Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

For Peaceable Humans, Donít Look to Prehistory
Wall Street Journal ^ | 06/30/2016 | MELVIN KONNER

Posted on 07/01/2016 9:22:43 AM PDT by SES1066

Along a river in northern Germany, thousands of men lined up for a pitched battle. Some had come great distances, determined to seize or hold this modest waterway. They went at it mercilessly, leaving hundreds dead, many shot in the back while fleeing. Victory was decisive. [1250 BC]

(Excerpt) Read more at wsj.com ...


TOPICS: History; Science; Society
KEYWORDS: archaeology; archeology; bronzeage; demmin; detlefjantzen; dsj02; germany; godsgravesglyphs; helixmakemineadouble; peace; peatbog; prehistoric; tollense; tollensevalley
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-38 next last
Once again Jean-Jacques Rousseau's 'Nobel Savage' is shown as fallacious. Pacifism is a civilization invention, probably originating from urban cultures but not noticeable as a societal value until modern times.
1 posted on 07/01/2016 9:22:43 AM PDT by SES1066
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: SES1066

Reading the accounts of the European explorers of the Americas show that the native tribes were in a constant state of war with each other. The Inca had just overpowered their neighbors to consolidate their empire and were embarked on a civil war. The Aztec were constantly raiding for human sacrifice. The North Americans were engaged in numerous inter tribal wars. It’s no wonder they didn’t have time to invent the wheel.


2 posted on 07/01/2016 9:33:20 AM PDT by fella ("As it was before Noah so shall it be again,")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SES1066
Archaeology has finally laid to rest the idea that earlier human societies were completely peaceful.

LOL! Someone actually thought that???

3 posted on 07/01/2016 9:34:19 AM PDT by Huck
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: fella
And European nations were also in a constant state of war with each other at that time. The only time there was peace in Europe was when they were under the heel of Rome and even then there were uprisings, civil wars and of course, invasions of and from other countries.

No wonder they didn't have time to come up with the concept of zero.

4 posted on 07/01/2016 9:37:53 AM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Proud Infidel, Gun Nut, Religious Fanatic and Freedom Fiend)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: SES1066

“INTERTRIBAL WARFARE

Intertribal warfare was intense throughout the Great Plains during the 1700s and 1800s, and archeological data indicate that warfare was present prior to this time. Human skeletons from as early as the Woodland Period (250 B.C. to A.D. 900) show occasional marks of violence, but conflict intensified during and after the thirteenth century, by which time farmers were well established in the Plains. After 1250, villages were often destroyed by fire, and human skeletons regularly show marks of violence, scalping, and other mutilations. Warfare was most intense along the Missouri River in the present-day Dakotas, where ancestors of the Mandans, Hidatsas, and Arikaras were at war with each other, and towns inhabited by as many as 1,000 people were often fortified with ditch and palisade defenses. Excavations at the Crow Creek site, an ancestral Arikara town dated to 1325, revealed the bodies of 486 people–men, women, and children, essentially the town’s entire population–in a mass grave. These individuals had been scalped and dismembered, and their bones showed clear evidence of severe malnutrition, suggesting that violence resulted from competition for food, probably due to local overpopulation and climatic deterioration. Violence among farmers continued from the 1500s through the late 1800s.

Archeological data on war among the nomadic Plains hunters are few, but some nomads were attacking farmers on the edges of the Plains by at least the 1500s. By the eighteenth century, war was common among the nomads, apparently largely because of conflicts over hunting territories.

Prior to the introduction of European horses and guns, Plains warfare took two forms. When equally matched forces confronted each other, warriors sheltered behind large shields, firing arrows; individual warriors came out from behind these lines to dance and taunt their opponents. This mode of combat was largely for show and casualties were light. However, sometimes, large war parties surprised and utterly destroyed small camps or hamlets. Increasing interaction with Europeans from the eighteenth century on changed these patterns dramatically. Massed shield lines could neither stand against mounted warriors nor protect against firearms; this mode of battle largely disappeared with the introduction of horses and guns, although equally matched mounted war parties sometimes used the old tactics. Early access to horses also allowed some groups, notably the Comanches, to overwhelm and displace neighboring tribes who lacked such access. Documentary and archeological evidence indicate that horses and guns contributed mightily to this more destructive mode of Plains warfare, most intensively along the Missouri River.

