The Origins and Diffusion of Patrism in Saharasia, c.4000 BCE: Evidence for a Worldwide, Climate- linked Geographical Pattern in Human Behavior.

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Director of Research, Orgone Biophysical Research Lab, PO. Box 1395, EI Cerrito,

California 94530 .

(Received June 25, 1990; in revised form July 25, 1990; accepted November 8, 1990)

ABSTRACT: Global geographical pattern·; of repressive, painful, traumatic, and violent patrist behaviors and social institutions, which thwart materal-infant and male-female bonds, were correlated and developed through a systematic analysis of anthropological data on 1170 subsistence-level cultures. When the behavior data were mapped, the hyperarid desert belt encompassing North Africa, the Near East, and Central Asia, which I call Saharasia, was found to possess the greatest areal extent of the most extreme patrist behaviors and social institutions on Earth. Regions farthest removed from Saharasia, in Oceania and the New World, were found to possess the most extreme matrist behaviors, which support and protect maternal-infant and male-female bonds. A systematic review ofarchaeological and historical materials suggests that patrism first developed in Saharasia after c.4000 BeE, the time of a major ecological transition from relatively wet grassland-forest conditions to ar"icl desert conditions. Settlement anel migration patterns or patrist peoples W(TC traced, rr'olll their earliest homelands in Saharasia,.to explain the later appearance of patrism in regions outside of Saharasia. Prior to the onset of dry conditions in Saharasia, evidence for matI"ism is widespread, but evidence for patrism is generally nonexistent. It is argued that matrism constitutes the earliest, original, and innate form of human behavior and social organization, while patrism, perpetuated by trauma-inducing social institutions, first developed among Homo Sapiens in Saharasia, under the pressures of severe desertification, famine, and forced migrations.

KEYWORDS: child abuse, sex-repression, patrism, origins of violence


The present paper summarizes the evidence and conclusions of my own seven- year geographical study on the worldwide, regional variation in human behavior, and related socio-environmental factors, a study which constituted my doctoral dissertation (DeMeo 1985, 1986, 1987). In this research, I specifically focused upon a major complex of traumatic and repressive attitudes, behaviors, social customs and institutions which are correlated with violence and warfare. My study pro- ceeded from clinical and cross-cultural observations on the biological needs of infants, children, and adolescents, the repressive and damaging effects that certain

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social institutions and classes of harsh natural environment have upon those needs, and the behavioral consequences of such repression and damage.

The geographical approach to the origins of human behavior,as presented here, has allowed the reconstruction of a much clearer global picture of our most ancient cultural history than has heretofore been possible. The causal relationship between traumatic and repressive social institutions to destructive aggression and warfare has been verified and strengthened in my approach, which has confirmed the existence of an ancient, worldwide period of relatively peaceful social conditions, where warfare, male domination, and destructive aggression were either absent, or at extremely minimal levels. Moreover, it has become possible to pinpoint both the exact times and places on Earth where human culture first transformed from peaceful, democratic, egalitarian conditions, to'violent, w;'lrlike, despotic condi- tions. , セ@

These findings were made possible only by virtue of recent paleoclimatic and archaeological field studies (which revealed previously hidden social and environ- mental conditions), and by the development of large, global anthropological data bases composed of cultural data from hundreds to thousands of different cultures from around the world. The microcomputer, also a recent innovation,allowed easy access to such data, and the preparation within a few years of global behavior rnaps

'which otherwise would have taken a lifetime to prepare. My approach to these questions also constituted one of the first systematically derived, global geographical reviews of human behavior and social institutions, uncovering a previously unob- served, but clear-cut global pattern in human behavior. Before presenting the maps, which display in spatial form the core of my findings, some discussion of the variables of interest, and the, theory behind the maps, is in order.

The Roots of Violence in Childhood Trauma and Sex-Repression

My research was initially aimed at developing a global geographical analysis of social factors related to early childhood trauma and sexual repression, as a test of the sex-economic theory of Wilhelm Reich (1935, 1942, 1945, 1947, 1949, 1953, 1967, 1983). Reich's theory, which developed and diverged from psychoanalysis, labeled the destructive aggression and sadistic violence ofHomo sapiens a completely abnormal condition, resultant from the traumatically-induced chronic inhibition of respiration, emotional expression, and pleasure-directed impulses. According to this viewpoint, inhibition is made chronic within the individual by virtue of specific painful and pleasure-censoring rituals and social institutions, which consciously or unconsciously interfere with maternal-infant and male-female bonds. These rituals and institutions exist among both subsistence-level "primitives" and technologically developed "civilized" societies. Some examples are: unconscious or rationalized infliction of pain upon newborn infants and children through various means; separation and isolation of the infant from its mother; indifference towards the crying,upset[@ャュセイョゥ immobili;,round-the-dockswaddling;denialofl.hebreast_ to, and premature weaning of the infant; cutting of the child's Jesh, usually the


