Tag Archives: history I’m shaky on

A late stone age (the copper age has already arrived relatively nearby) hunter-gatherer band (30-40 people, not all capable of fighting) considers it a religious duty to prepare to defend themselves against people who attack them. They’re primarily armed with flint-tipped spears and bows and arrows. What kinds of tactics/strategy are they likely to be training in?

My first instinct was to say this is stretching the edge of what I know about historical warfare, but, the more I think about it, this actually stresses the limits of what archeology knows about that era.

There’s some basic information that can be inferred from hunting techniques, such as the Colby Mammoth site in Wyoming. But, this is stuff that would only be marginally applicable against another human. Herding mammoths into an arroyo is one thing, actually herding a human opponent is much harder.

Your best bet would actually be to look at anthropology concerning the surviving civilizations that have completely eschewed the last 10k years of technology.

What we know of actual warfare and tactics start with the Greek, Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and Chinese civilizations. Though that has more to do with people writing things down rather than the sudden development of a need to inflict brutal violence on their contemporaries.


(I got kind of interested based on the last ask) What are some examples in history of berserkers being used regularly? Either in armies alongside regular infantry as mentioned, or otherwise

Off the top of my head, early northern European forces. So, that’s primarily the Norse and Celts. The word itself is derived from Old Norse, though it didn’t actually get introduced into English until the 19th century.

I don’t know when the practice was abandoned, though the Romans did write about encountering it. Which would mean it was still alive in the first or second century, AD.