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From Stone Darts to Dismembered Bodies... 5,000 Years of Violence in... California
Western Digs ^ | April 28, 2014 | Blake de Pastino

Posted on 05/03/2014 9:37:13 AM PDT by SunkenCiv

From shooting their enemies with darts and arrows to crushing their skulls and even harvesting body parts as trophies, the ancient foragers of central California engaged in sporadic, and sometimes severe, violence, according to a new archaeological study spanning 5,000 years.

In an effort to understand life and death in one of the ancient West’s most populous regions, anthropologists conducted a landmark study of its dead, cataloging signs of violence found in burials between the Sierra Nevada and the San Francisco Bay, dating from historic times all the way back to 3000 BCE.

After 13 years of mining the data, the researchers identified what they say is a complex pattern of episodic violence, driven by forces as diverse as competition for territory, pressure from a changing climate, and the arrival of Europeans.

Chronicling 16,820 burials from 329 sites among 13 different ethnographic groups, the data reveal that the most common type of violence over the millennia was so-called sharp-force trauma, caused by projectiles like arrows or atlatl darts, which appeared in 7.2% of the burials studied.

Another 4.3% of the hunter-gatherers suffered apparent blunt-force trauma to the head, while just under 1% showed evidence of dismemberment, with limbs, scalps, or heads having been removed after death.

These grim findings illustrate the periodic conflicts that took place among California’s prehistoric groups in response to the historical, environmental, and social circumstances around them, said Dr. Terry Jones, an anthropologist at Cal Poly who co-authored the new study.

“Many people still seem to think that prehistoric California was a violence-free paradise, but the archaeological record shows clearly that that was not the case,” he said in an interview.

“People are people, and most of us believe that an inclination to resort to violence in certain situations is part of the human condition.”

(Excerpt) Read more at westerndigs.org ...


TOPICS: History; Science; Travel
KEYWORDS: california; godsgravesglyphs; precolumbian
full title, "From Stone Darts to Dismembered Bodies, New Study Reveals 5,000 Years of Violence in Central California".
Projectile point in human remains in California Remains found in Contra Costa County, California, included a projectile point embedded in the bone. The burial was dated to between 500 amd 1500 BCE. (Photo by Randy Wiberg)

Projectile point in human remains in California
Remains found in Contra Costa County, California, included a projectile point embedded in the bone. The burial was dated to between 500 amd 1500 BCE. (Photo by Randy Wiberg)

1 posted on 05/03/2014 9:37:13 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
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To: StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; decimon; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; 2ndDivisionVet; ...

2 posted on 05/03/2014 9:38:30 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv

No,no. We have been repeated assured that the Cali Indians were peaceful.

Chumash be mistaken.


3 posted on 05/03/2014 9:39:57 AM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: BenLurkin

Inclination to violence is part of the human condition?

does this help explain the violence of the youth gangs? Since they tend to be uncivilized, easily angered, ready to get even for all slights, real and imagined, with violence? A culture in which being “dissed” is the worst thing that can happen to someone, and someone who is “dissed” responds with violence?


4 posted on 05/03/2014 9:42:04 AM PDT by Dilbert San Diego
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To: SunkenCiv
After 13 years of mining the data, the researchers identified what they say is a complex pattern of episodic violence, driven by forces as diverse as competition for territory, pressure from a changing climate, and the arrival of Europeans.

I knew they would blame climate change for the violence.

5 posted on 05/03/2014 9:43:20 AM PDT by TaxPayer2000
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To: TaxPayer2000

and the white men...


6 posted on 05/03/2014 9:51:43 AM PDT by 2banana (My common ground with terrorists - they want to die for islam and we want to kill them)
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To: SunkenCiv

Sounds like a night in East LA.


7 posted on 05/03/2014 9:57:32 AM PDT by skeeter
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To: SunkenCiv

The savagery in the pre-Colombian American Southwest would make Conan the Barbarian blink. Genocide plus cannibalism at several points.


8 posted on 05/03/2014 10:02:08 AM PDT by Psalm 144 (FIGHT! FIGHT! SEVERE CONSERVATIVE AND THE WILD RIGHT!)
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To: SunkenCiv

This was California BEFORE pot!!! (Sarcasm)


9 posted on 05/03/2014 10:04:16 AM PDT by ZULU (Devil Patrick FREE Justina Pelletier!!!)
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To: SunkenCiv

IOW, over a 5000 year period 12.5% of the natives died from violence.

To give some comparison, about 2.5M Americans died last year. We had about 50,000 murders and suicides last year, deaths by violence.

IOW, a rate of violent death of around 2%.

This study, BTW, lines up with a most excellent book. War Before Civilization: The Myth of the Peaceful Savage by Lawrence H. Keeley. Highly recommended.

http://www.amazon.com/War-Before-Civilization-Peaceful-Savage/dp/0195119126

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_Before_Civilization


10 posted on 05/03/2014 10:27:00 AM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: TaxPayer2000

“I knew they would blame climate change for the violence.”

