Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10995/111113
Title: Rise of the War Machines: Charting the Evolution of Military Technologies from the Neolithic to the Industrial Revolution
Authors: Turchin, P.
Hoyer, D.
Korotayev, A.
Kradin, N.
Nefedov, S.
Feinman, G.
Levine, J.
Reddish, J.
Cioni, E.
Thorpe, C.
Bennett, J. S.
Francois, P.
Whitehouse, H.
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Citation: Rise of the War Machines: Charting the Evolution of Military Technologies from the Neolithic to the Industrial Revolution / P. Turchin, D. Hoyer, A. Korotayev et al. // PLoS ONE. — 2021. — Vol. 16. — Iss. 10 October 2021. — e0258161.
Abstract: What have been the causes and consequences of technological evolution in world history? In particular, what propels innovation and diffusion of military technologies, details of which are comparatively well preserved and which are often seen as drivers of broad socio-cultural processes? Here we analyze the evolution of key military technologies in a sample of pre-industrial societies world-wide covering almost 10,000 years of history using Seshat: Global History Databank. We empirically test previously speculative theories that proposed world population size, connectivity between geographical areas of innovation and adoption, and critical enabling technological advances, such as iron metallurgy and horse riding, as central drivers of military technological evolution. We find that all of these factors are strong predictors of change in military technology, whereas state-level factors such as polity population, territorial size, or governance sophistication play no major role. We discuss how our approach can be extended to explore technological change more generally, and how our results carry important ramifications for understanding major drivers of evolution of social complexity. © 2021 Turchin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Keywords: IRON
ARTICLE
GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION
HISTORY
HORSEBACK RIDING
HUMAN
INDUSTRIALIZATION
METALLURGY
MILITARY PHENOMENA
NEOLITHIC
POPULATION SIZE
PREDICTOR VARIABLE
SOCIAL ASPECT
TERRITORIALITY
ANIMAL
GEOGRAPHY
HORSE
INDUSTRY
MILITARY PERSONNEL
REGRESSION ANALYSIS
TECHNOLOGY
TIME FACTOR
WAR
ANIMALS
ARMED CONFLICTS
GEOGRAPHY
HORSES
TIME FACTORS
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10995/111113
Access: info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
SCOPUS ID: 85117736836
PURE ID: 23899288
ISSN: 1932-6203
metadata.dc.description.sponsorship: This work was supported by: a John Templeton Foundation grant to the Evolution Institute, entitled "Axial-Age Religions and the Z-Curve of Human Egalitarianism" (HW, PF, PT); a Tricoastal Foundation grant to the Evolution Institute, entitled "The Deep Roots of the Modern World: The Cultural Evolution of Economic Growth and Political Stability" (PT); an Economic and Social Research Council Large Grant to the University of Oxford, entitled "Ritual, Community, and Conflict" (REF RES-060-25-0085) (HW); a grant from the European Union Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 644055 [ALIGNED, www.aligned-project.eu]) (HW, PF); a European Research Council Advanced Grant to the University of Oxford, entitled (Ritual Modes: Divergent modes of ritual, social cohesion, prosociality, and conflict" (HW, PF); a grant from the Institute of Economics and Peace to develop a Historical Peace Index (HW, PF, PT, DH); and the program (Complexity Science,) which is supported by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency FFG under grant № 873927 (PT).
CORDIS project card: H2020: 644055
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