS, 2022. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2209481119


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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by RedGreen on Thursday March 16 2023, @05:49PM (3 children)

    by RedGreen (888) on Thursday March 16 2023, @05:49PM (#1296530)

    "So the researchers successfully determined that human beings have always been extremely crappy to each other, and agriculture made it possible for early humans to be more efficient at being a shite species."

    Yes a double win for efficiency for both the good and the bad of humanity. Now perhaps they can reexamine the "noble savage" garbage theory I was taught in school about the original inhabitants of North America. We certainly did not teach them all those torture techniques they used against people they were out to kill, they already had knowledge on their own from the same violence they had among themselves. People are the same over the entire world no matter their race, they were killing each other forever when it suited their purposes.

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  • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Thursday March 16 2023, @09:38PM (2 children)

    by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 16 2023, @09:38PM (#1296567) Journal

    OK, but remember that scalping was introduced by the french fur traders during the "French and Indian wars". And there's a long history of quite refined torture in European civilization. Not just extreme events like the Inquisition, but also as a regular part of "police practice".

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    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by RedGreen on Friday March 17 2023, @01:53AM (1 child)

      by RedGreen (888) on Friday March 17 2023, @01:53AM (#1296602)

      "And there's a long history of quite refined torture in European civilization."

      Yet another one in the blame the white Europeans for all the problems in the world bull shit I see too often. I clearly stated everyone does it and has done it from the dawn of time. Once we stop the blame game to justify the non-white peoples behaviour perhaps we can try to work together to solve the problems of the world. Though knowing what scummy bastards too many of the people in this world are, I am not holding my breath waiting for it to happen.

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      • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Friday March 17 2023, @01:46PM

        by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 17 2023, @01:46PM (#1296679) Journal

        No, I'm just saying that the Amerinds weren't exceptional (except perhaps the Aztecs), I you want I could also mention the Chinese, and the Africans had a few techniques of their own. I don't know anything particular about the groups in South America or Australia or... well, lots of places. But the Amerinds were not more given to torture than other folks were. (OTOH, "Noble Savage" is a foolish idea. They're typically better in some ways and worse in others.)

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