Raids for horses by small groups of warriors became a primary form of conflict after about 1750, particularly among the nomadic groups. Horse raiders usually entered enemy camps at night to take horses picketed close to their owners. Such raids were dangerous–raiders were killed when caught in the act–and successful raiders often achieved high status. The relation between war and status in the Plains is similarly evident in the practice of counting coup, in which a living enemy (or sometimes a dead enemy) was touched with the hand or a special stick. This act signified ultimate bravery in most Plains tribes and gave a warrior great prestige.

The prestige attached to stealing horses and to counting coup rather than killing has contributed to the view that Plains warfare was a moderately dangerous kind of game driven by individual quests for status rather than “real” war driven by competition for resources. This is misleading. Individual warriors sought status and sometimes avoided killing enemies in battle, but destructive high-casualty warfare was widespread, with documented battles involving thousands of warriors and hundreds of fatalities. Other massacres like that at Crow Creek are known from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and archeological and documentary evidence show great changes in tribal territories resulting from war before and after white contact.

Destructive war in the Plains intensified after contact because of migrations of eastern tribes (the Cheyennes and Lakotas, for example) into the Plains as settlement moved west, because Europeans and Americans manipulated traditional hostilities, and because tribes competed for access to European and American trade, especially in fur-rich areas of the Northern Plains and Prairie Provinces. Contact-period war ended some long-standing hostilities: for example, the Mandans, Hidatsas, and Arikaras, decimated by disease and raiding, banded together for mutual protection during the 1860s. Other hostilities continued, and expanding European Americans exploited them: for example, Crows and Pawnees scouted in military campaigns against the Cheyennes and Lakotas. Intertribal violence in the Plains subsided with the confinement of the tribes to reservations in the late nineteenth century.

Douglas B. Bamforth University of Colorado at Boulder”

http://plainshumanities.unl.edu/encyclopedia/doc/egp.war.023


5 posted on 07/01/2016 9:44:04 AM PDT by truth_seeker (#NeverHillary#NeeverBernie)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SES1066

Rest of the story is behind a paywall. googled the article, found another web page with hundreds of pop ups blocking the story.
Stay away from web page wopular. com!


6 posted on 07/01/2016 9:47:34 AM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Harmless Teddy Bear

Yeah, they had to steal ought from the muzzies who stole it from the brahmans.


7 posted on 07/01/2016 9:53:12 AM PDT by fella ("As it was before Noah so shall it be again,")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: truth_seeker

More very informative web pages. Years ago, on a PBS program IMAGES OF INDIANS some Indians said their ancestors Never scalped, tortured, murdered anyone. I found it to be Bunk.

http://westerndigs.org/infamous-mass-grave-of-young-women-in-ancient-city-of-cahokia-also-holds-men-study/

http://ancientstandard.com/2007/07/17/csi-new-mexico-%E2%80%93-possible-genocide-ca-1275-ad/

https://anthropology.net/2007/07/16/parallel-life-and-death-1275-ad-massacred-gallina-and-vanishing-anasazi/

http://www.dickshovel.com/scalp.html

If we go back a few thousand more years we will find the Europeans doing the same thing.


8 posted on 07/01/2016 9:55:54 AM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Ruy Dias de Bivar; All

—and in Old Testament times , the standard was same as Joshua did after winning the battle of Jericho—kill everything that walked or crawled in the loser’s fortress-—


9 posted on 07/01/2016 10:01:52 AM PDT by rellimpank (--don't believe anything the media or government says about firearms or explosives--)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Ruy Dias de Bivar

“If we go back a few thousand more years we will find the Europeans doing the same thing”

You might know about an author, named Terry C. Johnston. He wrote 31 books, about the West.

He did a lot of research, and was very “fair and balanced,” wishing to write historical fiction that was accurate.

In his books, he depicted the Natives along with all their practices.

I highly recommend these stories, for anybody that likes to read about the West. It interested me enough, to read all 31 books. (My grandfather was a Wyoming/Montana cowboy, my father raised in the Big Horn Basin of Wyoming)


10 posted on 07/01/2016 10:08:17 AM PDT by truth_seeker (#NeverHillary#NeeverBernie)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Ruy Dias de Bivar
Hope this is OK

Along a river in northern Germany, thousands of men lined up for a pitched battle. Some had come great distances, determined to seize or hold this modest waterway. They went at it mercilessly, leaving hundreds dead, many shot in the back while fleeing. Victory was decisive.

