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One must presume there was a lot of co-operation. For the origin of these efficient processing techniques I suspect Doggerland. It was likely the richest fresh water fishing ground in Europe. So a lot of people depending on fish, and when Doggerland began to decline, that would create the pressure for methods for more efficient processing of marine food. They moved around on giant dug out canoes, one 30 feet long has been found.

From what I have read about Inuit whaling, their boats are crewed only with those they totally trust. The Doggerlanders went to what is now England and Holland, which were the first commerial nations. Low digit ration is associated with competitiveness and lack of empathy.

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High digit ratio is associated with co-operation and altruism. England, Holland Germany, Poland have very high digit ratios. Denmark has the highest in the world, and that was where the burials Melchior et al studied were. Doggerland disappeared by around 6, BC. R1b is the most common y-chromosome haplogroup in England and the Netherlands. It's believed to have been introduced by Indo-European speakers long after Doggerland disappeared. The northern Italian city-states were commercial states before the rise of the English and Dutch commercial empires.

R1b is also the most haplogroup of northern Italy. One to three men fathered most western Europeans? Now how could the putative expansion be sustained?

The most obvious way was the founder s got in on the ground floor of an expansion into territory with plentiful resources and zero competition. This is then explicitly pushed at the PRIMARY evidence of the veracity of the New Testament in the Pauline Epistles--that the inability of Christians to be shamed would be revolutionary to those who saw it, though the established powers would not understand it.

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Even now, the far northwestern part of Europe, which was the last to Christianize, is the least guilt culture and the most communalist and shame culture oriented in the West. Post a Comment. Saturday, December 14, Origins of Northwest European guilt culture. Part II. At different times and in different regions, humans have entered larger social environments that are no longer limited to close kin. Because there is less interaction with any one person and more interaction with non-kin, correct behavior can no longer be enforced by the to and fro of family relationships.

A moral code develops, with rules enforced by ostracism and shaming. In Northwest Europe, the moral code is also enforced by guilt—a form of self-shaming where the wrongdoer inflicts self-punishment even when he or she is the sole witness to the wrongdoing. There is also a high degree of empathy; the wrongdoer literally feels the pain of the person who has been wronged.

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When did this guilt culture emerge? Historians usually link it to the rise of Protestantism, the expansion of the market economy, and the emancipation of the individual from the kin group, all of which happened—or are said to have happened—over the last thousand years. At the dawn of history, the peoples along the North Sea and the Baltic already had relatively loose kinship ties, a tendency toward prolonged celibacy, and a high level of circulation of non-kin individuals between households.

This behavioral package would enable them to exploit the potential of later historical developments, particularly the rise of the market economy. Back then, however, its usefulness was far from obvious. The future seemed to belong to other peoples, and not to these barbarians on the edge of the known world. So how did this package come into being so long before modernity? And why? At first, I thought the cause was the introduction of agriculture to Northwest Europe.

Key to Northwest European Origins : Raymond F. McNair :

Only farming can create a population density that is high enough for people to enlarge their circle of interaction beyond that of close kin. Previously, there was only hunting and gathering, and hunter-gatherers were just small bands of closely related individuals.

That kind of social setting has little need for either shame or guilt, a good example being the Inuit of northern Canada:. That is, in the past, the individual was expected and encouraged to do what he wanted, and thus had little guilt over most acts. In fact, there was so little censure, overtly, that one could do whatever one could get away with. But there was always the shame — concern with what people would think. Hippler, In both cases, there was no real empathy with the person who had been wronged. The first complex societies of Northwest Europe.

I was therefore surprised to learn that the first complex societies of Northwest Europe were hunter-gatherers, or rather hunter-fisher-gatherers:. The societies of the last hunters and fishers and gatherers of northern Europe appear to have evolved quickly toward increasing complexity in the period prior to the spread of agriculture.

Complexity is defined by greater diversity more things and integration more connections. Advances in technology, settlement, and subsistence are preserved in the archaeological record.

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During this period technology developed toward greater efficiency in transport, tools, and food procurement. Settlements were generally larger, more enduring, and more differentiated in the Mesolithic than in the preceding Paleolithic. Food procurement was both more specialized and more diversified-specialized in terms of the technology and organization of foraging activities, and diversified in terms of the numbers and kinds of species and habitats exploited. Price, They were thus able to stop the advance of farming for two to three thousand years:.

After a rapid spread across Central Europe, […] farming communities came to a halt in the North European Plain, leaving the coastal areas of the North Sea occupied by hunter-gatherers. The frontier extends across a uniform geographical area, and the soils of southern Scandinavia are, in many places, light, fertile, and favorable for cultivation […].

The reason for the delay must be sought in the late Mesolithic communities of the region. Although regional differences exist […], hunter-gatherers in the southern Baltic region are likely to have had a greater population density than central European foragers […], larger and more permanent settlements […], and a complex economic pattern involving specialized extraction camps, seasonal scheduling, and seasonally intensive use of specific resources […] Zvelebil and Dolukhanov, These North Sea and Baltic peoples were semi-sedentary.

Most of them lived from spring to fall in large coastal agglomerations where they fished, sealed, and collected shellfish. They then dispersed to small inland hunting stations Price, It was in the coastal agglomerations that Northwest Europeans began to develop social relations in a setting where most people were not close kin. Unlike farming communities, there seems to have been a continual demographic turnover, with people spending part of the year in small bands and then regrouping in much larger settlements.


It was perhaps this fluid environment that made guilt more effective than shame, since shaming works to the extent that one continues to interact with those who have witnessed the shameful act. But this raises another question. Guilt thus played a major role in English culture at least as far back as Anglo-Saxon times. Furthermore, it seems to have been indigenous:. One particularly interesting fact that emerges is the peculiarly Anglo-Saxon character of the motif. Not only did it circulate widely in Old English writings but the only two Latin works in which I have been able to find it were written by Anglo-Saxons — Alcuin and Boniface.

Frantzen argues that the penitential tradition first developed in Anglo-Saxon England and then was exported to the continent in the 8th century. It is thus inaccurate to see this guilt culture as something that Christianity introduced into Northwest Europe. Instead, an indigenous guilt culture seems to have modified the historical development of Western Catholic Christianity, eventually giving rise to Protestantism.

The wise man thought that, breaking established law, he had bitterly angered God, the Lord everlasting. His breast was troubled within by dark thoughts, as was not his wont. The Song of Beowulf , With Beowulf, we are entering the transition between paganism and Christianity. Indeed, a pagan underlay is already visible in the above quote by Aelfric. Clearly, the last thousand years have seen Northwest Europeans become increasingly individualistic and guilt-driven.

Nonetheless, this behavioral trajectory began long before the timeline of the last millennium. In fact, it seems to have begun before the dawn of history.