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Thread: Archaeology of skeletal remains from the Indus Civilization page

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    Lewis's Avatar
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    Archaeology of skeletal remains from the Indus Civilization

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    This is highlighted by National Geographic as showing the high level of violence of that civilization.

    The Indus civilization was based in parts of what is now Pakistan and India. and has sometimes been compared favourably to Egypt and Mesopotamia as having, supposedly, lower levels of inter-personal violence. Now a look at the skeletal remains indicates, with some reservations, that that's not so:

    Of the 18 skulls examined from this time period, nearly half showed serious injuries from violence, researchers reported in a recent paper in the International Journal of Paleopathology. The rate of skull injuries tied to violence is the highest recorded in the prehistory of South Asia, the researchers say. It may be no coincidence that at the time of these burials the Indus civilization was beginning to disintegrate and parts of Harappa were being abandoned, for reasons that scholars are still debating. ...
    New Views of Ancient Culture Suggest Brutal Violence

    This is interesting as showing that while people -- even scholars -- in our current society are often willing to fantasize about the supposed peacefulness of any society from the past they know little about, once one looks closer such dreams tend to dissolve (c.f. accounts of the Maya pre much archaeological investigation and pre our ability to read their inscriptions for a particularly egregious example of this.) Now at Harrapa we find:

    at least some Harappan residents were subjected to savage violence. The skull of a child between four and six years old was cracked and crushed by blows from a club-like weapon. An adult woman was beaten so badly—with extreme force, according to researchers—that her skull caved in. A middle-aged man had a broken nose as well as damage to his forehead inflicted by a sharp-edged, heavy implement. ...


    But that's by the by. From the primal point of view what one would really like to know is what they were eating and what effect that had on their skeletal health.



    Original paper:

    ScienceDirect.com - International Journal of Paleopathology - A peaceful realm? Trauma and social differentiation at Harappa

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    Peace = overpopulation = death by starvation. How would you rather die, slow agonizing malnutrition or a quick knock to the head? What we have done, with our "enlightenment", is doom ourselves and this planet. Population control is maligned in Western culture, seen as a sin and crime. It's very silly.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Knifegill View Post
    Peace = overpopulation = death by starvation. How would you rather die, slow agonizing malnutrition or a quick knock to the head? What we have done, with our "enlightenment", is doom ourselves and this planet. Population control is maligned in Western culture, seen as a sin and crime. It's very silly.
    unless you are the "extra" population being eliminated.... probably not at all silly to them.

    Maybe the eugenics crowd was right after all..... sterilize the febile, unproductive, weak minded so they can't reproduce.... and only the bright and blonde haired, blue eyed be allowed to have children. oh wait.... we did that..... didn't work out very well for the Jews, Catholics and gypsies in Europe.....

    I don't know why archeologist are the least bit surprised by the findings.... look at out "enlightened" modern society and the violence in it.... why would you think early man would have been any less violent than their modern cousin?

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    I second Knifegill, but would rather support "soft" eugenics: if someone is infertile due to illness/genetics, encourage to adopt, not go for IVF. If someone is particularly unintelligent or unmotivated to work/do good (I used to know many people on welfare who wanted to work and who volunteered while waiting for it, but also many who actively sabotaged their own interviews because "little money for nothing is better than lots of money if you have to work for it"), then discourage them from having or even adopting kids. If someone wants to euthanize themselves, let them.
    It used to be that this population was controlled by nature: they were either killed or died due to poor adaptability. Now we're smart enough to avoid letting said population get out of control. But we don't. We do everything we can to keep the weak, the idle, the dying, the dumb and the maladapted alive and, worse, to encourage them to have even more kids (either directly, like France's post-WWII welfare, or indirectly, by making it easier to reproduce on benefits than it is on a salary).
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    You don't have to get so extreme or be so pessimistic. The population will eventually reach a steady state. The more educated a population becomes the less kids it has. Just look at European countries with negative population growth, and that includes immigration.

    Re the initial post: I don't think any culture is violence-free because no culture has perfect equality and fairness or is free of abusive people. Admittedly, not every civilization sacrificed people by the thousands and buried them in mass graves, but you're bound to find victims of crime in all of them.
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    I favor birth control as the means of population control. It's not like it's been honestly tried. People who are not in a position to properly support a family will have fewer kids if they have ready access to effective birth control methods.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ssn679doc View Post
    unless you are the "extra" population being eliminated.... probably not at all silly to them.

    Maybe the eugenics crowd was right after all..... sterilize the febile, unproductive, weak minded so they can't reproduce.... and only the bright and blonde haired, blue eyed be allowed to have children. oh wait.... we did that..... didn't work out very well for the Jews, Catholics and gypsies in Europe.....
    Not all of us Eugenicists are politically motivated Neo-Nazi's. We're not out to create a perfect race of uniform people. We believe in scientific understandings of the world, and are motivated to do the best we can with what we have. The very best don't even exclude ourselves from our criteria.

    My maternal grandfather had myotonic muscular dystrophy. It was pretty awful, and he died a decade or more before I was born. He had six (an outrageous number) children. Three inherited the condition. I grew up watching them suffer, and eventually they all died (around 2006-2008, within a short time of each other). Two of those victims were sensible enough to never have children. One did. His son (who was given up for adoption a long time ago - don't know if he had any progeny) will eventually die from the condition. This is very sad, and ultimately unnecessary. I do not know how back into my family this condition goes, and fortunately my mother did not carry it. It is entirely possible (and I think correct) that my grandfather did not know he was going to suffer from this before he had children, but would it have been good for him to have a family knowing he was a carrier and would inflict it on his descendants? It is much the same as willingly spreading any communicable illness.

    I am aware I wouldn't be alive had he opted for a eugenic solution. Such is life.

    I am not a cruel person. Someone already alive wouldn't be hucked into a death row like situation simply because they are carriers of a genetic illness. This isn't 1920's America, either, where we go about sterilizing people against their will. I simply support a philosophy of adoption to fulfill your parental desires, while declining to carry to term any child of your own making, should you be capable of passing on a malignant genetic condition.

    You could still live a long life, have and be someone's friend, go enjoy sunshine and have a (adopted) family. I simply don't see the wisdom in passing on your condition. It's cruel.

    Anyways, I (or any other major Eugenics movement) don't have any real power so these are just words.

    M.

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    uhhhh


    the Eugenicists have a lot of power...you never heard of like...planned parenthood?

    The State of NY shows its employees in clinics videos about how abortion lowers the crime rate. That's some 3rd reich shit.


    I don't see how these skeletons shatter any mythology of peace. They demonstrate that 6 people died violently. What if one elephant rampaged through their village?
    "Ah, those endless forests, and their horror-haunted gloom! For what eternities have I wandered through them, a timid, hunted creature, starting at the least sound, frightened of my own shadow, keyed-up, ever alert and vigilant, ready on the instant to dash away in mad flight for my life. For I was the prey of all manner of fierce life that dwelt in the forest, and it was in ecstasies of fear that I fled before the hunting monsters."

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    Or a serial killer.

    That said, we do know this civilization sort of blinked out rather suddenly, which usually means some kind of invasion.

    M.

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