World War II? Perhaps the Napoleonic Wars? The 30 Years’ War?

Actually, you won’t find this battle in any history book. It happened around 1250 B.C., roughly the era of the Trojan War and the biblical war of Deborah. The weapons and tactics were similar to those famous conflicts, the numbers mobilized equally impressive.

But in illiterate Northern Europe, no one chronicled the German battle in song and saga, with heroes’ names echoing down the centuries, and no one knew of the event until very recently.

Twenty years ago, an amateur archaeologist found an arm bone poking out of the bank of the River Tollense, an arrow point in one end. Since then the accumulated bones and weapons reveal violent death on an astonishing scale. As described in 2011 in the journal Antiquity, archaeologists used a range of techniques to study the excavation: forensics, X-rays, CT scans, 3-D reconstruction, metal detectors, geomagnetic surveys and mathematical models originally developed to predict stresses on aircraft parts.

Scientific archaeology at its best revealed human nature at its worst. With only 3% to 10% of the likely battlefield unearthed, researchers have found at least 130 dead, almost all men in their 20s. Tooth composition and genes show that they came from distant parts of Europe. A wooden causeway of about 400 feet across the valley may have had strategic significance.

Healed fractures show that these were warriors hardened in battle. Some appear to have been nobles on horseback, wearing heavy armor, which only the well-trained can wear while fighting. All this typified the Bronze Age, when warfare increased. Stone arrow and spear points among the bronze ones show that this was a transitional time.

Now let us jump back in time an additional 7,000 years and fly 4,000 miles to Nataruk, Kenya, west of Lake Turkana, another scene of armed strife. No bronze here—we are squarely in the Stone Age—but there are still important parallels, as reported in January in the journal Nature by M. Mirazón Lahr and colleagues.

11 posted on 07/01/2016 10:09:36 AM PDT by SES1066 (Quality, Speed or Economical - Any 2 of 3 except in government - 1 at best but never #3!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: SES1066

Exactly right.


12 posted on 07/01/2016 10:12:00 AM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: fella

It was much the same for all prehistoric societies. Even the ones that didn’t engage in human sacrifice like the Aztecs still practiced constant war, slavery, mass rape of female captives, and often cannibalism.


13 posted on 07/01/2016 10:44:34 AM PDT by Boogieman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

Archaeologists find bones from prehistoric war in Germany
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/2103220/posts

“Early Bronze Age battle site found on German river bank”
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2723334/posts

Early Bronze Age battle site found on German river bank
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/2723332/posts

Unexpected and Gruesome Battle of 1250 BC Involved 4,000 Men from Across Northern Europe
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3413913/posts


14 posted on 07/01/2016 10:46:22 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (I'll tell you what's wrong with society -- no one drinks from the skulls of their enemies anymore.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; decimon; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; 2ndDivisionVet; ...

15 posted on 07/01/2016 10:46:44 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (I'll tell you what's wrong with society -- no one drinks from the skulls of their enemies anymore.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Harmless Teddy Bear

Cute, but we aren’t continually told how the Europeans lived in peace and harmony, deeply respected nature, and walked around saying poignant and insightful things about life.

We are told that about ‘skins...


16 posted on 07/01/2016 10:53:43 AM PDT by DesertRhino (Dogs are man's best friend, and moslems hate dogs. Add that the state deportmentthat up....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Huck
People did not live in places like this because they wanted a nice view:


17 posted on 07/01/2016 10:54:21 AM PDT by Mr Rogers (We're a nation of infants, ruled by their emotion)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Mr Rogers

How stupid can people be? Just look at the natural world. It’s brutal. Just look at the earliest known human history. Brutal. How would anyone assume otherwise? It’s completely nuts to me.


18 posted on 07/01/2016 10:58:12 AM PDT by Huck
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv

To recognize that we are the descendants of the victors of merciless cannibalistic warfare ought to be a humbling thought.

Too bad about hubris.


19 posted on 07/01/2016 11:19:07 AM PDT by headsonpikes (Mass murder and cannibalism are the twin sacraments of socialism - "Who-whom?"-Lenin)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Huck
Brutal? The natural world? Haven't you seen any Disney films?


20 posted on 07/01/2016 11:21:46 AM PDT by Mr Rogers (We're a nation of infants, ruled by their emotion)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-38 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson