2006 May 24 Wednesday
High British Crime Rate In 4000 BC

This is probably not what Ray Davies had in mind when he sang "I'm an ape man".

IF YOU are worried about being attacked or killed by a violent criminal, just be glad you are not living in Neolithic Britain. From 4000 to 3200 BC, Britons had a 1 in 14 chance of being bashed on the head, and a 1 in 50 chance of dying from their injuries.

Brain trauma wasn't the only way people were getting killed. Was it the biggest cause? Or were chest injuries bigger killers?

Was the death rate from assaults as high in other parts of the world at that time? When did the murder rate start dropping toward levels seen in more recent times?

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2006 May 24 11:57 PM  Human Nature

Steve Sailer said at May 25, 2006 1:18 AM:

Nicholas Wade's new book says we've been evolving toward more cooperativeness, and thus our skulls have been getting thinner as we get whomped on the head less.

Don't know if this true, but it's interesting.

Kenelm Digby said at May 25, 2006 7:00 AM:

Yet more evidence (contrary to the beliefs of many philosophers and idealists), that the instinct to fight and ultimately to make war is a natural, ancient and ineradicable part of the human condition (in males at least).
Incidentally, further to Steve Sailer's point Australian aboringines have the thickest skull bones of any race known.Disputes between aborigenes have been settled for countless millenia by "rituallized" contests of violence to the skull with clubs.Anthropologists have surmised that that skull thickness in this taxon is evolutionary linked to this.

John S Bolton said at May 26, 2006 12:13 AM:

Nicholas Wade's Before the Dawn states, according to anthropologist L. H. Keeley, that "A typical tribal society lost 0.5 % of its population in combat each year. Had the same casualty rate been suffered by the population of the twentieth century, its war deaths would have totaled two billion people." (pp.151-152)
Professors in the pay of an aggressor government, continually enlarging its tyranny over the field of ideas, have good reason to pretend that civilization stands in the way of the fulfillment of the peaceable nature of man, when full freedom for aggression is obtained, through dystopian projects.
Freedom for aggression is the objective for them, laws against the growth of official power are obstacles then, and they need to say that you cn trust officials not to abuse power.

momochan said at May 26, 2006 2:07 PM:

In spite of the post-911 hysteria, most of us in the modern age are living with far less political violence than that found in most previous societies.
Add to that kind of violence, a fair amount of ritualized, religious killing -- MesoAmerican sacrifices and European bog people come to mind.

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