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Did protecting access to bronze drive imperialism?

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posted on Mar, 9 2012 @ 12:47 PM
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Originally posted by Hanslune
reply to post by longjohnbritches
 


Not to forget a human liking for loot and raiding, larger populations allowed this to be done on a vastly larger scale. I say this, as one of the noticable traits of tribal groups, is to raid one another.


I read that a high percentage of neolithic burials have crushed skulls. The author of the book I was reading believed this was evidence of raiding, but I've often wondered if they were mercy killings. I can imagine a tribe might decide to remove the burden of a sick member and a mercy killing of some kind might have seemed better than abandoning the person.
edit on 9-3-2012 by cloudyday because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 9 2012 @ 01:29 PM
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Originally posted by Hanslune
reply to post by longjohnbritches
 


Not to forget a human liking for loot and raiding, larger populations allowed this to be done on a vastly larger scale. I say this, as one of the noticable traits of tribal groups, is to raid one another.



This is true,
I call it the Viking Syndrome, although you can trace it back through the Romans, Assyrians, Mongols and the Chinese. Also foward to the USSR British and Americans today. If you look at the history you will see the close correlation with alcohol. No booze no war.
Tribal rading is usually done to acquire some new blood for the gene pool.
This still happens in alot of small villages world wide.



posted on Mar, 9 2012 @ 01:42 PM
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Originally posted by cloudyday

Originally posted by Hanslune
reply to post by longjohnbritches
 




I read that a high percentage of neolithic burials have crushed skulls. The author of the book I was reading believed this was evidence of raiding, but I've often wondered if they were mercy killings. I can imagine a tribe might decide to remove the burden of a sick member and a mercy killing of some kind



I shortened your quote, I hope that is ok.
I think the author is looking for things to do with Imperialism and technology but will share what a number of Archeologists have told me about most skulls in burials.
They say alot are crushed by the earth above as the soft tisue inside is absorbed by the enviorment. More of a collapse than a smash.
I have actually seen this a few times.
the best ljb



posted on Mar, 9 2012 @ 01:44 PM
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reply to post by longjohnbritches
 


I would recommend that you look in ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Database; someone probably wrote a thesis on this or similar subject



posted on Mar, 9 2012 @ 03:14 PM
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Originally posted by longjohnbritches
I shortened your quote, I hope that is ok.
I think the author is looking for things to do with Imperialism and technology but will share what a number of Archeologists have told me about most skulls in burials.
They say alot are crushed by the earth above as the soft tisue inside is absorbed by the enviorment. More of a collapse than a smash.
I have actually seen this a few times.
the best ljb


Thanks, that does sound more reasonable than everybody killing each other. But maybe it was really that brutal.

edit on 9-3-2012 by cloudyday because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 9 2012 @ 08:01 PM
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reply to post by Hanslune
 


Thanks mate!
I will check that out.
I do also hope we can get deep into the developement of metal technology and what it means to man kind's developement (for the author of the thread's sake as well as mine.)
The Western Hemisphere as far as I know was 99.9 percent smelting free before contact with Europeans. Hammered copper and gold were a little common.
But what is interesting is that the American Aboriginals were right on the brink of metallurgy when the Spanish arrived. It is interesting to think, that if the American Indians were allowed to develope without interference from abroad, that they too would one day develope a space program of their own.



posted on Mar, 9 2012 @ 08:31 PM
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reply to post by cloudyday
 


You are welcome Cloudyday,
In most of my research I have found that mankind (pre alcohol) was small in population and large in land. No need to fight.
Alcohol and agriculture are almost synonymous. When folks prospered due to abundant food supplies, then they had the excess for drink.
That's why they got drunk and started smashing heads. Mostly due to the human success and the over population it created. Territorial desputes over crop land.
Heck that's how the Mafia started. Life was good so why not make some bronze for the still.



posted on Mar, 9 2012 @ 09:39 PM
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reply to post by longjohnbritches
 


It is always interesting to speculate on what would have happened if the Europeans hadn't journedy over to the Americas. The people there were making some progress but I say they were several thousand years behind the Europeans and Chinese.