genitals; traumatic toilet training; and demands to be quiet, uncurious, and obe- dient, enforced by physical punishment or threats. Other social institutions aim to control or crush the child's budding sexual interests, such as the female virginity taboo, demanded by every culture worshipping a patriarchal high god, and the punishment- and guilt-enforced arranged or compulsive marriage. Most of these ritual punishments and restraints fall more painfully upon the female, though males are also greatly affected. Demands for pain endurance, emotion-suppres- sion, and uncritical obedience to elder (usually male) authority figures regarding basic life decisions are integral aspects of such social institutions, which extend to control adult behavior as well. These repressive institutions are supported and defended by the average individual within a given society, irrespective of their painful, pleasure-reducing, or life-threatening consequences, and are uncritically viewed as being "good," "character building" experiences, a part of "tradition." Nevertheless, from such a complex of painful and repressive social institutions, it is argued, comes the neurotic, psychotic, self-destructive and sadistic components of human behavior, which are expressed in a plethora of either disguised and uncon- scious, or blatantly clear and obvious ways.

According to Reich's sex-economic viewpoint, a chronic characterological and muscular armor is set up in the growing human according to the type and severity of painful trauma it experiences. The biophysical processes which normally lead to full and complete respiration, emotional expression, and sexual discharge during orgasm are chronically blocked by the armor, to a greater or lesser extent, leading to the accumulation of pent-up, undischarged emotional and sexual (bioenergetic) tension. The dammed-up reservoir of internal tension drives the organism to behave in a generally unconscious, distorted, self-destructive, and/or sadistic man- ner (Reich 1942, 1949). The above processes occur whenever, and only whenever, attempts are made to irrationally deflect or mold human primary biological needs or urges according to the demands of "culture."

Pain-inflicting and pleasure-censoring rituals and social institutlons have been present in most, but by no means all, historical and contemporary cultures. There are, for instance, some cultures (a minority, to be sure) which neither inflict pain upon infants and children, consciously or otherwise, nor repress the sexual interests of children or adults. Of great interest is the fact that these are also nonviolent societies, with stable monogamous family bonds, and congenial, friendly social relations. .

Malinowski (1927, 1932) first pointed to such cultures as a rebuttal to F'reud's assertion of a biological, pan-cultural nature for childhood sexual latency and the Oedipal conflict. Reich (1935) argued that conditions within Trobriand society proved the correctness of his clinical and social findings relating sexual repression to pathological, violent behavior. Other ethnographic descriptions ofsimilar peace- ful, child-positive and sex-positive cultures have been made (Elwin 1947, 1968; Hallet & Relle 1973; Turnbull 1961). Prescott's (1975) and my own (DeMeo 1986, pp. 114-120) global cross-cultural studies have confirmed these findings: Societies which heap trauma and pain upon their infants and children, and which subse- quently repress the emotional expressiveness and sexual interests of their adoles- cents, invariably exhibit a spectrum of neurotic, self-destructive, and violent behav- iors. Contrawise, societies which treat infants and children with great physical




affection and gentle tenderness, and which view emotional expressiveness and adolescent sexuality in a positive light, are by contrast psychically healthy and nonviolent. Indeed, cross-cultural research has demonstrated the difficulty, per- haps the impossibility, oflocating any disturbed, violent society which does not also traumatize its young and/or sexually repress them.

A systematic survey of global historical literature independently confirmed the above correlations, between childhood traumas, sex-repression, male-dominance, and family violence, in the descriptions of various warlike, authoritarian arid despotic central states (DeMeo 1985, Chapters 6 & 7 of 1986).1 From similar historical data, Taylor (1953) developed a dichot.omous schema of human behavior invarioussocieties.UsingTaylor'sケL@ャッッゥュイセエョァ a11dexpandinguponhisschema according to sex-economic findings, such violent, repressive societies are called patrist, and they differ in almost every respect from mall·ist cultures, whose social institutions are designed to protect and enhance the pleasurable maternal-infant and male-female bonds.2 Table 1 gives a contrast between extreme forms of patrist (armored) and matrist (unarmored) culture.

Many aspects of patrism interfere with the biology of the infant and child in a manner generally unseen elsewhere in the animal world, and some clearly increase infant and maternal mortality and morbidity. Besides the painful or pleasure- reducing rites given in Table 1, it is important to note that most patrist societies possessed, at some time in their recent or distant past, severe psychopathological social disorders designed for the socially-approved, organized discharge of mur- derous rage towards children and women (i.e., ritual murder of children, widows, "witches," "prostitutes," etc.), with a complement deification of the most aggressive and sadistically cruel males (totalitarianism, divine kingship). A few contemporary cultures express such conditions in a fully-blown form, or exhibit residues of such conditions, and these are facts which have distinct geographical implications.

For example, given that clinical, cross-cultural, and historical evidence indicates that adult violence is rooted in early childhood trauma and sex-repression, and does not exist where maternal-infant and male-female bonds are protected and nurtured by matrist social institutions, a question naturally arises as to how the cultural gestalt of trauma, repression and violence (patrism) could have gotten started in the first instance. Patrism, with its great outpouring of violence toward infants, children, and women, which is passed from one generation to the next through painful and life-threatening social institutions, must have had specific times and places oJorigins among some, but not all of the earliest human societies. The assumed absence of an innate character to patrism, which derives from the chronic blocking, inhibition, and damming-up of biological urges, demands that this be so. Matrism,Hィv・wI@セャ・ whichspringsfromCreely-expressed,unimpededbiological impulse, and which therefore is innate, would have been global in nature, ubiqui- tous among all of humankind at the earliest times. Indeed, natural selection would have favored matrisrn, given the fact that it does not generate the sadistic urges which lead to deadly violence toward women and children, nor does it disturb the emotional bonds between mothers and infants, which impart distinct psycho- physiological survival advantages (Klaus & Kennell 1976; LeBoyer 1975; Montagu 1971; Stewart & Stewart 1978a,_1978b).



Inf &,




Re &1








Infants, Children,

& Adolescents



Cultural & family Structure

Religion, beliefs & attitudes

Patrist (armored)

Less indulgence
Less physical affection
Infants traumatized
Painful initiations
Dominated by family Sex-segregated houses or military

Restrictive attitude
Genital mutilations
Female virginity taboo Adolescent lovemakingrseverely

Homosexual tendency plus severe taboo

Incest tendency plus severe taboo Concubinage/prostitution may exist

Limits on freedom
Inferior status
Vaginal blood taboo (hymenal,

menstrual & childbirth blood) Cannot choose own mate Cannot divorce at will
Males control fertility Authoritarian

Compulsive lifelong monogamy Often polygamous

Military structure
Violent, sadistic
Male/father oriented
Asceticism, avoidance
of pleasure

Inhibition, fear of nature Full time religious specialists Male shamans
Strict behavior codes

Matrist (unarmored)

Tahle 1
Dichotomous Behaviors, Attitudes, and Social Institutions

More indulgence
More physical affection
Infants not traumatized
of pain in initiations Children's democracies
Mixed sex children's houses or age

Permissive attitude
No genital mutilations
No female virginity taboo Adolescent lovemaking freely

of homosexual tendency or

strong taboo
Absence of strong incest tendency

or strong taboo
of concubinage or

More freedom
Equal status
No vaginal blood taboo

Can choose own mate Can divorce at will Females control fertility Democratic

Noncompulsive monogamy Rarely polygamous

No full time military Nonviolent I<emale/mother oriented Pleasure welcomed and

institutionalized Spontaneity, nature worshiped No full time religious
Male or female shamans· Absence of strict codes

Confirmation and support for the above assumptions and inferences exists in the geographical aspects of the global anthropological and archaeological data, and it was a central focus·of my research to examine the spatial aspects of the facts and observations gathered by different held researchers.3 For example, certain aspects of matrism and peaceful social conditions had previously been identified in the deepest archaeological layers of some regions, with demonstrated transitions to-


ward more violent, male-dominated conditions in later years. While some re- searchers have either been unaware of these newer findings, have tended to ignore thein, or have objected to their 'implications, a growing number of studies have demonstrated major social transitions in ancient times, from peaceful, democratic and egalitarian conditions, to violent, male-dominated, warlike conditions (Bell 1971; Eisler 1987a, 1987b; Huntington 1907, 1911; Gimbutas 1965, 1977, 1982; Stone 1976; Velikovsky 1950, 1984). The geographical aspects of these findings are most telling.

A systematic and global review ofsuch evidence (DeMeo 1985, Chapters 6 & 7 of 1986) revealed distinct global patterns ,in these archaeological transitions, wherein entire regions were transformed from matrism to patrism within the same general time periods, or where the transition to patrism swept across major portions of a continent;'from one end to the other, over a period of centuries. Of major signifi- cance was the finding that the earliest of these cultural transformations occurred in specific'OldWorldregions (notably in North Africa, the Near East, and Central Asia, around 4000-3500 BeE), in concert with major environmental transformations,

from relatively wet to arid conditions in those regions. Later transformations generally occurred in regions outside of the new-formed deserts, associated with the aban- donment of the new arid zones, and subsequent invasion of moister borderland territories. The existence of these timed environmental and cultural transitions was most important, given other evidence which suggested that severe drought and desertification had the potential to traumatically disrupt maternal-infant and male-female bonds, just as certainly as any harsh and painful patrist social ins- titution.

