Friday, May 12

Friday Frivolity

This Just in [Jonah Goldberg ]

The Stone Age sucked:

A survey of British skulls from the early part of the New Stone Age, or Neolithic, shows societies then were more violent than was supposed.

Early Neolithic Britons had a one in 20 chance of suffering a skull fracture at the hands of someone else and a one in 50 chance of dying from their injuries.

Details were presented at a meeting of the Society for American Archaeology and reported in New Scientist magazine.

Blunt instruments such as clubs were responsible for most of the trauma.

This is not the first time human-induced injuries have been identified in Neolithic people. But the authors say it is the first study to give some idea of the overall frequency of such trauma.

Rick Schulting of Queen's University Belfast and Michael Wysocki from the University of Central Lancashire looked at 350 skulls spanning the period from 4000 BC to 3200 BC.

"We generally think of Neolithic people as living peaceful lives - they were busy looking after cereal crops and rearing livestock," Mr Wysocki told the BBC News website.

"But it was a much more violent society."

Posted at 3:27 PM

Uh, just to point out that if you're a Space Age American you stand a 1 in 10,000 chance of dying from firearms misadventure this year, and a considerably greater chance if you happen to be young, male, African-American, and especially all three. If you're a woman you stand a 1 in 3 chance of being raped or physically assaulted by a spouse, partner, or date at some point in your life. And, dude, it really sucked to be in Falluja.

We already know Neolithic peoples were violent; I'm not quite sure what British archaeologists imagined their little rock was so different. In historic times the Iroquois tried to eradicate every last Huron, and when the Erie hid them, every last one of them as well. And they damned near succeeded. Which still made them pikers compared to the Europeans (see Columbus, Christopher, e.g.). And that's just your own history, Jonah. If you'll take the time to learn a bit about it you won't walk around with your jaw hanging open all the time.

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