Diamond outlined a number of reasons for that in his book. Probably being late to large scale agriculture did them no good in that regards. There have been several speculative sci-books on that premise



posted on Mar, 10 2012 @ 08:06 AM
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Originally posted by Hanslune
reply to post by longjohnbritches
 


It is always interesting to speculate on what would have happened if the Europeans hadn't journedy over to the Americas. The people there were making some progress but I say they were several thousand years behind the Europeans and Chinese.

Diamond outlined a number of reasons for that in his book. Probably being late to large scale agriculture did them no good in that regards. There have been several speculative sci-books on that premise


I read "Guns, Germs, and Steel" by Jared Diamond about 20 years ago, but I think he said that copper and iron deposits are much deeper in the Americas so the people here only had silver and gold and focused on art instead of war - wishful thinking.



posted on Mar, 10 2012 @ 11:15 AM
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Good thoughts and conversation
I will try to find some info about native Americans in Honduras that were starting to melt metal.
One thing that I find interesting is that we all come from roots that are more identical than not. We all have ancestor that used stone tools, crude metals and even scacrified kids and virgins on our way to modernity.There are still isolated folks out there living happily in the stone age. I think all of this is driven by human success that amplifies the populations, that in turn creates new needs for those populations. Hence "necessity, the mother of invention"
just a humble part of the evolution of all life. I used to like Jared Diamond,
not so much anymore.



posted on Mar, 10 2012 @ 11:51 AM
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Originally posted by longjohnbritches
Good thoughts and conversation
I will try to find some info about native Americans in Honduras that were starting to melt metal.
One thing that I find interesting is that we all come from roots that are more identical than not. We all have ancestor that used stone tools, crude metals and even scacrified kids and virgins on our way to modernity.There are still isolated folks out there living happily in the stone age. I think all of this is driven by human success that amplifies the populations, that in turn creates new needs for those populations. Hence "necessity, the mother of invention"
just a humble part of the evolution of all life. I used to like Jared Diamond,
not so much anymore.


I just realized the Incan empire may demonstrate that bronze was not a major motivation for imperialism, because it doesn't seem that Incans used bronze very much.

What did the Akkadians do with bronze anyway? Would they have made some weapons and shields for a few champions but ordinary weapons and tools would still be flint or bone?



posted on Mar, 10 2012 @ 12:09 PM
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reply to post by cloudyday
 

Bronze was very useful for weapons, as well as armour, but somewhat expensive. The Bronze age was good for aristocracy- they could afford the bronze weapons and chariots, which gave them the power to monopolise resources, which gave them the wealth to be able to afford bronze weapons and chariots...
Ordinary people would still be fighting with flint arrowheads etc.

When they discovered how to work iron, this was easier to find and comparatively cheap. Suddenly the foot-soldiers might have metal weapons in their hands, and chariots went out of fashion.

As for the Incas- even without bronze, there were still resources, like food stocks, which were worth taxing.



posted on Mar, 10 2012 @ 01:52 PM
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Originally posted by DISRAELI
reply to post by cloudyday
 

Bronze was very useful for weapons, as well as armour, but somewhat expensive. The Bronze age was good for aristocracy- they could afford the bronze weapons and chariots, which gave them the power to monopolise resources, which gave them the wealth to be able to afford bronze weapons and chariots...
Ordinary people would still be fighting with flint arrowheads etc.

When they discovered how to work iron, this was easier to find and comparatively cheap. Suddenly the foot-soldiers might have metal weapons in their hands, and chariots went out of fashion.

As for the Incas- even without bronze, there were still resources, like food stocks, which were worth taxing.



