Ancient massacre suggests war predated settlements

  • Desolous
  • Desolous's Avatar Topic Author
  • Guest
23 Jan 2016 01:28 #223634 by Desolous
There's not much I can add to the NPR article. Except that I found it astonishing to note that war seems to predate settlements, human civilization itself. My son and I heard this article on the radio this afternoon and had a great conversation about it. How it seems there has been warfare as long as there have been humans.

Is it just in our nature? Will we ever be free of it? I don't know. This old soldier hopes so.

Link to article

Please Log in to join the conversation.

  • SeventhSL
  • SeventhSL's Avatar
  • Guest
23 Jan 2016 03:13 #223640 by SeventhSL
More surprised that they thought these things didn't happen before settlement. It would utterly contrast my experience with the rest of the natural world if that were the case.

In our nature? Yes.

Please Log in to join the conversation.

More
23 Jan 2016 03:35 - 23 Jan 2016 03:35 #223642 by Locksley
Well, they'd need to find more definitive cases to really push back the theory of warfare was we understand it only developing with settled communities. There may be more than what that article suggested, but there seem to be too many factors to consider, making it a very interesting curiosity, but not a completely groundbreaking discovery (if you'll pardon the archaeologist humor). :P

I think that our species is looking at a long, long time before individual violence becomes a rarity, but I hold out hope that large-scale violence can be eliminated on a shorter time-frame.
Last edit: 23 Jan 2016 03:35 by Locksley.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Edan

Please Log in to join the conversation.

More
23 Jan 2016 05:38 - 23 Jan 2016 07:14 #223649 by Adder
Animal instincts are said to sit at the seat of our humanity, with our brain's being built up from the stages of physical evolution into what they are now - so strip away all things 'human' and that might be all thats left...

...and hunting as packs for various resources is analogous to warfighting IMO; water sources, food, females, safe harbours, territory, materials etc. It could be argued that free market capitalism mitigates the need for fighting over stuff, but thats another topic
:pinch:

So 'social evolution' could be the task before humanity, due to globalization. Being attuned to oneself in such a way we can be relatable with others in the best way possible. I reckon human's can evolve beyond egoistic worldviews of self, group or nation, but there is always going to be a number of 'diseased' (in this context) individuals who fall into cycles of conflict which can spread to recruit vulnerable individuals or groups and reach the point of confrontation.

Maybe that is what defines a system of morals, what is acceptable in society and where the boundaries are. Buddhism's focus on the self seems most useful to me, to work up things to avoid;

Kleshas in Buddhism, are mental states that cloud the mind and manifest in unwholesome actions. Kleshas include states of mind such as anxiety, fear, anger, jealousy, desire, depression, etc. Contemporary translators use a variety of English words to translate the term kleshas, such as: afflictions, defilements, destructive emotions, disturbing emotions, negative emotions, mind poisons, etc.

In the contemporary Mahayana and Theravada Buddhist traditions, the three kleshas of ignorance, attachment, and aversion are identified as the root or source of all other kleshas. These are referred to as the three poisons in the Mahayana tradition, or as the three unwholesome roots in the Theravada tradition.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kleshas_(Buddhism)

Knight ~ introverted extropian, mechatronic neurothealogizing, technogaian buddhist. Likes integration, visualization, elucidation and transformation.
Jou ~ Deg ~ Vlo ~ Sem ~ Mod ~ Med ~ Dis
TM: Grand Master Mark Anjuu
Last edit: 23 Jan 2016 07:14 by Adder.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Locksley, SeventhSL

Please Log in to join the conversation.

More
23 Jan 2016 09:51 #223671 by ren
The greatest warriors of all time were nomads. So... We already kinda knew settlements weren't necessary for war: In fact we knew that having no settlements made armies more effective.

Convictions are more dangerous foes of truth than lies.
The following user(s) said Thank You: rugadd, SeventhSL

Please Log in to join the conversation.

More
23 Jan 2016 10:07 #223673 by Gisteron

ren wrote: The greatest warriors of all time were nomads. So... We already kinda knew settlements weren't necessary for war: In fact we knew that having no settlements made armies more effective.

Citation, please.
There is, admittedly, a benefit to morale of any given party if its members do not have to worry for their families back home, but the sheer stability a home provides by supplying food, water, shelter, treatment of injury, repairs and resupply of gear, all free of a need for violent acquisition thereof, would surely far outweigh that, would it not? Now, I don't know how to measure the "greatness" of a warrior, or the effectiveness of any single warrior at that. However, while nomadic armies may have endured for longer times in potentially more hostile environments, I'd guess that organized national armies sworn to the lords of their home lands were, on average, far more successful at actually defeating their targets rather than mere enduring.