Social Devastation in Regions of Drought, Desertification, and Famine

Other lines of evidence lead to the conclusion that severe and'repeated drought and desertification, which promotes famine, starvation, and mass migrations among subsistence-level cultures, must have been a crucial factor which would have gradually, or even rapidly, pushed early matrist cultures towards patrism. For example:

1) Recent eyewitness reports of culture-change occurring during famine and starvation'conditions indicate a resultant breakdown of social and family bonds. Turnbull's (1972) heartbreaking account of the Ik peoples of East Africa is most clear on this point, but other, similar observations have been made (Cahill 1982; Garcia 1981; Garcia & Escudero 1982; Sorokin 1975). Under the most severe famine conditions, husbands often leave their wives and children in search of food; they mayor may not return. Starving children and elderly family members are eventually abandoned to struggle on their own, or to die. Children may form roving bands dedicated to stealing food, and the remaining social fabric may be utterly torn apart. The maternal-infant bond appears to endure the longest, but eventually starving mothers will also abandon their young.

2) Clinical research on the effects of severe protein-calorie malnutrition of infants and children indicates that starvation is a trauma of the most severe



B (




TOP: Left: 5 months old, healthy; Right: 7 months old, marasmatic.
BELOW: A: Normal; B: Malnourished; C: Marasmatic. Starvation leads to reduced brain growth. (Reproduced courtesy
of Monckeberg, in Prescott, Read and Coursin, 1975)

- · · · - · - · · - - - · - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - . - - _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ . . . .·. L _ _ _ _


proportions. A child suffering from marasmus or kwashiorkor, will exhibit symp-

toms of contactlessness and immobility, with, in the mostextreme cases, a cessation , 'ofbody andセゥョ@イ「 growth.,Ifthe starvation has lasted long enough, recuperatIon to full potential may not occur :after food supply is restored, and mild to severe physical and emotional retardation may occur. Other effects of famine and starva- tion upon children and adults have been noted, to include reductions in general emotional vitality and sexual energy, some effects of which may persist even after food supply is restored. Importantly, the infant biophysically and emotionally withdraws and contracts under conditions offamine and starvation in a manner nearly identical to the equally traumatic influences of maternardeprivation and isolation. Both sets of experi- ences have clear, lifelong effects which, when the child is grown, disturb the ability of the adult to establish deep emotional bonds with their own mate and children. (Aykroyd 1974; Garcia & Escudero 1982; Prescott, Read & Coursin 1975, Reich

1942, 1949).
3) A number
of other traumatic factors specifically related to the hard life in

deserts and droughty regions were identified. One major ex.ample was the use of the restraining, head-molding, back-pack cradle by migratory peoples of Central Asia, which appears to have inadvertently led to the dual traumas of infant cranial deformation and swaddling. Infant cranial deformation as a social institution died

,out around the turn of the century, but swaddling today appears to persist in the same general regions. Normally, an infant subjected to painfulrestraint struggles to free itselfand willc:ry loudly, quickly attracting the help ofalert caretakers. Not so, I speculate, among famished infants strapped into a body-restraining (and often- times head-squashing) back-pack cradle for a long march during a parching drought. Under <'Zxtreme drought and famine conditions, caretakers would become less attentive, contactless, arid less willing to constantly stop and quiet a child hurting in the cranial-deforming restraints of a back-pack cradle. As desertifica- tionprogressedinCentralAsia,migrationfromregiontoァゥセYB「・・。ュ・@」イ arela- tively permanent way of life. The archaeological record suggests that cranial deformations and swaddling subsequently became institutionalized parts of child- rearing tradition in those same areas (DeMeo 1986, pp. 142-152; Dingwall 1931; Gorer & Rickman 1962). Indeed, painful cranial deformations and swaddling became an identifying mark and cherished social institution of such peoples, to persist even after they gave up the nomadic existence for a settled lifestyle. Other major social institutions, such as male and female genital mutilations (circumcision, infibulation), were found to be geographically centered on, and have their earliest origins within the great Old World desert belt, though for reasons that are less clear.

Intheprocessofmakingtheaboveイュゥョ。エゥセ、ウL@ョ・エ・ itbecameincreasingly apparent to me that early matrist social bonds might have first been shattered among subsistence-level cultures which had survived the devastating effects of severe, sequential droughts, desertification, and prolonged famine. With the pro- gressive,ョァ・ョ・イ。エゥッM。ヲエ・イセァ・ョ・イ。エゥッョ@ disruptionofmaternal-infantandmale- female social bonds by hyperaridity, famine, starvation, and forced migrations, there would be a consequent development and intensification of patrist attitudes, behaviors, and social institutions. And these would gradually replace the older matrist ones. Patrism would have become fixed into the character structure just as






Top: Estimated geographical distribution of infant cranial deformation and associated practices. Below: Swaddled infant of Mongolia. Drawing by Deborah Carrino based on,a photograph by Dean Conger.

-------------_"'-__セ@ _ _.J





Infant cranial deformation and swaddling appear as complementary practices which developed in Central Asia, with use of the back-pack cradle by migrating peaples. Infant cranial deformation has died out, but swaddling, a renant practice, persists (after Dingwall,,l931). '

Top: fern


l1li Flaying, Circumcision, Subincision (very painful) o Incision (less painful)

E:l Present, but type unclear

Top: Geographical distribution of male genital mutilations. Bottom: Geographical distribution of female genital mutilatons (DeMeo, 1986).

