Theories on socio-political evolution put to the test

During the past 10,000 years—the Holocene—human societies became larger and ever more complex. An international team of scientists led by Peter Turchin from the Complexity Science Hub Vienna (CSH) set out to test various theories on what drove this process. According to its analyses of data from Seshat: Global History Databank, the best explanation for the evolution of socio-cultural complexity is a combination of increasing agricultural productivity and the invention, or adoption, of military technologies (most notably, the invention of iron weapons and cavalry in the first millennium BCE). The study just appeared in the journal Science Advances.

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