>>645321 The fall of the Inca was actually pretty tragic when one looks at how advanced they were at least compared to other AmerIndian powers If It wasn't for the Civil war they could have easily survived like the Mapuche down south did
Do we even know much about how North American Amerindians lived? Sacajawea said her tribe had been pretty brutally run out by another tribe. Lots of conflicts were fought over fur trapping grounds by Amerindians wanting to trade with Europeans. But was conflict as brutal as that before Columbus? It may have just been the introduction of guns and fur trading that led to the savagery Europeans heard about.
>>645321 The Iroquois Confederacy was pretty cool. They had a constitution and seemed to be heading down the road to modernization and even "westernization", while still maintaining much of their native culture. If they'd held on just a little longer, maybe we'd have an interesting Native American nation still today.
Aztec, Maya, and Inca were all pretty cool. They all had unique ways of acquiring food and water, both are the foundation of all great civilizations.
The Aztec had chinampas, floating gardens that they fertilized using muck dredged up from the bottom of the lake surrounding their city, Tenochtitlan (which had a larger population than London at the time).
The Maya lived in a region with few fresh water sources so their cities where like giant rain catchers, with season rain water channeled into large cisterns. The cisterns needed to be managed so an authority structure was created of religious kings ruling over city-states. The kings carried the favor of the gods and brought the rains. This meant when a record breaking drought hit, people didn't just go thirsty, the entire power structure of the region dissolved. That may be good or bad depending on your view of authority.
The Inca empire got consistent rain thanks to humid air from the Pacific blowing up into the Andes, but that's not much use if you live on the side of a fucking mountain! So they built terrace farms. They built layered dirt on top of sand on top of gravel on top of stones for good drainage and kept it all from tumbling down the mountain using walls. They produced more food then than is currently produced in the same region today.
American civilizations supported very large populations with these techniques, but without beasts of burden they had to do everything by hand so there were few specialists, which is why tech developed so slowly. They had power structures like the Bronze Age but weapons and myths like the stone age.
>>645386 All you need is a British victory in the War of 1812 (Something quite easily done), and they survive; even with the death of Tecumseh in 1813 a large Indian nation would've survived and potentially gone down the path to modernisation as a British protectorate.
>>645435 Missing the point dude. Obviously they had conflicts, but tribal conflicts aren't usually that bloody and dynamic. Typically it's just a bunch of men from each side meeting in one place and trying to scare the other off, with just some spear throwing and one or two cracked skulls. When you are a hunter gatherer you can rarely support the kind of warfare of the "civilized" world where armies are killed en masse. Europeans tended to unintentionally escalate tribal warfare wherevere they went through trade, introduction of firearms, and new crops.
American tribes that got their hands on guns would try to assert their dominance on scales never before possible. The increase in value of beaver pelts led to tribal conflict over prime trapping areas that didn't previously exist.
In Southern Africa the introduction of corn led to tremendous bloodshed in what Africans called "The Crushing". The value of land went up thanks to corn making land more useful and the value of human lives went down because of the population explosion caused by corn. This led to new warfare tactics. Instead of chucking spears, Shaka of the Zulu developed the short spear for gutting the opponent close up. The Zulu drove out many tribes and slaughtered thousands. The displaced tribes adopted Zulu tactics and went into more ignorant regions and did the same thing to them.
>>645365 In general, the more formal and developed warfare is in a society, the less brutal it is.
Lawrence Keeley's "War Before Civilization" is a good book to read on this topic, and isn't terribly wrong. The conclusion archeology has led to is that, while death tolls today are higher, mortality rates due to violence are much, much lower (to use Keeley's claim, if the Second World War had had the same mortality rates as some hunter-gatherer societies, deaths would have been into the hundreds of millions).
>>645348 The Mapuche survived by becoming horse nomads in a land where European settlements would have been difficult at the time. Without the Civil War, Incas would have probably been slowly chipped away by European political plays, and probably succumbed during the middle of the 17th century.
>>645550 A fair point. Hunter gatherers cannot support large populations so just a few people dying in conflict constitutes a large portion of the population due to conflict. It is that population limitation that limits the tactics of warfare of tribal societies. You simply don't see tribal societies hunting down routed enemies and slaughtering them to the last man and then burning down their city like you do in "civilized warfare".
>>646740 In a sentence or so, why are we so sure of that? Wouldn't conflict be avoided whenever possible because of the low population?
Maybe there were simply excepts to the rule that tribal warfare was usually relatively bloodless. It is my understanding that when tribes butted heads, one tribe's males would march over and the other tribe's males would run out to meet them. There would be a lot of shouting, spear throwing, and a few may get up close and try cracking a skull or two, but there were no meat grinder rank forming and pushing and shoving and stabbing and mass slaughter. That only happens due to the coercion of authority figures. There was no king threatening you not to run away. If you and your buddies got scared then you fucking left and gave the winning tribe more room to avoid future conflicts. I would imagine the only times when tribes wouldn't simply get out of dodge before things got really bloody when there were times of scarcity.
>>646795 Their foundation myths/history is pretty savage (something about accepting a girl from another tribe as a peace offering bride, ritualistically killing her, inviting her father over, and then dancing around in her skin). But to to my knowledge they generally only sacrificed POWs, people that any other civilization would have simply killed in the first place.
>>646814 The evidence seems to suggest that it was the opposite, and upwards of 90% of all groups had warfare, sometimes with casualty rates up to 20% regularly (in some cases, as high as 60% of the male population). Murder rates also seem to have been much higher.
A good general rule of thumb is that hunter-gatherer tribes will usually see between 15-30% of their male population die from warfare in each generation.
In addition, large numbers of fortifications once thought to have been symbolic, have since been proven to have withstood assault (and many having been stormed and the inhabitants slaghtered).
Keeley addresses the theory you are describing in the introduction to the book, in which he explains that this incorrect theory was based on the erroneous assumption that warfare's effectiveness was directly correlated with its organization.
>>646907 >A good general rule of thumb is that hunter-gatherer tribes will usually see between 15-30% of their male population die from warfare in each generation. I get what you are saying, but the point I am trying to make is that individual battles were less bloody. If most males died due to conflict then that was only because every male was a warrior who fought until he was an old man, unlike in sedentary agricultural civilizations where you have a dedicated army supported by lots more people working in fields and mines.
For example, you would rather be on the losing side of a stone age tribal conflict than the losing side of a bronze age battle.
If you disagree with that then, IDK, I just can't understand what would posses people to plunge into certain death as was the case in bronze age wars without the just as sure death awaiting you at the hands of authority figures should you run away. If you handed a hunter gatherer a close quarters knife and told him to rush into a group of hostile men and just start gutting them I would expect he would tell you to fuck off,. He'd be fine with standing back with the rest of his buddies and throw a few rocks and spears, but that's it.
Or are you talking about the kind of proto-city states with walled cities and the first "agriculture" where people just picked vast natural fields of grain for food? That would be different because such civilizations had more people and land was more valuable to them. They couldn't up and leave because they couldn't support their population anywhere else.
>>646984 Of course individual battles are less bloody, but overall casualty figures were enormous. The misconception comes about because 19th century explorers only ever recorded the parts of war analogous to civilized warfare, whereas "raids, ambuscades, and surprise attacks on population centers comprise most of primitive warfare".
The societies we have good data for in this period of military history date differently, depending on which part of the world. In New Guinea and the Amazon, we have living survivors of these wars to give us the accounts, but we have archeological evidence dating back up to as much as 12,000 years in Nubia, 5000 in Austria and Briton, all over the timeline in the Americas, etc. No matter where and when we look, we see just about all societies fight.
You'd be wrong, the losing side of a stone age conflict usually had his village destroyed and his people slaughtered: large numbers of villages bear clear signs of direct assault (one in particular Keeley mentions had literally thousands of arrowheads embedded into it along with clear evidence of the slaughter of infants; at a better known site at Crow Creek in the Americas, there is clear evidence that all of the men and children were killed, the village burned, and the young women taken off as sex slaves). The studies he cites even say that ALL villages in some areas have palisades protecting them.
>>646828 >they generally only sacrificed POWs, Yes. The thing is the Aztec society was organized to engage these vastly less powerful enemies on regular wars. Aztecs specifically left some enemy populations in the middle of their empire without any desire of ever annexing them, just so they could declare wars on them every few years to get new sacrifices.
So, while most normal empires would declare war on your city/town/village, and then either take you as slaves or just demand taxes from you from then on, Aztecs would go to your town with an overwhelming force, maim all the local warriors (avoiding to kill them as much as possible) and then leave, only to return a few years later for more sacrifices. Basically keeping your population on a permanent culling.
And since the warriors in the Aztec empire gained ranks based on how many human sacrifices they collected, it was like some kind of blood sport to them.
Aztecs were by far the craziest civilization to arise on this planet.
>>647023 >the losing side of a stone age conflict usually had his village destroyed and his people slaughtered: large numbers of villages bear clear signs of direct assault I have to believe you are exaggerating a few exceptional cases because we are talking about hunter gatherers, the way of life that humans had for most of the last 200,000 years dating back to when humanity numbered as few as 10,000 fertile individuals and when human population growth was greatly hampered by high infant mortality rates. Humanity couldn't have survived if it conflict was both frequent and wars of complete eradication. It's absurd.
What the fuck were they fighting over that was so valuable when they were barely scraping by off the worthless land? Humanity couldn't just double it's population size in a single generation back then so mass murder simply wouldn't be sustainable. At the very most you would simply kill all the men and keep the women, that way human population growth wouldn't be greatly harmed.
>>647040 Maybe that was a reason why American civilizations didn't enter the copper age. There were no war horses so metal pikes weren't important and stone swords like pic related were perfect for disabling a human opponent. Also empires themselves rarely clashed because it's hard to move an army far from their point of origin when you have to carry all your supplies on your soldiers' backs, and asymmetric war between large empires and small kingdoms don't inspire arms races. A wood helmet and an obsidian sword does the job fine.
>>646984 >If you disagree with that then, IDK, I just can't understand what would posses people to plunge into certain death as was the case in bronze age wars without the just as sure death awaiting you at the hands of authority figures should you run away. Presumably a mix of mob mentality, fear and escalation of conflict. Oral tradition probably elevated this sort of raids to be a necessary, or even positive thing.
Also, it wouldn't be a certain death. The tribe perpetrating the assault would study the possible victims for days, before launching a swift surprise attack, to maim as many males as possible and steal the women.
For example, this last year a group of uncontacted hunter gatherers from the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest, raided two different small farmer villages far away from their regular territory. In both cases, the attacks lasted less than five minutes and were performed by groups of at least 10 men. The first resulted in two young girls being kidnapped (one of which managed to escape) and a man being wounded and the second in two women being kidnapped and a man being killed (with over twenty spear wounds.
>>647075 (not him) >I have to believe you are exaggerating... This sort of conflict is probably what pushed human groups to spread across many continents. Also, human population grew very slowly until we became farmers.
>What the fuck were they fighting over that was so valuable when they were barely scraping by off the worthless land? Humanity couldn't just double it's population size in a single generation back then so mass murder simply wouldn't be sustainable. At the very most you would simply kill all the men and keep the women, that way human population growth wouldn't be greatly harmed. This was the case. Children and men are killed. Women are taken as sex slaves / wives. It is one of the evolutionary explanations for why humans develop Stockholm Syndrome. In fact, women would
>>645321 None of those pre-colombians compare to the glory of the Comanche.
>Tfw you will never have the comanche name "Coyote's Vagina" >Tfw you will never raid farmsteads, kidnap and repeatedly gangrape white settlers >Tfw you roast a man alive >Tfw you will never have the comanche name "Have fucked my aunt"
>>647113 >this is excepting nomads That explains the confusion. Most tribes throughout human history were nomadic, so I was talking mostly about nomads. Only sedentary peoples had a good reason to fight. If your food source was stuck in one place then simply running meant starvation. This difference in warfare is seen in the Zulu.
The Zulu were one of many tribes of patoralists. Conflicts were the relatively bloodless affairs I was talking about. Then Europeans introduced corn, greatly increasing both population and the value of land. Battles went from a few men chucking spears to bloody melees of thousands of men gutting one another.
>>647134 >. In fact, women would Oops. Didn't finish this. In fact, women would often be the case of raids, since human births have such a high mortality rate that even during medieval times, populations had far more men than women.
>>647168 As a matter of fact, looking through the graphs in the book, the sources he cites for the data says that 58% of "Western American Native" tribes had warfare for the purpose of "Capture of women (for wives)".
