How War Began
Have humans always fought and killed each other, or did they peacefully coexist until organized states developed? Is war an expression of human nature or an artifact of civilization? Questions about the origins and inherent motivations of warfare have long engaged philosophers, ethicists, and anthropologists as they speculate on the nature of human existence. In How War Began, author Keith F. Otterbein draws on primate behavior research, archaeological research, and data gathered from the Human Relations Area Files to argue for two separate origins. He identifies two types of military organization: one that developed two million years ago at the dawn of humankind, wherever groups of hunters met, and a second that developed some five thousand years ago, in four identifiable regions, when the first states arose and proceeded to embark upon military conquests. In careful detail, Otterbein marshals evidence for his case that warfare was possible and likely among early Homo sapiens. He argues from comparison with other primates, from Paleolithic rock art depicting wounded humans, and from rare skeletal remains embedded with weapon points to conclude that warfare existed and reached a peak in big game hunting societies. As the big game disappeared, so did warfare--only to reemerge once agricultural societies achieved a degree of political complexity that allowed the development of professional military organizations. Otterbein concludes his survey with an analysis of how despotism in both ancient and modern states spawns warfare. A definitive resource for anthropologists, social scientists, and historians, How War Began is written for all who areinterested in warfare, whether they be military buffs or those seeking to understand the past and the present of humankind. --Publlisher.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Other editions - View all
Africa agricultural anthropologist archaeological archaeologists argued armed combat army arose atlatl attack bands battle became behavior believe bonobos bow and arrow centralized political systems chariots Chavín chief chiefdom chimpanzees China clubs conquest conscription cross-cultural study culture defense described developed Dinka domesticated early humans early state stage elite warriors enemy ethnographic evidence Evolution Fertile Crescent feuding fighting Figure fortifications fraternal interest groups gathering bands historian hominids Homo erectus Homo sapiens human sacrifice hunter-gatherers hunters hunting and gathering hunting hypothesis Huron inchoate early increased internal conflict Iroquois Jericho killing large game leaders lower class males massed infantry Mesoamerica Mesopotamia military organizations Moche Monte Albán Neanderthals Nuer O’Connell occurred Origins Otterbein period plants population probably projectile raids region ritual ruler San José Mogote settlements Shang social societies sociopolitical soldiers spear thrower statehood stone tactics tion tribal tribes types typical early upper class Upper Paleolithic Valley villages walls weapons World Zapotec Zulu