I take that as a good sign. They are talking climate change going on
prior to man having the technology to cause climate change.
Envirowhacks would have us believe that before human techno
progress the world climate was forever stable. And, I am
personally proud that it took anthropologists from my alma matre,
Cal Poly, to expose the myth that before Europeans showed up
the natives lived in total peace and harmony.


11 posted on 05/03/2014 10:32:06 AM PDT by Sivad (NorCal red turf)
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To: Sherman Logan

They were killing off each other to protect the earth. Everyone knows the original people of America were one with nature. This just shows how wise they were.


12 posted on 05/03/2014 10:33:46 AM PDT by Gadsden1st
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To: skeeter

Nancy Pelosi’s first husband?


13 posted on 05/03/2014 10:34:55 AM PDT by Busko (The only thing that is certain is that nothing is certain.)
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14 posted on 05/03/2014 10:35:53 AM PDT by RedMDer (May we always be happy and may our enemies always know it. - Sarah Palin, 10-18-2010)
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To: Dilbert San Diego

There is somewhat disturbing precedent for these attitudes. Until the last 150 years or so, a man who wished to be accepted as “a gentleman” in western societies was obliged to “resent” any slur on his honor. IOW, if somebody “dissed” him, he was obliged to challenge him to a duel.

If he did not, he would often be excommunicated from polite society as being by definition “not a gentleman.”

This super-touchy attitude can be seen in full flower in Romeo and Juliet, where the groups of young upper-class men were ready to fight each other quite literally at the drop of a hat. Or the bite of a thumb.

These same attitudes, obviously greatly corrupted, have visible parallels in the ghetto of today.


15 posted on 05/03/2014 10:42:14 AM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: Sivad

We have good evidence of past droughts in CA lasting decades or even more than a century. There are very deep lakes in the Sierra that completely dried out and had dense forests growing in their beds before refilling. The trees are still down there.

In such a severe drought, it is inevitable that people will wind up fighting for the few remaining resources.

IOW, it was SHTF for real.


16 posted on 05/03/2014 10:45:00 AM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: SunkenCiv

We need to stop DART VIOLENCE-

All dart games in California bars, pubs, restaurants, carnivals and church festivals in California are hereby banned -

In NY State bar patrons are limited to only 10 darts per game.

Only 3 feathered darts are legal-

any more than 3 feathers are classified defined as ASSAULT DARTS and must be registered with ATF&D {Alcoholol, Tobacco, Firearms and Darts]

Dart tip points must be of plastic with yellow stripes.

All potential users of DARTS must take a pre-requisite course on DART SAFETY 101 [$300 cost]

A C&CD license is required to buy darts at Walmart and other sporting good stores.


17 posted on 05/03/2014 11:25:17 AM PDT by bunkerhill7 ("The Second Amendment has no limits on firepower"-NY State Senator Kathleen A. Marchione.")
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To: TaxPayer2000
I knew they would blame climate change for the violence.

See Post 16. The climate *does* change, sometimes with disastrous consequences for living things. But it's natural. The big lie is that humans cause it.

Paleo-climate studies have shown many periods of extreme drought in the U.S. Southwest, lasting for hundreds of years. That's likely the reason the Anasazi and other SW cultures abandoned the region around the year 1300. And it can and will happen again.

18 posted on 05/03/2014 11:29:50 AM PDT by Bernard Marx
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To: Sherman Logan

Isn’t the idea that pre-civilizated humans were peaceful a Marxist myth? Archaeology doesn’t teach this (or hasn’t for 4 or 5 decades). If Karl was the source of this fantasy it means the idea will never be given up. Reality has no value to Marxists.


19 posted on 05/03/2014 11:29:57 AM PDT by Varda
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To: SunkenCiv

Yosemite comes from “yo-hem-it-tee”. It means “those people are killers”. (My daughter was into Native American California language when she was in elementary school and that was one of the pithy facts she picked up.)


20 posted on 05/03/2014 11:47:12 AM PDT by married21 ( As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.)
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To: SunkenCiv

Oh no.... golly you mean as folks moved back and forth across territory, they fought with each other???? Who would have ever guessed that?

Sometimes as interesting as the data is, the modern studiers just seem to be so thrilled with their obvious conclusions. Our taxpayers dollars went for these studies


21 posted on 05/03/2014 11:56:26 AM PDT by Nifster
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To: Nifster

My tax dollars helped build the internet, which ordinarily I consider a good thing.


22 posted on 05/03/2014 11:58:58 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: RedMDer

off the subject, I really like that reflection text in the FReepathon post.


23 posted on 05/03/2014 12:00:47 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv

and your tax dollars support the military.....

not even comparing fruits let alone things that might be similar


24 posted on 05/03/2014 12:01:59 PM PDT by Nifster
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To: married21

Oh great, now I have to throw out my theory, which was that it was originally the home of a guy named Semmitee, and people stopping by to see him would holler, “Yo, Semmitee!”.

:’) Thanks married21.


25 posted on 05/03/2014 12:03:23 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: BenLurkin

:”D


26 posted on 05/03/2014 12:03:52 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Sherman Logan

Thanks SL, I can’t prove it, but I *may* actually have that title around, I seem to remember buying it used in great condition at one of the big local (non-chain) bookstores.