>>647134 I disagree with almost everything you just said, either I disagree with the content or I disagree with how you word it. They way you word it makes it sound less like you are trying to understand humans back then than you are trying to convince modern humans that life sucked and that humans are inherently evil or some shit. You don't paint them as empathizable, which you should.
Sex slaves? Really? True by some definitions, but you aren't taking the women's perspective into account. They didn't want to die and had no more men to help out so they need another tribe. They weren't impressed into servitude. You are being overly dramatic.
>>647202 >being captured and taken against their will from their homes >not impressed into servitude Pick one.
It would be a mistake to be either Neo-Rousseauan or Neo-Hobbesian on the matter; that was why scholarship on this matter has been not very good up until the last 50 years or so, because they were based on mythologies created by armchair anthropologists instead of field studies and analysis of the concerns of pre-civilized societies.
>>647202 I guess sex slavery was not an accurate term, since it would mean that the women are going to be treated as second class treatment, when they would probably be treated like regular wives once they have adapted to the community life.
That said, life as hunter gatherers sucked. All modern studies point towards it being the height of violent deaths per capita for humans.
>>647289 Decline of health due to the reduction of regular protein from the hunter lifestyle.
A huge surge in number of population due to the increase of easily available calories, considerably lower murder rates and simply the ability of being capable of obtaining food despite wounds.
If evaluating "not having to worry about what I will eat tomorrow/next week/next month", "likelihood of surviving past my 30s" and "not having to abandon my brother to be eaten by wolves because he got an infection on his foot" as more important than "growing tall", being a farmer is clearly the better choice.
>You'd be wrong, the losing side of a stone age conflict usually had his village destroyed and his people slaughtered: large numbers of villages bear clear signs of direct assault (one in particular Keeley mentions had literally thousands of arrowheads embedded into it along with clear evidence of the slaughter of infants; at a better known site at Crow Creek in the Americas, there is clear evidence that all of the men and children were killed, the village burned, and the young women taken off as sex slaves). The studies he cites even say that ALL villages in some areas have palisades protecting them.
Would seem to be primarily early agricultural societies to me (sedentary villages were pretty rare for hunter gatherers).
And for one example of the health impacts.
>The significant lifestyle changes from a small, nomadic, hunter-gatherer society to a large, sedentary, agrarian society resulted in major health changes among the population. After analyzing trends in bone growth, enamel development, lesions, and mortality, archaeologists determined that there was a major decline in health following the adoption and intensification of agriculture. Compared to the hunter-gatherers before them, skeletons of farmers at Dickson Mounds indicate a significant increase in enamel defects, iron-deficiency anemia, bone lesions, and degenerative spinal conditions.
>>647211 You are trying to paint women as witless victims. Choosing members of the victorious tribe as husbands is rational. The culture or power structure or whatever of the previous tribe failed and therefore it is time to adopt the ways of the victorious tribe. Men fight for the memes, women carry on the genes.
>>647405 That goes with the maiming part. But those obsidian flakes are very quickly going to shatter and break apart (which again was a feature, not a flaw), and they wouldn't be able to cut deep the way a sword would. The main source of damage would be from the shattered bones and broken insides from being hit.
It's like taking a baseball bat, putting some nails around it, and calling it a sword.
>>647390 They don't have a choice but to be taken prisoners. >Chagnon’s observations led him into dangerous intellectual areas. From his initial contacts with the Yanomamo, he’d noticed how prevalent violence was in their culture. He determined that as many as 30 percent of all Yanomamo men died in violent confrontations, often over women. Abductions and raids were common, and Chagnon estimated that as many as 20 percent of women in some villages had been captured in attacks.
>>647259 >That said, life as hunter gatherers sucked. All modern studies point towards it being the height of violent deaths per capita for humans. It can be argued either way. Hunting and gathering is what we evolved for. If you got past infancy then you likely got to the ripe old age of 50. Deaths were usually brutal for men only because the low population size meant every man was a soldier.
Civilization allows has plenty of strengths, like you don't have to be a soldier, but the alternatives aren't that great. Sure you might be an elite, but social stratification can itself be considered a con. Two other big roles in bronze age civilization were farmers and miners. Farmers don't usually die violently, but they lead harder lives on a day to day basis and have less free time to enjoy. Miners have it even worse and are usually slaves. Furthermore life expectancy DROPPED because of civilization, getting as low as the 30's, due to cities being disease reservoirs.