Infibulation Excision


hyperarid, desert conditions became fixed into the landscape. And once so fixed, patrism would remain with the afflicted people, irrespective of subsequent climate or food supply, given the behavior-affecting, self-duplicating character of social institutions. Patrism would thereafter appear in the moister regions of plenty by virtue of irruptions of migrating, warlike peoples from adjacent desert regions.

From the above considerations, a more specific geographical test was thereby suggested. If a mapped, worldwide spatial correlation existed between harsh desert environments and extreme patrist culture, then a clear mechanism for initiating the first trauma and repression among ancient human cultures would be identified. This would also directly corroborate sex-economic theory, which neces- sitated some ancient mechanism of trauma to explain the genesis of armoring. The mapped spatial correlations which emerged from this approach were startling.


My ーイ・ャゥュゥョ。セケ@ review of behavior and social institutions in a sample of 400 different subsistence-level, aboriginal cultures from around the world indicated .that the most extreme of patrist peoples lived in desert environments (DeMeo 1980), though not exclusively so. A more systematic and definitive global analysis derived from 1170 different cultures later confirmed the desert-patrist cormection, but demonstrated that the generality was not valid for all semiarid lands or even hyperarid deserts of limited geographical size, where food and water supplies could be obtained by making a shortjourney. Moreover, wetland regions adjacent to the largest, most hyperarid deserts were likewise found to be patrist in character, a fact which was later explained in the demonstrated migrations Of peoples (DeMeo 1986, 1987). Cultural data used for this later analysis were taken from Murdock's Ethnographic Atlas (1967), which did not contain any maps, and was composed almost exclusively of descriptive tabular data on aboriginal peoples living in their native regions. Data for North and South America, and Oceania, in large measure, reflected native, pre-European conditions. Murdock's data was gathered from hundreds of reliable sources published roughly between 1840 to 1960; his data has been constructively reviewed by other scholars, and is widely used for cross-cultural theory testing. Each of the 1170 individual cultures was separately evaluated (by computer) according to 15 different variables which approximated the matrist- patrist schema previously given.4 Cultures exhibiting a high percentage of patrist characteristics received an appropriately high score;- while cultures with a low percentage of patrist characteristics (with a high degree of matrism) received an appropriately low score. Latitudes and longitudes were obtained for each culture,

and a regional percent-patrist average was extracted for each 5° by 5° block of latitude and longitude. Figure 1, the World Behavior Map, emerged from this procedure (DeMeo 1986, Chapter 4).

The patterns on the World Behavior Map were independently supported by separate maps ofeach ofthe variables used in its construction, and by maps ofother rdated variables (genital mutilations, ゥャャイセャiャエ@ <Tanial dcl(H'mation, swaddling) given in lhe original dissertalion (DeMeo I9l-H), Chapter 0) but omitled here {()l" space



Extreme Patrist


(values of >71%)

セセッ、・イ。エ・@ or Intermediate (values
0 Extreme Hatrist (values of <41%)

Figure 1. The World Behavior Map for the period roughly between 1840 and 1960 as reconstructed from aboriginal cultural data given in the Murdock's Ethnographic Atlas (1967).

reasons. The World Behavior Map clearly demonstrates that patrism was neither ubiquitous nor random in its worldwide distribution. Old World cultures were clearly more patrist than those in either Oceania or the New World: Furthermore, the area ofmost extreme patrism in the Old World is found in one large, contiguous swath, stretching across North Africa, the Near (Middle) East, and into Central Asia. Of major significance is the fact that this sam-e geographical territory encompasses what is today the most intense, widespread, and hypemn:d of desat envimnments found on Earth.

Maps of environmental factors related to desert conditions demonstrate distri- butions very similar to that of extreme patrism on the World Behavior Map. Figure 2 is, for instance, a map identifying the most hyperarid of desert environments as determined from the Budyko-Lettau dryness ratio (Budyko 1958; Hare 1977). This ratio contrasts the amount of evaporative energy available in a given environment relative to the amount of precipitation. It is a more sensitive indicator of stress in arid environments than those used in more standard climate classification systems, which may mislead one into thinking that all "desert" environments are similar in nature. Maps identifying other stressful environmental extremes, such as greatest precipitation variability, highest mean monthly maximum temperatures, vegetation- barren regions, regions of lowest carrying capacity, regions of desert soils, and uninhabited regions show very similar distributions of their most intense, wide- spread aspects within this same extreme desert-patrist territory (DeMeo 1986,

o f 41%-71%)





de, unc tior tha ase rhi fish san oft< leV( per




ext an) ext pre! anc we2 waJ anC pre stal rna eVl' IDO me: ten mu,

sac ske, cor; arr che Sec art for: reF,




the r hisl cuI scC:

セ@ Value of 2 - 10
Figure 2. Budyko-Lettau dryness ratio (Budyko, 1958).

