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Thread: Pastoral societies

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    Regular Member Diomedes's Avatar
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    Pastoral societies

    Pastoral societies are not very common nowadays, except maybe some parts of Africa. It is well-known that people who belong to pastoral societies are characterized by specific traits (e.g., trust among themselves, animosity against the outsiders etc.).

    I was wondering if there are any "archaic" data or maps that can give someone a better idea of the aforementioned. For example, where were pastoral societies located in Europe and other parts of the world in the ancient times?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Diomedes View Post
    Pastoral societies are not very common nowadays, except maybe some parts of Africa. It is well-known that people who belong to pastoral societies are characterized by specific traits (e.g., trust among themselves, animosity against the outsiders etc.).

    I was wondering if there are any "archaic" data or maps that can give someone a better idea of the aforementioned. For example, where were pastoral societies located in Europe and other parts of the world in the ancient times?
    This type of tribalism is typical for all human kinds, and is only balanced by open culture, by open upbringing of kids. Go to a hunter gatherer village in Amazon jungle today, in Brazilian strict reserves, and you still could be killed at hello. Generally in today's world, people growing up in big centers are more open and tolerant, than people growing in small villages, exposed only to the people that they always knew.
    There are not many people, many of us, who open a house door to see a stranger and get excited and friendly. We become immediately skeptical, to say the least.
    Be wary of people who tend to glorify the past, underestimate the present, and demonize the future.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Generally isolated communities are also vulnerable to global diseases. So maybe it becomes culture to not welcome strangers as a defense mechanism. Just an idea

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bergin View Post
    Generally isolated communities are also vulnerable to global diseases. So maybe it becomes culture to not welcome strangers as a defense mechanism. Just an idea
    You have a point. Look at what happened to the indigenous people of the Americas when the Europeans came with their novel diseases. I don't think it's much comfort to know that at the end, the people who remain get all the other group's immunity as well as those of their own group. I think that partly explains why virtually every group of indigenous people in Latin America, even the most isolated communities, have some European dna, and vice versa, virtually every "European" Latin American has some "native" dna.

    As LeBrok says, it's natural and human to tend to trust "one's own" more than outsiders.

    In my part of the world, they say the following. It's funnier in Italian because it all rhymes.

    "Moglie e buoi dei paesi tuoi."

    Wives and oxen from your own town. :)

    Husband and wife and the two oxen have to be able to work together, to work in harness, so to speak. Better if they come from the same culture, place.


    Non si fa il proprio dovere perchè qualcuno ci dica grazie, lo si fa per principio, per se stessi, per la propria dignità. Oriana Fallaci

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bergin View Post
    Generally isolated communities are also vulnerable to global diseases. So maybe it becomes culture to not welcome strangers as a defense mechanism. Just an idea
    Yes, obviously this protective instinct worked well for them, that's why we behave this way being their discendents. However it is very destructive in today's world when we all (at least majority) are trying to live in peace and cooperation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    You have a point. Look at what happened to the indigenous people of the Americas when the Europeans came with their novel diseases. I don't think it's much comfort to know that at the end, the people who remain get all the other group's immunity as well as those of their own group. I think that partly explains why virtually every group of indigenous people in Latin America, even the most isolated communities, have some European dna, and vice versa, virtually every "European" Latin American has some "native" dna.

    As LeBrok says, it's natural and human to tend to trust "one's own" more than outsiders.

    In my part of the world, they say the following. It's funnier in Italian because it all rhymes.

    "Moglie e buoi dei paesi tuoi."

    Wives and oxen from your own town. :)

    Husband and wife and the two oxen have to be able to work together, to work in harness, so to speak. Better if they come from the same culture, place.
    The same thing happened to early farmers of Europe. They were wiped out mostly by the diseases Steppe people brought when they Invaded Europe. Only Southern Europe had somehow immunitie.

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    I take your point, but we have to remember that's speculative; we have no proof of it as of yet, although I think it may have been part of the story. Climate change, poor crops etc. probably also had a part to play, and the fact that certain areas were virtually virgin territory.

    I think southern Europe had a much higher density of population, and perhaps its people weren't weakened as much by malnutrition from poor yields.

    There's just a lot we don't know yet.

    In periods where we have documentation, such as during the time of the Byzantine Empire, we do know that plague ravaged the Balkans, for example. Millions died, especially in Constantinople.

    All of these plague strains seem to have come from central Asian rodents, like the later Black Plague.

    There's a great book on Justinian's plague and its effect on people and the empire.

    It's called Justinian's Flea.

