How did warfare originate? Was it human genetics? Social competition? The rise of complexity? Intensive study of the long-term hunter-gatherer past brings us closer to an answer. The original chapters in this volume examine cultural areas on five continents where there is archaeological, ethnographic, and historical evidence for hunter-gatherer conflict despite high degrees of mobility, small populations, and relatively egalitarian social structures. Their controversial conclusions will elicit interest among anthropologists, archaeologists, and those in conflict studies.
Why do humans go to war? Have we been waging war ever since we first existed as a species? Is a propensity to wage war part of what it is to be human, or more a result of the evolution of human society? And has there been a decline in war-making over time - or is this just a pious hope? Azar Gat here draws together insights from evolutionary theory, anthropology, history, historical sociology, and political science to address these fundamental questions about the history of our species- the answers to which also have big implications for our species' future survival. The book reveals that theories regarding the recent decline of war, such as the 'democratic peace' and 'capitalist peace', capture merely elements of a broader Modernization Peace that has been growing since the onset of the industrial age in the early 19th century.
Why do we fight? Have we always been fighting one another? This book examines the origins and development of human forms of organized violence from an anthropological and archaeological perspective. Kim and Kissel argue that human warfare is qualitatively different from forms of lethal, intergroup violence seen elsewhere in the natural world, and that its emergence is intimately connected to how humans evolved and to the emergence of human nature itself.
In this handbook, a diverse range of leading scholars consider the social, cultural, economic, political, and developmental underpinnings of peace. This handbook is a much-needed response to the failures of contemporary peacebuilding missions and narrow disciplinary debates, both of which have outlined the need for more interdisciplinary work in International Relations and Peace and Conflict studies. Scholars, students, and policymakers are often disillusioned with universalist and northern-dominated approaches, and a better understanding of the variations of peace and its building blocks, across different regions, is required. Collectively, these chapters promote a more differentiated notion of peace, employing comparative analysis to explain how peace is debated and contested.
Troubled Times: Violence and Warfare in the Past provides documentation for violence in human societies from a variety of sources and perspectives. Many of the essays focus strongly on evidence of violence left in the skeleton, but the book also includes studies from ethnographic accounts and conclusions drawn from the archaeological record. Thus, rather than only considering violence as recorded in the bones, an interdisciplinary approach is presented with an array of examples drawn from case studies in archaeology, ethnology, and osteology. Anthropologists have sometimes avoided discussions of "troubles in the human family," but this book forces new evaluations of days passed when life was not always peaceful between people and among neighbors.
Evidence amassed in Troubled Times indicates that, much like in the modern world, violence was not an uncommon aspect of prehistoric dispute resolution. From the civilizations of the American Southwest to the Mesolithic of Central Europe, the contributors examine violence in hunter-gatherer as well as state societies from both the New and Old Worlds. Drawing upon cross-cultural analyses, archaeological data, and skeletal remains, this collection of papers offers evidence of domestic violence, homicide, warfare, cannibalism, and ritualized combat among ancient peoples. Beyond the physical evidence, various models and explanations for violence in the past are explored.
A profoundly heartening view of human nature, Beyond War offers a hopeful prognosis for a future without war. Douglas P. Fry convincingly argues that our ancient ancestors were not innately warlike--and neither are we. He points out that, for perhaps ninety-nine percent of our history, for well over a million years, humans lived in nomadic hunter-and-gatherer groups, egalitarian bands where warfare was a rarity. Drawing on archaeology and fascinating recent fieldwork on hunter-gatherer bands from around the world, Fry debunks the idea that war is ancient and inevitable. For instance, among Aboriginal Australians, warfare was an extreme anomaly. Fry also points out that even today, when war seems ever present, the vast majority of us live peaceful, nonviolent lives. We are not as warlike as we think, and if we can learn from our ancestors, we may be able to move beyond war to provide real justice and security for the world.
This groundbreaking multidisciplinary book presents significant essays on historical indigenous violence in Latin America from Tierra del Fuego to central Mexico. The collection explores those uniquely human motivations and environmental variables that have led to the native peoples of Latin America engaging in warfare and ritual violence since antiquity. Based on an American Anthropological Association symposium, this book collects twelve contributions from sixteen authors, all of whom are scholars at the forefront of their fields of study. All of the chapters advance our knowledge of the causes, extent, and consequences of indigenous violenceÑincluding ritualized violenceÑin Latin America. Each major historical/cultural group in Latin America is addressed by at least one contributor. Incorporating the results of dozens of years of research, this volume documents evidence of warfare, violent conflict, and human sacrifice from the fifteenth century to the twentieth, including incidents that occurred before European contact. Together the chapters present a convincing argument that warfare and ritual violence have been woven into the fabric of life in Latin America since remote antiquity. For the first time, expert subject-area work on indigenous violenceÑarchaeological, osteological, ethnographic, historical, and forensicÑhas been assembled in one volume. Much of this work has heretofore been dispersed across various countries and languages. With its collection into one English-language volume, all future writersÑregardless of their discipline or point of viewÑwill have a source to consult for further research. CONTENTS Acknowledgments Introduction Richard J. Chacon and RubŽn G. Mendoza 1.ÊÊStatus Rivalry and Warfare in the Development and Collapse of Classic Maya Civilization Matt OÕMansky and Arthur A. Demarest 2.ÊÊAztec Militarism and Blood Sacrifice: The Archaeology and Ideology of Ritual Violence RubŽn G. Mendoza 3.ÊÊTerritorial Expansion and Primary State Formation in Oaxaca, Mexico Charles S. Spencer 4.ÊÊImages of Violence in Mesoamerican Mural Art Donald McVicker 5.ÊÊCircum-Caribbean Chiefly Warfare Elsa M. Redmond 6.ÊÊConflict and Conquest in Pre-Hispanic Andean South America: Archaeological Evidence from Northern Coastal Peru John W. Verano 7.ÊÊThe Inti Raymi Festival among the Cotacachi and Otavalo of Highland Ecuador: Blood for the Earth Richard J. Chacon, Yamilette Chacon, and Angel Guandinango 8.ÊÊUpper Amazonian Warfare Stephen Beckerman and James Yost 9.ÊÊComplexity and Causality in Tupinamb‡ Warfare William BalŽe 10.ÊÊHunter-GatherersÕ Aboriginal Warfare in Western Chaco Marcela Mendoza 11.ÊÊThe Struggle for Social Life in Fuego-Patagonia Alfredo Prieto and Rodrigo C‡rdenas 12.ÊÊEthical Considerations and Conclusions Regarding Indigenous Warfare and Ritual Violence in Latin America Richard J. Chacon and RubŽn G. Mendoza References About the Contributors Index
Stretching across continents and centuries, The Origins of War: Violence in Prehistory provides a fascinating examination of executions, torture, ritual sacrifices, and other acts of violence committed in the prehistoric world. Written as an accessible guide to the nature of life in prehistory and to the underpinnings of human violence. Combines symbolic interpretations of archaeological remains with a medical understanding of violent acts. Written by an eminent prehistorian and a respected medical doctor.