From: Keith Henson (email@example.com)
Date: Sun Aug 27 2006 - 07:21:16 MDT
Some of you on this list have read my "evolution psychology, meme and the
origin of war" paper.
Here is additional supporting evidence for the thesis, though they don't
discuss the evolved psychological mechanisms behind the behavior.
Radiocarbon dating indicated that people relocated their residences to
fortified interior locations 300 years after the island was colonized.
"These were all related people who arrived in Rapa," Kennett said. "They
generally get along and collaborate when they arrive, but with time and
growing populations there was division, then competition between different
family lineages, resulting in significant amounts of aggression. This
division led to the establishment of fortifications in not very desirable
locations, such as mountaintop ridges, where it's cold, windy, inhospitable
for crops, and far away from water."
"The archaeological landscape is phenomenal," Kennett said. "There are
domestic and agricultural terraces all around the island. Many of the ridge
tops are flattened and there are staircases carved into the mountainsides.
Arable land and access to fishing grounds were limited, and the farming
areas and fish traps would have been well defended."
"Rapa is a compelling story," Kennett said. "To me, this is an example of
what's happening on the planet today in terms of expanding populations,
environmental degradation and increasing warfare. Rapa is a little
microcosm of our planet. There are lessons about the consequences of
population growth to be learned there."
The National Geographic Society, Australian National University and the
University of Oregon funded the research.
Source: University of Oregon
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