Science Shocked to Discover Savages are Savage

Perhaps the silliest headline of the week comes from SciTechDaily:

Surprising Research Reveals Rampant Violence in Early Farming Societies.

According to new research, violence, and warfare were prevalent in many Neolithic communities across Northwest Europe during the time when farming was adopted.

New research suggests that violence and warfare were widespread in numerous Neolithic communities throughout Northwest Europe during a time period associated with the adoption of agriculture.

Bioarchaeologists discovered that more than one in ten of the over 2300 skeletal remains of early farmers from 180 sites dating back to around 8000 – 4000 years ago displayed weapon injuries.

Contrary to the view that the Neolithic era was marked by peaceful cooperation, the team of international researchers says that in some regions the period from 6000BC to 2000BC may be a high point in conflict and violence with the destruction of entire communities.

The findings also suggest the rise of growing crops and herding animals as a way of life, replacing hunting and gathering, may have laid the foundations for formalized warfare.

Allow me to suggest that the view that the life of the Noble Savage was more peaceful than civilized life was popularized by Jean-Jacques Rousseau. In recent years, this view was glamorized by films like Kevin Kosner’s DANCES WITH WOLVES.

James Lindsay discusses Rousseau’s role in history here: