Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Archeologist Steven LeBlanc was born in 1943, the same year as Jim Morrison, romance and mystery novelist Janet Evanovich, and Newt Gingrich. He is the director of collections at the Peabody Museum of Archeology and Ethnology at Harvard University, and an expert on the Mimbres Culture of southwestern New Mexico.
In 2003's Constant Battles, LeBlanc and his wife and co-author Katherine Register make the case that ecological imbalance causes human warfare. People deforest or overgraze the places where we live, or breed beyond our environments' carrying capacities, then try to expand our territories by invasion. There has never been an Edenic time in which we were at peace with our environment or each other. LeBlanc's case for this includes the way ancient people sited their villages, ancient skeletons damaged by violence, anecdotes related to early European settlers by native Americans, and the behavior of other primates and remaining "stone age" farmers.