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The impact of war on ancient societies, as revealed by archaeology, was of tragic and long-lasting social consequences, much as in our current world. Archaeology demonstrates that war was often a brutal exercise of raw power, affecting every area of life and impacting the fabric of ancient societies. The archaeological record clearly reveals the effects of violent conflict, including severe bodily injury, forced dislocation from homelands, impoverishment of communities, and sieges that pushed people to the brink of death. Ancient warfare often resulted in deeper social scars than we might expect because kings, warlords, and armies usually did not operate within acknowledged limitations of acceptable actions during war. The aftermath of war was unpredictable.

Archaeological evidence of human conflict demonstrates the severe impact that it ...

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