Evidence of a10,000 y.o. massacre demonstrates that it is in our biology to be aggressive and lethal
Attention can be drawn to both the age of these skeletal remains and the conclusions that can be drawn.
Skeletons dating to 10,000 years ago, bearing marks of a violent death and possibly bondage, provides fresh evidence that prehistoric hunter-gatherers did not necessarily live in bonhomie. Disturbingly, two of the 12 people found by Lake Turkana, Kenya were not marked by signs of violence but seem to have died with their hands bound, a team of archaeologists reported in Nature on Wednesday.
We know prehistoric humans were armed to the teeth, but it's an open question against whom they wielded their stone knives and spears – animals, or each other. "Evidence for inter-group violence among prehistoric hunter-gatherers is extremely rare," writes the team led by Marta Mirazón Lahr of Britain's Cambridge University.
Yet she found some. She and her colleagues discovered the remains of at Nataruk, a site near the edge of Lake Turkana, in 2012. Among them were ten bodies with clear signs of lethal traumas.
Moe information is available at this Cambridge University web-site:
Ms. Mirazon appears to be - or have been - in the 'anthropologists of peace" camp where they believe hunter/gatherers were noble and egalitarian. This camp seems to have had its genesis from the 18th-century philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who believed Native Americans and other pre-state people as peaceful "noble savages". This camp is driven to ignore the facts and cloud the issue by using words such as war and massacre; they romanticize the hunter/gatherers as being more pure and ethical and it was only the white male farmer dudes who started ruining everything by planting corn, drawing imaginary lines around their farms and states, and waging war - or something to that effect.
Many scientists believe this is a politically correct view not based on actual evidence. Pinker states that this camp ignores the cumulative causalities of battles (not insignificant), the murderous raiding that some stateless human societies engage in, killing of non-combatants, and the other violent activities. Pinker states that the "quantitative body counts—such as the proportion of prehistoric skeletons with ax marks and embedded arrowheads or the proportion of men in a contemporary foraging tribe who die at the hands of other men—suggest that pre-state societies were far more violent than our own."
According to Pinker, the 17th-century philosopher Thomas Hobbes "got it right" when he called pre-state life a "war of all against all."Ms. Mirazon appears to be someone we should ignore, because, based on the evidence, she and her camp have been ignoring or spinning the evidence for politically correct reasons. Perhaps evidence of this massacre will open her eyes and has switched sides.
Our closest genetic relatives are chimps... who murder, wage war, and practice cannibalism.
Is this really so surprising?
@DJS - agreed.
Wars, empires and massacres are nothing new - unfortunately they've always happened. The noble savage is largely a myth generated by wishful PC thinking.
Whitey didn't invent slavery; Africa has always had slavery. Different tribes fought each other (how's that for some inter-ethnic hate crime), and made slaves from people of the conquered tribe.
I have an immediate and passionate response to anyone who uses loaded language in order to control the evidence, the argument and people. Geesh, I wonder where that came from?
Trying to control the argument, the facts and people by manipulating the evidence around words such as 'war' and 'massacre' is symptomatic of what cults do (oh, THAT"S where I got it). Rousseau's views were not much more than a philosophy driven by White Euro Guilt. There wasn't evidence in the 1700s to really support it. The WEG lives on. Pinker cuts through the BS (Imagine why I would like that) and makes it clear that state sponsored warfare obviously wasn't around before states were invented, but it was a lot more dangerous being human before states came into existence.
State sponsored war occurs far too often and is bloody beyond comprehension, but the day to day existence of those within the state is such that few of us will ever be faced with a life or death struggle, much less on a day to day basis, just to survive.
Pinker rightly pointed out the mountains of evidence (skulls, bones with knife/axe wounds) that show up in a very disproportionate manner within the hunter gatherer fossil record. To 'ignore' that evidence because it doesn't nicely fit into preconceived and misguided ideals built on political correctness and guilt and routinely managed and massaged by predetermined, loaded, words and skewed results isn't science.
The same sort of problem of interpretation to fit the preconceived views of the discoverers affected Archaeology in the Bible lands until fairly recently.
Anything and everything was used to bolster the Bible "record".
The latest breed of Archaeologists are to be commended for being far more scientific in how they interpret finds, but we are all of us still easily tripped up by looking back on things with a 21st century eye.