Chapter 2; DeMeo 1987). I have given the name Sahamsia to this broad expanse of correlated extreme climate and culture.


The highly structured distributions on the World Behavior Map suggested that patrism developed within Saharasia, perhaps only in ancient historical times, after which it was carried outward by migrating peoples to affect surrounding moister regions. The testing of this hypothesis regarding behavior, migrations, and climate in ancient times necessitated the creation of a new data base composed of informa- tion on ancient climatic conditions, the migrations of peoples, past social factors relevant to the treatment of infants, children, and women, and tendencies towards male dominance, despotism, sadistic violence, and warfare. A new data base containing over 10,000 individual time- and location-specific notecards was devel- oped and assembled chronologically; each card contained information from the archaeological or historical literature identifying artifacts and/or ecological condi- tions for specific field sites or regions at specific times. Over 100 separate authorita- tive sources were consulted and outlined to compose this new data base, which allowed identification and comparison of ancient conditions across broad geo- graphical regions for similar time periods. Times and places of widespread ecologi- cal and cultural transition, as well as the migrations and settlement patterns of peoples, were thereby identified. My predominant focus was on Saharasia and its moister Afro-Euro-Asian borderlands, but a significant amount of data was also collected for Oceania and the New World (DeMeo 1985, Ch. 6 & 7 of 1986).

• Value of >10


From the patterns observed in this data base, I was able to confirm that patrism developed first and earliest in Saharasia, at the same time that the landscape underwent a major ecological transition, from relatively wet to. arid, desert condi- tions. Evidence from dozens of archaeological and paleoclimatic studies indicates that the great desert belt of modern day Saharasia was, prior to c.4000-3000 BCE, a semiforested grassland savanna. Large and small fauna, such as elephant, giraffe, rhino, and gazelle, lived on the highland grasses, while hippopotamus, crocodile, fish, snails, and mollusks エィイゥセ・、@ in streams, rivers and lakes. Today, most of this same North African, Middle-Eastern and Central Asian terrain is hyperarid and often vegetation-barren. Some ofthe now-dry basins ofSaharasia were then filled to levels tens to hundreds of meters deep, while the canyons and wadis flowed with permanent streams and rivers (DeMeo 1986, Chapter 6).

But what of the peoples who inhabited Saharasia during the wetter times of plenty? The evidence is also clear on this point: These early peoples were peaceful, unarmored, and matrist in character. Indeed, I have concluded that there does not exist any clear, compelling or unambiguous evidence for the existence of patrism anywhere on Earth significantly prior to c.4000 BCE. However, strong evidence exists for early matrist social conditions. These inferences are made partly from the presence of certain artifacts from those earliest times, which include: the sensitive and carefulburial of the dead, irrespective of sex, with a relatively uniform grave wealth; sexually realistic female statues; and naturalistic, sensitive artwork on rock walls and pottery which emphasized women, children, music, the dance, animals, and the hunt. In later centuries, some of these same peaceful matrist pedples would progress technologically, and develop large, unfortified agrarian and/or trading states, notably in Crete, the Indus Valley, and SQviet Central Asia. The inference of matrism in these early times is also made from the absence of archaeological evidence for chaos, warfare, sadism, and brutality, which becomes quite evident in more recent strata, after Saharasia dried up. This latter archaeological evidence includes: weapons of war; destruction layers in settlements; massive' fortifications, temples, and tombs devoted to big-man rulers; infant cranial deformation; ritual murder offemales in the tombs or graves ofgenerally older men; ritual foundation sacrifices ofchildren; mass or unkept graves with mutilated bodies thrown in helter- skelter; and caste stratification, slavery, extreme social hierarchy, polygamy and concubinage, as determined from architecture, grave goods and other mortuary arrangements. Artwork style and subject matter of the later, dry periods also changes, to emphasize mounted warriors, horses, chariots, battles, and camels. Scenes of women, children, and daily life vanish. Naturalistic female statues and artwork simultaneously become abstract, unrealistic, or even fierce, losing their former gentle, nurturing, or erotic qualities; or they disappear entirely, to be replaced by statues of "male gods or god-kings." Artwork quality as well as architec- tural styles decline for Old World sites at such times, to be followed in later years by monumental, warrior, and phallic motifs (DeMeo 1986, Chapters 6 & 7). I was not the first to note the existence of cultural transitions in the archaeological and historical record, or to note the powerful effects of environmental change upon culture, to be sure. However, my work was the first to simultaneously be global in scope, systematically derived, and both time- and location-specific.




Re Gil

NORTH AFRICAN ROCK ART (Color Photos Available)

Moist Neolithic Hunter- Gatherer Period, c.7000 BC:

Dry Bronze Age, Warrior, Horse Charlot, Camel Period, c.200Q-500 BC:

North African rock art.




Relatively Moist &Peaceful , Chalcol ithic Period, c.4000-2500 BC,:


Drier, Chaotic Bronze Age, after c.2500 BC:

&..セ@ . .

