And all of that was from 12K years ago or sooner. Prior to that time, which was roughly 2K years before Egypt and Sumeria were even settled, that was not the case.

Once again, I’ll requote you what I’ve already said.

The excavation of the Anatolian city of Çatalhöyük, a Neolithic community of about 10,000 that was at its peak around 7000 BCE, has yielded further support for the idea that equality and cooperation were ways of life until the recent past.

Çatalhöyük has strong evidence of an egalitarian society, as no houses with distinctive features (belonging to royalty or religious hierarchy, for example) have been found so far. The most recent investigations also reveal little social distinction based on gender, with men and women receiving equivalent nutrition and seeming to have equal social status, as typically found in Paleolithic cultures. Çatalhöyük

Çatalhöyük is one of the most thoroughly excavated and studied archeological sites in the world. As population density increased and natural disasters led to greater competition for resources, hierarchy begins to emerge. Central authority and greater hierarchy are needed in order to wage war. But when you’ve got plenty of resources and low population density and cultures built around communal good, including trading people with nearby tribes in order to prevent inbreeding, there is no reason to war, and no reason to have a hierarchy.

From Scientific American


Many archaeologists venture that war emerged in some areas during the Mesolithic period, which began after the last Ice Age ended around 9700 B.C., when European hunter-gatherers settled and developed more complex societies. But there really is no simple answer. War appeared at different times in different places. For half a century archaeologists have agreed that the multiple violent deaths at Jebel Sahaba along the Nile in northern Sudan occurred even earlier, around 12,000 B.C. There severe competition among settled hunter-gatherer groups in an area with once rich but declining food sources may have led to conflict.

Why, though, was there an absence of conflict? It turns out that many societies also have distinct preconditions for peace. Many social arrangements impede war, such as cross-group ties of kinship and marriage; cooperation in hunting, agriculture or food sharing; flexibility in social arrangements that allow individuals to move to other groups; norms that value peace and stigmatize killing; and recognized means for conflict resolution. These mechanisms do not eliminate serious conflict, but they do channel it in ways that either prevent killing or keep it confined among a limited number of individuals.

People are people. They fight and sometimes kill. Humans have always had a capacity to make war, if conditions and culture so dictate. But those conditions and the warlike cultures they generate became common only over the past 10,000 years — and, in most places, much more recently than that. The high level of killing often reported in history, ethnography or later archaeology is contradicted in the earliest archaeological findings around the globe. The most ancient bones and artifacts are consistent with the title of Margaret Mead’s 1940 article: “Warfare Is Only an Invention — Not a Biological Necessity.”

Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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