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What is war good for? Sparking civilization, suggest archaeology findings from Peru

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 04:57 PM
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What is war good for? Sparking civilization, suggest archaeology findings from Peru
What is war good for? Sparking civilization, suggest archaeology findings from Peru
July 25, 2011

Warfare, triggered by political conflict between the fifth century B.C. and the first century A.D., likely shaped the development of the first settlement that would classify as a civilization in the Titicaca basin of southern Peru, a new UCLA study suggests.


Charles Stanish, director of UCLA's Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, and Abigail Levine, a UCLA graduate student in anthropology, used archaeological evidence from the basin, home to a number of thriving and complex early societies during the first millennium B.C., to trace the evolution of two larger, dominant states in the region: Taraco, along the Ramis River, and Pukara, in the grassland pampas.

"This study is part of a larger, worldwide comparative research effort to define the factors that gave rise to the first societies that developed public buildings, widespread religions and regional political systems or basically characteristics associated with ancient states or what is colloquially known as 'civilization,'" said Stanish, who is also a professor of anthropology at UCLA. "War, regional trade and specialized labor are the three factors that keep coming up as predecessors to civilization."

~snip~
Conducted between 2004 and 2006, the authors' excavations in Taraco unearthed signs of a massive fire that raged sometime during the first century A.D., reducing much of the state to ash and architectural rubble. The authors compared artifacts dating from before and after the fire and concluded that agriculture, pottery and the obsidian industry, all of which had flourished in the state, greatly declined after the fire.

Based on the range and extent of the destruction and the lack of evidence supporting reconstruction efforts, the authors suggest that the fire was a result of war, not of an accident or a ritual.

More:
http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-07-war-good-civilizati...



Titicaca basin, southeastern Peru
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