: .!" -=--

Terracotta figurines, South Central Asia.

Iヲ|NLLセ@ セN@



With a few special exceptions, the first and earliest evidence for chaotic social conditions and patrism on Earth can be found in those parts of Saharasia which began to dry up first, namely within, or very close to Arabia and Central Asia. Those special exceptions are sites in Anatolia and the Levant, which contain some fleeting evidence suggesting that a very limited patrism may have existed as early as 5000 BCE; but this evidence exists alongside other evidence suggesting an early arid subphase in those same regions, with a complement shift towards migration and nomadic pastoralism. As such, they appear to be exceptions which prove the rule: Severe desertification and famine trauma greatly disturbed the original matrist social fabric, and promoted the development of patrist behaviors and social institutions; patrism was, in turn, compounded and intensified by widespread land abandonment, migratory adjustments, and competition over scarce water resources.

The Genesis of Patrism in Saharasia

After c.4000-3500 BCE, radical social transformations are apparent in the ruins of previously peaceful, matrist settlements along river valleys in Central Asia, Mesopotamia, and North Africa. In each case, evidcncc for increasing aridity and land abandonment coincides with migratory pressures upon settlements with se- cure water supplies, such as those at oases, or on exotic rivers. Central Asia also experienced a shifting in lake levels and river beds coincidental to climatic insta- bility and aridity, stimulating abandonment of large lakeshore or irrigation agri- cultural communities.

Settlements on the Nile anci Tigris-Euphrates, as well as in the moister highland portions of the Levant, Anatolia, and Iran, were invaded and conquered by peoples abandoning Arabia and/or Central Asia, which continued to dry out. New despotic central states emerged thereafter. Tomb, temple, and fortification architecture, with evidence for ritual widow murder (e.g., mother murder, when performed by the eldest son), cranial deformations, emphasis on the horse and camel, and growth of the military occurs following such invasions in almost every case I have studied. As these new despotic central states grew in power, they expanded their territories, sometimes to conquer the nomadic pastoral tribes still present on the desiccating steppe. Some of these despotic states periodically invaded into the wetlands adja- cent to Saharasia to expand their territories. They either conquered local peoples in the wetlands or, failing to do so, stimulated defensive reactions among them, which can be seen in the subsequent appearance of fortifications, weapons technology, and an intermediate level of patrism in those wetlands. Other despotic Saharasian states eventually vanished from the history books as aridity intensified and dried up their subsistence (DeMeo 1985, Chapter 6 of 1986).

The Diffusion of Patrism into the Saharasian Borderlands

Patr-ism appeared in the wetter Saharasian borderlands after, and only after, it first developed within the desiccating Saharasian core. As aridity gripped Saharasia, and as the armored, patrist response increasingly gripped Saharasian


peoples, migrations out of the dry regions increasingly put such peoples into contact with the more peaceful peoples of the moister Saharasian borderlands. Increasingly, the migrations out of Saharasia took place in the form of massive invasions of the more fertile border territories. In these;borderlands, patrism took root not by virtue of desertification or famine trauma, but by the killing off and replacement ofthe original matrist populations by the invader patrist groups, or by the forced adoption of new patrist social institutions introduced by the invading, conquering peoples. For example, Europe was sequentially invaded after c.4000 BeE by Battle-Axe peoples, Kurgans, Scythians, Sarmatians, Huns, Arabs, Mon- gols, and Turks. Each took a turn at warring, conquering, looting, and generally transforming Europe towards an increasingly patrist character. European social institutions progressively turned away from matrism towards patrism, with the far western parts of Europe, notably Britain and Scandinavia, developing patrist conditions much later, and in a more diluted form, than either Mediterranean or Eastern.Europe, which were more profoundly influenced by Saharasian peoples.

. Across the Old World, in the moister parts of China, peaceful matrist conditions likewise prevailed until the coming of the first extreme patrist Central Asian invaders, the Shang and Chou, after c.2000 BeE. Subsequent invasions by the Huns, Mongols and others would reinforce patrism in wetland China. Japanese culture remained matrist a bit longer, given the isolating influence of the China Sea and Korean Strait, until the coming of the first invading patrist groups from the Asian mainland, such as the Yayoi, around c.1000 BeE. In South Asia, the peaceful, largely matrist settlements and trading states of the Indus River valley collapsed after c.1800 BeE, under the combined pressures of aridity and patrist warrior- nomad invaders from arid Central Asian lands. Patrism spread thereafter into India; and was inte'nsified in later centuries by Hunnish, Arab, and Mongol inva- sions, which also came from Central Asia. Matrism similarly predominated in Southeast Asia until the onset of progressive patrist migrations amI. invasions, by both land and sea, from the patrist kingly states of China, India, Africa, and Islamic regions. In sub-Saharan Africa, available evidence suggests that patrism first appeared with the arrival ofvarious southward-migrating peoples, around the time that North Africa dried up and was abandoned. Pharaonic Egyptian, Carthaginian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Bantu, Arab, Turkish, and Colonial European influences also increased African patrism in later years (DeMeo 1985, Chapter 6 of 1986).