I'm not arguing that civilization is a net bad thing but to say that hunting and gathering was significantly worse seems one must ignore the lesser known downsides pretty much inherent to early civilization.
>>647469 I don't really care. I just wanted to point out that you were downlplaying the cutting potential too much. They could slice through your throat, cut tendons, and disembowel you. Like any weapon they were pretty useful because simply because of how heavy they were too. Whatever.
>>647478 Again, you are portraying women as witless victims. Would you rather they be killed like the men? Focusing on the integration of women into the victorious tribe as bad and not the fact that there was a conflict to begin with is absurd. Women were as much a part of the opposing side as the defeated men.
>>649657 Define advanced religion? I think constant human sacrifice to the point of leaving pockets of uncontrolled kingdoms for the sake of warring for more sacrifices is a meme that would quickly die out if it was exposed to a larger memetic network.
>>649725 It varies based on what you're looking at. Personally I think Sumeria wins here seeing as they did all this stuff thousands of years earlier, but hey.
Architecture: >Sumeria: Sun-baked mud bricks, no mortar. Fell apart easily, often had to be replaced >Inca: Dry stone construction, special techniques make the stones mesh together so well a knife could not fit between them
Math: >Mesopotamia: Understood algebra, geometry, fractions, quadratic/cubic equations. Knew Pythagorean Theorem, concept of Zero >Aztec/Maya: Decent numeric system but little to no higher-level mathematics in use e.g. equations, complex geometry. Had a more modern idea of Zero
Science: >Both had decent understandings of astronomy >Sumerians seemed to employ an empirical approach in some cases, demonstrating a primitive advancement in the philosophy of science >Sumerian medicine tended to be treated as a physical illness first with exorcism used only as a last resort, whereas mesoamerican/Aztec medicine often relied on supernatural causes to explain sickness; nevertheless, both civilizations had numerous documented natural cures. Incans even performed successful surgery on the skull many times.
Military: >Sumeria: Copper/leather armor, leather/wooden shields, javelins/bows/spears. Horse-drawn chariots. Also had axes, daggers, etc. Had professional soldiers and were trained to fight in formations, especially with spears. >Aztecs: Had professional soldiers and an intense warrior culture with sophisticated military tactics and battle strategies. However, their equipment was mostly made to incapacitate and not kill, with weapons made mostly from obsidian/stone and wood. Also had bows and slings. Wore wooden helms with cloth armor and wooden shields.
The one thing where Amerindians really have the sumerians beat, I think, is military tactics. Apparently the Aztecs were genius fighters and even the Spanish admired them.
>>647517 >Focusing on the integration of women into the victorious tribe as bad and not the fact that there was a conflict to begin with is absurd. Women were as much a part of the opposing side as the defeated men.
Is this how a Liberal thinks?
Nah that's too simple, fuck terms like Liberal, but what is wrong with these people that will go so far as to make indigenous woman-stealing sound "not so bad"?
>>650061 Men fight for worldviews, allowing humanity to progress socially and technologically, and women keep humanity chugging along. Fighting a war to take out rivals is part of how humanity progresses as a species. Killing women or having them fight, especially when the human population is so low, would be absurd. The memes of one tribe failed and the men died. Their genes carry on through the integration of the women into the victorious tribe.
If you have a problem with that then you either prefer the victorious tribe to retardedly murder the women for no good reason or you are questioning the value of conflict in general, not the integration of women into another tribe.
>>650152 Obviously they weren't happy. Their sons, husbands, and fathers died. But focussing on that instead of conflict in general and the actual DEATHS of the men is an absurd idea likely rooted in the perception that women are always victims and not actors in human affairs.
They were the enemy so they deserved death as much as the men. It would be silly to kill them since there were already so few humans. They were therefore integrated into the victorious tribe.
>>650239 Exactly, their memes were weak. The best course of action after the tribe's defeat is to incorporate the women into the surviving tribe with the stronger memes. This is how humanity progressed for many tens of thousands of years.
they could've held out long enough to trade gold for guns and cannons with the Portuguese or the English. They would've had an enormous terrain advantage, and could've easily defended mountain trails and passes with just a few cannon.
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