27 posted on 05/03/2014 12:05:00 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: bunkerhill7

;’)


28 posted on 05/03/2014 12:05:31 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Varda

That’s why this was in the excerpt, shows how attitudes have begun to shift off the ideological crap-basket that is the academic leftist bias:

> “Many people still seem to think that prehistoric California was a violence-free paradise, but the archaeological record shows clearly that that was not the case,” he said in an interview.


29 posted on 05/03/2014 12:06:45 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Psalm 144

Yeah, they’d have run him right out of town, or maybe just cut him into chutney on some stone temple.


30 posted on 05/03/2014 12:07:32 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Sivad; Bernard Marx; Sherman Logan; TaxPayer2000; 2banana

Thanks, great posts!


31 posted on 05/03/2014 12:08:48 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: ZULU

;’) If they wanted to hang out, they had to take someone out, (cocaine).


32 posted on 05/03/2014 12:09:35 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv

Thanks. I think I used cooltext.com


33 posted on 05/03/2014 12:10:35 PM PDT by RedMDer (May we always be happy and may our enemies always know it. - Sarah Palin, 10-18-2010)
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To: SunkenCiv
That was my point, this idea isn't the result of academic bias. The idea is perpetuated somewhere else, my guess being the media and movies. They won't care what academics say about it because that's not a narrative they want to drive.
34 posted on 05/03/2014 12:15:16 PM PDT by Varda
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To: skeeter

Really, we shouldn’t be surprised I suppose. Hmm, maybe this whole article is just a stealthy attempt to lower our threshold of tolerance.


35 posted on 05/03/2014 12:20:32 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv

most of us believe that an inclination to resort to violence in certain situations is part of the human condition.”....How much money did they get for this realization? Animals is animals, that’s why we call them animals.


36 posted on 05/03/2014 12:29:31 PM PDT by Safetgiver ( Islam makes barbarism look genteel.)
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To: SunkenCiv

I grew up in Contra Costa County. The local naitives were peace loving fishermen that traded shells. Oh and they ate acorns. At least that is what the story was back in the day. I wonder where they found the stone dart at.


37 posted on 05/03/2014 12:31:49 PM PDT by csvset
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To: SunkenCiv

Is that a spine?


38 posted on 05/03/2014 12:35:41 PM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: BenLurkin

That specimen wasn’t Chumash, it was Costanoan.


39 posted on 05/03/2014 12:36:08 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Freepers: Not as smart as I'd hoped they'd be)
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To: Dilbert San Diego

does this help explain the violence of the youth gangs?...Actually, the idea of tribalism explains it.


40 posted on 05/03/2014 12:39:56 PM PDT by Safetgiver ( Islam makes barbarism look genteel.)
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To: Varda

Yeah, but of course it goes back to well before Marx. Back to at least Shaftesbury around 1700. The notion has always been popular among those criticizing modern society.

In the book I mentioned earlier, it is demonstrated that the average among primitive peoples is a death rate from war and other violence that is considerably higher than hit either Germany or Russia during the 20th. In the most extreme societies over 50% of males die from violence.

Why this should be a surprise to anyone is itself a surprise.

Human evolution, since reaching intelligence, has pretty obviously not been between individuals, but between groups, tribes or whatever you want to call them.

What do you think happened to a peaceful tribe that came into contact with a warlike one? Either they abandoned their pacifism darn quick, or they died.

More precisely, the men died. The conquerors could always find a use for women, but adult males were just a danger, and were generally just massacred.

Modern genetics shows this very clearly.


41 posted on 05/03/2014 12:53:12 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: Psalm 144

Yup. Visited Mesa Verde about 25 years ago, and had to suffer through PC rangers on the tour trying to describe the quite obviously defensive cliff dwellings as early attempts at passive solar building.

Really. As if anyone would choose to live in such a wildly inconvenient spot if they didn’t have a darn good reason.

If the neighbors were getting into cannibalism and perhaps human sacrifice, I’d want to fort up, too.


42 posted on 05/03/2014 12:55:48 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: BenLurkin

Kumeyaay and see!
I will Pauwai the fee !


43 posted on 05/03/2014 2:07:19 PM PDT by Big Red Badger ( - William Diamonds Drum - can You Hear it G man?)
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To: SunkenCiv
The Indians were peaceful.

If they have found evidence of violence, that must mean one thing:

The Vikings got much further west than we had realized. Not just to Minnesota (Kensington Runestone), but all the way to California.

44 posted on 05/03/2014 5:35:23 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: SunkenCiv

I always thought it belonged to a short, red-haired guy named Sam.


45 posted on 05/03/2014 5:36:23 PM PDT by uglybiker (nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-BATMAN!)
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To: Sherman Logan
If the neighbors were getting into cannibalism and perhaps human sacrifice, I’d want to fort up, too.

I worked in that country for years and after seeing the cliff dwellings in the region I realized those people were afraid for their lives. Wherever you go in that region -- Mesa Verde, Sinagua ruins, Walnut Canyon -- it's clear they were hiding and defending against hostile intruders.

46 posted on 05/03/2014 11:01:00 PM PDT by Bernard Marx
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