Monday, March 12, 2007

Life was 'nasty, brutish and short' shock

Startling news is revealed today in The Times,
"Life for the first people to settle down to farm in Britain was far more violent than previously supposed, research suggests.

Far from a peaceful expansion into empty and fertile lands, the transformation from hunter-gatherer to farming society was riven with conflict and change".

"One barrow, Wayland’s Smithy, near the Uffington White Horse in Oxfordshire, could have been opened and closed in a day to hold the remains of villagers killed in a raid. Three of the 14 bodies were found with the arrowheads that are presumed to have killed them and the other 11 are now thought likely to have died at the same time. The new evidence, with revised dates for five other burial barrows, means that archaeologists will have to spend the next 20 years reassessing their understanding of the period when farmers took over from hunter-gatherers in Britain"
Seriously, I cannot believe that archeologist, who after all are scientists, truly believed the post-Rousseauian ideal of the 'Nobel Savage'. How could they not be ware of the constant battles amongst the only highly populated society that is proximate to neolithic life, that of Papua? But no, it appears that soggyness of brains is not just prevalent in politics and sociology,
"Alex Bayliss, a radiocarbon dating expert with English Heritage, said: “Maybe the idea of an egalitarian, peaceful land is not as true as we thought.” Of Wayland’s Smithy, she said: “Maybe this is the result of an epidemic of collective violence. Maybe there was a cattle raid where most of the women and children fled to hide in the woods and the men stayed to fight and lost the battle.”"

Hat tip Eye on Britian


Aunty Marianne said...

I think that's nobLE savage.

It certainly wouldn't have been the Nobel Peace Prize, anyway.

Elaib said...

You might be right, oh former copy-editor of mine, you might be rioght. But looking at some of the recent recipients of that August prize, maybe it was merely freudian