Conan the Corded Ware Maker

Sunday, February 15th, 2015

In the second half of the 20th Century, academics engaged in a concerted effort to make the prehistory of Eurasia sound kinder, gentler, and much, much duller, Steve Sailer notes:

For example, the Battle Axe culture of Northern Europe of 4,000 to 5,000 years ago was renamed the Corded Ware culture. Less invasion, conquest, enslavement, and rapine; more different peoples getting together in a spirit of sharing to teach each other their arts, their crafts, their languages, their values, their hopes, their dreams.

For the entire 21st Century, though, Greg Cochran has been predicting that when genome analyses of ancient buried corpses are finally done, the prehistory of Eurasia will wind up looking a lot less like the later 20th Century conventional wisdom and more like the fantasy world created by the bookish Robert E. Howard for his Conan the Barbarian stories in the 1930s. Howard summarized the fantasy prehistory of his Conan stories in an essay entitled The Hyborian Age published in 1936, shortly before he killed himself at age 30.

A new genomic paper suggests that the barbarians of the distant past were quite barbaric: Massive migration from the steppe is a source for Indo-European languages in Europe.


  1. Bob Sykes says:

    They were our (or at least my) ancestors. We should be proud of what they did, and we should emulate them.

    Now I need to get my battle axe out of the closet and sharpen it.

  2. Andrew McGuinness says:

    I can’t get at mine, it’s at the back of a cupboard behind a whole load of corded ware.

  3. Grasspunk says:

    There are two axes in my workshop, but these comments have me wondering which would be more useful in battle. There’s a traditional wood-handled felling axe that doesn’t get much use in this age of chainsaws, and a modern-style splitting axe full of technology. I’d guess the splitting axe for its armor-piercing properties.

  4. Kudzu Bob says:

    I couldn’t find my battle axe anywhere. Turns out my old lady dropped it off at Goodwill.

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