Better to leave questions unanswered than answers unquestioned

Please Log in to join the conversation.

More
23 Jan 2016 13:40 #223710 by Lightstrider
I just think of early humans who are born into such an extreme environment of pure survivalism. Where when the sun starts to go down, you get scared because you can't see and there are beasts out there hunting you. So then during the day you're building defenses, stockpiling food and supplies, at night you're all huddled together waiting for the sun savior. However I think it depends on where exactly they were, some places may have not been so bad so that's why there's different religious philosophies and myths. In one area you may just fear the cold night, or in another it was actually nice at night like in a desert with brutal days.

Then you've got tribes who figured out different ways to get nutrition, like who cracked the first nut. Or you've got the first tribes who captured fire from a lightning strike or something. Other advances at that time which were significant would naturally create competition maybe one tribe needed more people to gather their newly found sources of nutrition, or people to keep the fires going which of course some would naturally come to them to just be warm at night or be fed but then I'm sure some could've been taken as slaves. Wandering tribes would run into more or less powerful tribes and conflict could arise by who claims right to this land, who wants this source of nutrition or that comfort.

That's how the first political and priest classes came to be, the secret knowledge of the fire, or food, or whatever it was. People would flock to these types because they had the power to see in the darkness, to keep warm, to stay fed, etc. That is where it all began, follow it along today the same people are in power - those who possess the hidden knowledge whether it's the Vatican, banking and financial institutions manipulating the local or global economy, high power political roundtable groups that influence government policies, even you or I if we invent something completely revolutionizing or have the idea that sparks a movement. They all have their own special niche's that give and has given them the award to better survival naturally or by taking advantage of the proletariat. I think most of violence and wars today are all based on this competition between the two, all the terrorism, economic crisis and political conflicts are simply theatre while much simpler things happening behind the scenes that caused them.

Of course much of it can still be the process of this "natural selection" of those who figured things out first or just groups of people who decide to change or seek out something different by whatever means however moral. Then there's also natural disasters that create a crisis that fuels the urge to survive by any means necessary and some come out on top and move on with this vantage and others fall.

"Only the dead have seen the end of war." -Santayana

I think the quote is right. No matter what, however small or big there will always be war between humans and humans, humans and the self, humans and animals, humans and nature. They could build a Brave New World with no money, guns, drugs, there's still going to be mental issues inherent in human psychology as well as conflicts implicit in nature.

Please Log in to join the conversation.

  • SeventhSL
  • SeventhSL's Avatar
  • Guest
23 Jan 2016 23:19 - 23 Jan 2016 23:20 #223786 by SeventhSL

Lightstrider wrote: "Only the dead have seen the end of war." -Santayana


Well said. I'd also extend this to murder, rape, theft and all manner of crime. If evolution is true then these things exist and are so wide spread through out the natural word for a reason.
Last edit: 23 Jan 2016 23:20 by SeventhSL.

Please Log in to join the conversation.

More
24 Jan 2016 02:11 #223816 by ren

Gisteron wrote:

ren wrote: The greatest warriors of all time were nomads. So... We already kinda knew settlements weren't necessary for war: In fact we knew that having no settlements made armies more effective.

Citation, please.
There is, admittedly, a benefit to morale of any given party if its members do not have to worry for their families back home, but the sheer stability a home provides by supplying food, water, shelter, treatment of injury, repairs and resupply of gear, all free of a need for violent acquisition thereof, would surely far outweigh that, would it not? Now, I don't know how to measure the "greatness" of a warrior, or the effectiveness of any single warrior at that. However, while nomadic armies may have endured for longer times in potentially more hostile environments, I'd guess that organized national armies sworn to the lords of their home lands were, on average, far more successful at actually defeating their targets rather than mere enduring.


Mongolian empire. Those guys were untouchable because they slept in tents and lived on horses. They built the greatest empire of all time, and killed on such a scale it caused climate change.

Convictions are more dangerous foes of truth than lies.

Please Log in to join the conversation.

More
24 Jan 2016 11:57 #223863 by Gisteron
If by being greater or more effective you mean spraying more blood per unit of land, I suppose you do have a point. I have no standard of greatness to go by, so that's fine. My standard of effectiveness is another one though, but alright, I'm willing to adopt yours to grant that the Mongols were indeed highly effective and - arguably - great.

Better to leave questions unanswered than answers unquestioned

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Moderators: RexZero