Is this a reasonable way to think about imperialism? I'm imagining the Three Amigos with El Guapo. A farmer can't run away and urbanization concentrates these sitting ducks into a rich target. As soon as agricultural efficiency allows the farmer to produce more than he needs then some El Guapo with his pals will show up to take that excess and leave the farmers with just enough to survive. Theft becomes taxation and El Guapo eventually becomes El Presidente.

I wonder if the individual bronze age farmer was more prosperous before or after government? In other words did government suck-up all the increases in productivity to arm itself for greater levels of exploitation? Did conquest by the Akkadians give any benefits or did it simply happen because nobody got to vote on it?



posted on Mar, 10 2012 @ 02:36 PM
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Originally posted by cloudyday
A farmer can't run away and urbanization concentrates these sitting ducks into a rich target.

Exactly. They are sitting-ducks for raiding outsiders, like the hill-dwellers of the Zagros mountains. How do you stop raiding from outside? By organising your own people to fight them off. Hence the beginning of kingship and government. Then if the raiders are too persistent, the answer might be to track them down to their homes and retaliate or bring them under control. In my first post on this thread, I called this the second stage of imperialism.



posted on Mar, 10 2012 @ 03:05 PM
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Originally posted by DISRAELI

Originally posted by cloudyday
A farmer can't run away and urbanization concentrates these sitting ducks into a rich target.

Exactly. They are sitting-ducks for raiding outsiders, like the hill-dwellers of the Zagros mountains. How do you stop raiding from outside? By organising your own people to fight them off. Hence the beginning of kingship and government. Then if the raiders are too persistent, the answer might be to track them down to their homes and retaliate or bring them under control. In my first post on this thread, I called this the second stage of imperialism.


I guess what I'm imagining is not government evolving to protect the farmer but government evolving to exploit the farmer (i.e. government is the predator and the farmer is the prey).

Has anybody compared nutrition levels for different stages in the evolution of government? I know that hunter gatherers were healthier than farmers, but I wonder how the small independent village farmer compared to the city state farmer and how that farmer compared to the imperial farmer?
edit on 10-3-2012 by cloudyday because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 10 2012 @ 03:13 PM
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reply to post by cloudyday
 



Your point is so well taken. To me it seems so odd that humans place such values on things like gold. You can't eat it or drink it, but the fact by human standards of time it has an almost religious identity. Oh sure, gold can be used in certain electronic's ands it's a really good sun shield for our space craft. Oh, did I mention its pretty? And thats about it.



posted on Mar, 10 2012 @ 04:09 PM
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reply to post by cloudyday
 

In practice, protection and exploitation tend to get intertwined.
Which is worse- having only a small, but stable, share of your own crop, or having the whole crop disappear at unpredictable moments?



posted on Mar, 10 2012 @ 04:18 PM
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reply to post by arbiture
 


It has been noted that women often like ornaments....there was discussion in the late 19th and early 20th century that womens desire for ornamentation and cosmetics drove metallurgy and the search for gold and othe precious items. This was muted as some cultures the men wore more attractive 'gear' than the women - but the idea that the search for 'luxuries' drove civilization instead of a drive for more food, is a consideration



posted on Mar, 10 2012 @ 05:11 PM
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Originally posted by DISRAELI
reply to post by cloudyday
 

In practice, protection and exploitation tend to get intertwined.
Which is worse- having only a small, but stable, share of your own crop, or having the whole crop disappear at unpredictable moments?



That makes sense. Also it might be like evolution. Life forms are randomly created as distortions of existing life forms. The random creation either lives or dies independent of whether the existing life forms benefit. The random creation of an empire only needs to be able to survive. The empire might not even make life better for the emperor after it gets going.



posted on Mar, 14 2012 @ 10:20 AM
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reply to post by cloudyday
 


I would suggest that even more than this, bronze wasn't really much use when compared to some of the harder materials already used - for example, why would anyone make bronze weapons (weak) when they already had access to obsidian (which would cleave bronze blades in two).

I love your thinking on this thread but there must be more to it.



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