For example, it was quite hard for me to stomach the evidence for the prevalence of child sacrifice in Israel for so long and so late.
Humankind history is full of violence, crime, wars. As far back as history goes.
In the begaining it was peace and harmony. Oh really! We are becoming more humane
since Adam and Eve.
Lol. Claiming that any cross section of historical humankind has been peaceful is a joke. The San and Khoi Bushmen were once regarded to be the most peaceful people on the planet until evidence was discovered that in the late 19th century they were responsible for wiping out an entire village of Ovambo people by poisoning their water well. Long before whitey showed up In the North West of North America the LaKota and Cheyenne had been at war for years. Before whitey showed up in Africa the Zulus had already brought about the complete annihilation of an estimated seventy-six tribes. Fighting for land and resources is not a modern phenomenon.
DJS : Ms. Mirazon appears to be - or have been - in the 'anthropologists of peace" camp where they believe hunter/gatherers were noble and egalitarian. This camp seems to have had its genesis from the 18th-century philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who believed Native Americans and other pre-state people as peaceful "noble savages". ... "Ms. Mirazon appears to be someone we should ignore, because, based on the evidence, she and her camp have been ignoring or spinning the evidence for politically correct reasons. Perhaps evidence of this massacre will open her eyes and has switched sides"
Ummm! I looked for some indication of Dr Marta Mirazon Lahr (to use her full name) arguing that position in the quotes I posted. I also had a brief look at the titles of various papers attributed to her and didn't see anything supporting the position you suggest. A mere mention that some have believed that some pre-history peoples were peaceful does not (of course) indicate that she once believed that position. Her mention of that position in the YT video merely recapitulates 'the contemporary state of the argument."
Her page on the LCHES ( http://www.human-evol.cam.ac.uk/marta.html ) states her research interests:
My interests cover many aspects of human evolution, from the study of morphological evolution in the genus Homo, to human evolutionary history and dispersals, evolutionary genetics and adaptation in hunter-gatherers, the formation of population boundaries, and the evolution of diversity in technology and tools.
Not, I would suggest, that starting a research from that position is wrong. Research projects may adopt a position with the goal of supporting or refuting a position. And, of course, as Dr Robert Foley, (also associated with that research project) says, its a matter of seeing the interplay between aggression and co-operation
The LCHES page briefly summarising the paper published in Nature* notes:
"This site, Nataruk, provides evidence for inter-group conflict among hunter-gatherers, and so contributes to our understanding of the history of warfare, showing clearly that hunter-gatherers, as well as food-producers, engaged in organised and lethal conflict."
* Nature (for those not familiar with the journal) is a highly regarded interdisciplinary scientific journal. It would not normally publish highly speculative material.
But thank you DJS, for raising that previous view. The evidence found at Nataruk is important in questioning the veracity of the biblical record. The biblical myth is understood by many to suggest that YHWH created a naturally peacefully inclined human race,who became violent as a result of turning away from YHWH. The reality is, as this paper published in 'Nature' is different. The research challenges not only the biblical view of human origins but also challenges the biblical time-scale of human existence.
And then there is the associated concept (we all likely held as JWs - and maybe by some differently branded believers) that we can regain that peaceful state as a result of being saved by YHWH's alter ego Jesus, who gave his 'blood' (spilt in an act of senseless violence) to 'save' us, because that's the way YHWH sasid it had to be.
But the seer who wants us to believe that he knew the future of humanity (the author of 'A Revelation - to John) believed that even after a thousand year rule of Jesus many humans will still be inclined to violence and will want to fight in the war of Gog and Magog. (Revelation 20:8 ).
In contrast take a look at DJS's mention of Dr. Steven Pinker (I assume that is who he means)
who argues (in this TED video) that,
"... we are living in the most peaceful time in our species."Link: https://www.ted.com/talks/steven_pinker_on_the_myth_of_violence?language=en
So we may move from the primitive human savagery discovered at Nataruk, where the 'invaders' (whoever they were) engaged in an orgy of murder, through the savage ethnic cleansing campaign described in Joshua (ch. 10 and 11 specifically) where the invading Israelites engaged in a similar orgy of crazed violence.
If Pinker's view is tenable, perhaps we are moving to a point where humanity may be able to live without violence, all through human reason (rejecting violence) without the need to rely on YHWH or JESUS.