Wednesday, May 31, 2006

So Much for TV, Violence and Society: Actually These are Quite Peaceful Times

So Much for TV, Violence and Society: Actually These are Quite Peaceful Times. Do you think most of us live in violent times? If you are in Iraq or Sudan, you might indeed be living in a violent world. For most of us though, we have it rather peaceful in comparison to the past.

A recent study by Rick Schulting and Michael Wysocki (and written about by Heidi Dawley at Media Life Magazine) looked at 350 skulls of men, women and children living in Britain between 4,000 and 3,200 BC. The results showed a great deal of violence. The study found, "In all, 7 percent of the skulls studied had fractures. Some 5 percent of the skulls had depression fractures that had healed, showing the person had recovered from their injury. But the other 2 percent had cranial injuries that had not healed, indicating that the victim had died of that injury or another one sustained at the same time. "

In other words, if you lived in Neolithic Britain, you had a one in 14 chance of sustaining a hit to the head severe enough to fracture the skull and a one in 50 chance of dying from this injury. Both Detroit and Washington D.C. are safer than that!

Dawley wrote, "While the researchers looked at British skulls, Schulting believes that the results are similar to that found in other cultures in pre-history, largely blowing away often dewy-eyed presumptions about such earlier times."

I am soft. I live in a quiet college town with little violence other than drunk college students getting into fights. I do not think I would have survived long in the ancient past. However, I have seen a lot of violent movies so maybe that would give me an edge. Or maybe not as a violent media culture still delivers nothing comparable to Neolithic Britain.

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