The mid-1990s through the first decade of the new millennium marked an increase in publications pertaining to war and violence in the ancient past. This review considers how scholars of the past decade have responded to that work. The emerging consensus is that war and violence were endemic to all societies studied by archaeologists, and yet the frequency, intensity, causes, and consequences of violence were highly variable for reasons that defy simplistic explanation. The general trend has been toward archaeologies of war and violence that focus on understanding the nuances of particular places and historical moments. Nevertheless, archaeologists continue to grapple with grand narratives of war, such as the proposition that violence has decreased from ancient to modern times and the role of war and violence in state formation and collapse. Recent research also draws attention to a more expansive definition of violence.


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