There is a fundamental difference between societies that exist with slavery and those that are based upon it. In the world before about 1450, slavery was not an institution as such; rather, it was simply a part of life. The Narmer Palette, an ancient Egyptian artifact depicting the ascension of Narmer, the first pharaoh of the Old Kingdom, depicts Narmer towering over his conquered foes and either crushing them with a macelike object or driving them before him in chains. Traditional slavery is often represented in this way. This type ...

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