Surrender and Prisoners in Prehistoric and Tribal Societies

Lawrence H. Keeley

in How Fighting Ends

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199693627
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741258 | DOI:
Surrender and Prisoners in Prehistoric and Tribal Societies

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This chapter discusses how fighting ended in stone age societies. Keeley argues that these early societies were usually very violent and that fighting amounted to ‘total war’ in early societies. A constant low level conflict rarely stopped and inflicted more victims, in relation to the sizeof the tribes, than modern warfare. Keeley contends that economic conditions of small tribes did not permit them to keep adult prisoners. Therefore there was ‘no surrender’ in these societies.

Keywords: stone age; total warfare; tribal culture

Chapter.  3997 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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