    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4...stinian_s_Flea

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plague_of_Justinian

    "In 2013 researchers found that the cause of the pandemic was Yersinia pestis, the bacterium responsible for bubonic plague.[4][5] The plague's social and cultural impact during the period of Justinian has been compared to that of the similar Black Death that devastated Europe 600 years after the last outbreak of Justinian plague.[6] "

    Now it's been found among the steppe people thousands of years earlier.

    The extraordinary thing is that it can travel independent of people: it can come with trade goods before the foreigners ever arrive. That happened in the New World too. I started a thread about it. When Europeans got to the far northwestern U.S., all the Indians were already dead of various diseases carried on the blankets which were being traded. Horrible, isn't it?

    It actually still exists in host rodents, but antibiotics work on it.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Never accept any suspicious blankets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DuPidh View Post
    The same thing happened to early farmers of Europe. They were wiped out mostly by the diseases Steppe people brought when they Invaded Europe. Only Southern Europe had somehow immunitie.
    do you have any solid proof?
    there are indications neolithic Europe crashed around 5.5 ka, that is before CW and before the pest arrived from the Altaï

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    Regular Member Diomedes's Avatar
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    Alright. Thanks for all these answers you guys provided. I was wondering though if I could study this in more depth. For example, where can one look at? Are there any maps from the ancient times, or even perhaps data that somehow "measure" pastoral societies?

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    Advisor Angela's Avatar
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    The whole Neolithic Revolution could be described as an Agro-Pastoral development. Once you domesticate plants and animals, the particular emphasis placed on one or the other is often a question of climate and landscape adaption. People who farm and keep animals may come to rely more on the animals as they move or as the climate changes.

    There have been pastoralist societies all over the world, not just the steppe. They were all over the Middle East, North Africa, all over Africa really, Central Asia, and on and on. Even not so long ago in Europe certain groups were more pastoral in terms of subsistence strategy.

    That's why it's difficult to answer your question. What is it in particular that you want to find out?

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    Regular Member Diomedes's Avatar
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    Hey Angela. I was looking for something "tangible", in the sense of a book, map, or a database (especially this) that describes those pastoral societies around the world. For example, in country X around 1000 BC you had these groups that were pastoral in these locations etc. I am particularly interested to know the location of those societies.

    I hope it makes sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    The whole Neolithic Revolution could be described as an Agro-Pastoral development. Once you domesticate plants and animals, the particular emphasis placed on one or the other is often a question of climate and landscape adaption. People who farm and keep animals may come to rely more on the animals as they move or as the climate changes.

    There have been pastoralist societies all over the world, not just the steppe. They were all over the Middle East, North Africa, all over Africa really, Central Asia, and on and on. Even not so long ago in Europe certain groups were more pastoral in terms of subsistence strategy.

    That's why it's difficult to answer your question. What is it in particular that you want to find out?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Diomedes View Post
    Hey Angela. I was looking for something "tangible", in the sense of a book, map, or a database (especially this) that describes those pastoral societies around the world. For example, in country X around 1000 BC you had these groups that were pastoral in these locations etc. I am particularly interested to know the location of those societies.

    I hope it makes sense.
    Angela is right. Usually they are mixed. Only in places where typical farming can't succeed there is strictly pastoral existence. Subarctic reindeer herding, desert camel herding, mountain sheep herding, etc.

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    Advisor Angela's Avatar
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    Sorry, Diomedes, I don't know of any central source that has collated all this material. You'd have to look at the period in which you're interested and google something like "timeline in X in 1000 BC" to get the cultures and then look up the subsistence strategy of the cultures involved.

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    Thanks guys. Indeed, it is not easy to find all this info.

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    Pastoral societies are deeply agressive, as well as mountainous societies. We have mountainous Yemen stiffed with Civil War and deep conservatism, nomadic Mongols that destroyed civilizations All the Yihadi rebellions in the Sahel(such as the schoolgirls kidnappers of Nigeria, Boko Haram; or the Mali rebels), as well as the Ethnic Pashtun Taliban movement.
    One hypothesis that this may be because they're good at mastering others(animals) and are not prone to settling. Rather they wander getting land for their cattle.
    It's interesting that Afghanistan is between the ancestral IndoEuropean heartland and India. It's also a very mountainous region not friendly with weakness.
    The Sahel, also has traces of R1B as discussed in this site, not an easy environment to live in neither.

    Taking all of this into account, they descend from IndoEuropeans or Arabs (conquerors with developed cohesion and networks), they master animals, eat proteins and live in harsh environments Makes difficult to exert authority over them.

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