Sunday, August 29, 2021

Neolithic Chile was a tough place

Chilean mummy, c. 1000 BC

Archaeologists examined 194 well preserved skeletons and mummies from coastal Chile, a dry desert where people lived by fishing and irrigated agriculture. Of these, 40 had signs of injuries "consistent with interpersonal violence," and half of them died from wounds. Which is a pretty high total, higher for example than Viking Iceland.

Bola, preserved in the dry desert; some of the head wounds might 
have been caused by weapons like this.

They also examined an earlier, pre-agricultural population, and they found that while the fisher-gatherers experienced a similar level of interpersonal violence, very few of them died of wounds. So they beat each other up, but not fatally.

We are a violent species.

1 comment:

szopen said...

Coastal Chile - were they from the region where Mapuchi lived, that tribes which couldn't be conquered by Spaniards?