Eras of Warfare
- Prehistoric Warfare
- Ancient Warfare
- Medieval Warfare
- Early Modern Warfare
- Modern Warfare
- Technological Warfare
• Prehistoric warfare is warfare conducted
in the era before:
C) Large social organizations/civilizations
• Prehistoric – Of, relating to, or belonging to the
era before written history.
• Warfare – The process of military struggle
between two nations or groups of nations.
• Anthropology – The scientific study of the origin,
the behavior, the physical, social & cultural
development of humans.
• Historian – One who writes or compiles a
chronological record of events.
Humans in the Prehistoric world
• Prehistoric humans lived in hunter-gatherer
• In today’s world, tribes of hunter-gatherer
societies still exist.
– Some live lives of great violence
– Others have eliminated war
Prehistoric hammerheads provide evidence supporting the
human pref erence f or specialized tools. The same trend
continues with today’s computer sof tware applications.
Prehistoric Warfare – Did War Exist?
• When warfare began is under debate amongst the
• Archaeological Evidence
– Neanderthals with spear points embedded in their
– This may have been a result of individual violence
(murder) rather than warfare conducted by large groups.
– The wounds also could be the result of hunting or other
– No cave paintings show warfare from 35,000 to 12,000
• Weapons of prehistoric warfare
– The main weaponry of early humans was at
first simple clubs and spears.
– These weapons were heavily used from
• It is likely that these weapons were used more for
hunting than fighting wars.
• Weapons of prehistoric warfare (Continued)
– Beginning about 12,000 BC combat was
transformed by the development of bows, maces
– The bow was the most important development of
early warfare allowing attacks to be launched with
far less risk to the attacker.
• Bows & the transformation of warfare
– Archaeologists have not found cave paintings
of battles between men armed with clubs.
– The development of the bow brings the first
depictions of organized warfare.
• Large, distinct groups with clearly illustrated leaders
fighting each other.
• The FIRST BATTLEFIELD
– Where: Egypt, Africa near the border of the
– What: Cemetery 117 is at least 7,000 years
• The area was populated with a large number of
bodies, many with arrowheads embedded in their
skeletons, indicating they may have been the
casualties of battle.
• The FIRST BATTLEFIELD (continued)
– Cemetery 117
– Some historians and archaeologists question
this site, arguing that the bodies may have
accumulated over many decades and may be
the evidence of the murder of trespassers, but
– The fact that half of the bodies are female also
causes some questions to their origin.
• Why did humans turn to war?
– Societies clearly became more warlike with:
• A.) The development of agriculture
• B.) The domestication of animals
– Developed skills in agriculture created large enough
surpluses to enable farmers to spend part of the year
– Nomadic tribes were even more likely to engage in
combat, gaining needed supplies as they attacked and
plundered the agriculturists of the river valleys.