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Prehistoric Warfare


									Prehistoric Warfare
      Mr. Hoke

   Military History
             Eras of Warfare
- Prehistoric Warfare

- Ancient Warfare

- Medieval Warfare

- Early Modern Warfare

- Modern Warfare

- Technological Warfare
            Prehistoric Warfare

•   Prehistoric warfare is warfare conducted
    in the era before:

    A) Writing
    B) States
    C) Large social organizations/civilizations
            Prehistoric Warfare

• 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.
            Prehistoric Warfare

         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
  worlds historians.

• 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
           Prehistoric Warfare

• Weapons of prehistoric warfare

  – The main weaponry of early humans was at
    first simple clubs and spears.

  – These weapons were heavily used from
    35,000 BC.
     • It is likely that these weapons were used more for
       hunting than fighting wars.
          Prehistoric Warfare

• Weapons of prehistoric warfare (Continued)

  – Beginning about 12,000 BC combat was
    transformed by the development of bows, maces
    and slings.

  – The bow was the most important development of
    early warfare allowing attacks to be launched with
    far less risk to the attacker.
           Prehistoric Warfare

• 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.
          Prehistoric Warfare


  – 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.
          Prehistoric Warfare
• 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
    not warfare.
  – The fact that half of the bodies are female also
    causes some questions to their origin.
          Prehistoric Warfare

• Why did humans turn to war?

  – Societies clearly became more warlike with:
     • A.) The development of agriculture
     • B.) The domestication of animals

     • Why?
        – Developed skills in agriculture created large enough
          surpluses to enable farmers to spend part of the year
          as warriors.
        – Nomadic tribes were even more likely to engage in
          combat, gaining needed supplies as they attacked and
          plundered the agriculturists of the river valleys.
Prehistoric Warfare

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