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The Walls That Did Not Come Tumbling Down: Are the Early Neolithic Walls of Jericho the First Evidence of Warfare?

RUSI Journal, Dec 2012, Vol. 157, No. 6 By Simon Elliott

War seems to be a permanent feature of human existence, but when did it actually start? Simon Elliott takes us on a fascinating journey through the archaeological record, tracing the debate among scholars of anthropology, archaeology, science and history in their as yet inconclusive quest to answer this question, and proposes an answer of his own: that warfare as organised conflict between actors that must include at least one stratified polity began with the emergence of agriculture, settlement and societal organisation in the Early Neolithic period. It would remain with us for the next 8,000 years, and counting.

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Further Analysis: History, Middle East and North Africa, Israel

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