The geographical patterns in these migrations, invasions, and settlement pat- terns are most striking. Two major patrist core zones appear in the data after c.4000 BeE, one in Arabia and the other in Central Asia, the respective homelands from which Semitic and Indoaryan peoples would migrate..These were also the first parts of Saharasia to start desiccating, though other portions of Saharasia would begin to dry up and convert to patrism within a few centuries. Another historical aspect of these irruptions of warrior nomads from out of the desert can be seen in Figures 3 and 4, which map the territories occupied at one time or another by the Arabs and Turks, respectively (Jordan & Rowntree 1979; Pitcher 1972). The territo- ries of these two groups, who were the last of a series of invaders coming from Arabia and Central Asia, encompass fully 100% of desert Saharasia, spilling outward into its moister borderlands.


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pa WI



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sOl セイ・@fゥ3.AreasinfluencedoroccupiedbyArabarmiessince635AD(Jordan&Rowntree,1979).@セY


4. Areas influenced or occupied by Turkish armies since 540 AD (Pitcher, 1972).








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These facts of geography.explain why matrism was preserved to a greater extent Ie


in those·regions most far removed from Saharasia. Regions at the periphery of
Saharasia (particularly islands), such as England, Crete, Scandinavia, the Asian b Arctic,.southern Africa, Southern India, Southeast Asia, and Island Asia, demon- a strate a later historical acquaintance with or adoption of patrism, and a consequent
of patrism with pre-existing native matrist social institutions. From the
various sources used to construct my data base, Figure 5 was developed, suggesting
of diffusion of patrism within the Old World. The vectors are only a first


approximation, but are in agreement with prior studies on the migrations and diffusion of peoples. These geographical patterns, taken from the literature of archaeology and ィゥウセッイケL@ are independently supported by a very similar spatial pattern in the more recent anthropological data, aspreviously given in Figure 1, the World Behavior Map.

The Diffusion of Patrism into Oceania and the New World

These observations regarding the migrations of patrist peoples may be extended to include the trans-oceanic diffusion of patrism from the Old 'World, through Oceania, and possibly even into the New World. A map of these suggested pathways is given in Figure 6, which assumes no source region for patrism other than Saharasia. This last map is derived from both the world behavior map, and other sources given in my dissertation. Additional research will clearly be needed to confirm or clarify these suggested pathways.

It is significant that patrism in the Americas was identified on the World Behav- ior Map primarily among peoples who lived along the coasts or among peoples whose ancestors developed their earliest patrist communities on coastal regions. Furthermore, it is significant that the early patrist peoples of the Americas were the very same cultures for whom others have argued, on the basis of material culture, artwork, or linguistics, a pre-Columbian connection with the ocean-navigating patrist states ?f the Old World.6 Nevertheless, a more limited patrism may have developed independently in Oceania and the New World through a desert-famine- migration mechanism similar to that argued for Saharasia, possibly within the Australian Desert, in the arid Great Basin of North America, and/or in the Atacama Desert (DeMeo 1986, Chapter 7).


The theory of the Saharasian origins of armored patrism was developed from a systematic geographical review of archaeological, historical, and anthropological data. The mapping of the various data was underta.ken in an attempt to better understand the genesis of patrism, and to test the predictive power of the basic starting assumptions. This was accomplished through examination of the geo- graphical dimensions of specific social institutions that either thwart basic biolog- ical maternal-infant and male-female bonding impulses, or which indicate a high level of male dominance, social hierarchy, and destructive aggression. As such, the basic starting assumptions of the study, namely the sex-economic theory of human behavior, the matrist-patrist schema, and the causal links between desertification and patrism, have been further verified and strengthened.

These findings strongly suggest that the innate portions of behavior are limited to the pleasure-directed aspects of social living, which impart distinct survival and health advantages to the growing child, and work to preserve the social unit. These are the matrist behaviors and social institutions, which support and protect the



Sl Sl ti tl o e





a a

Figure 5. Generalized paths of diffusion of the Saharasian patrist cultural complex in the Old World.
1. Arabian core 2. Central Asian core. 2

Figure 6. Suggested patterns of diffusion of patrism around the world.

bonding functions between newborn babies and their mothers, which nurture the child through its various developmental stages, and which encourage and protect the bonds oflove and pleasurable excitation which spontaneously develop between the young male and female.7 From these pleasure-directed biological i!llpulses


come other socially cooperative tendencies, and life-protecting, life-enhancing

so(;ial institutions. Such impulses and 「・ィ。カゥッイセL@ which are prochild, profemale, ',sex;;positive and pleasure-Qriented,"have been demonstrated to'exist in more recent times'predominantly outside the bounds of the Saharasian desert belt. However, they once were the dominant forms of behavior and social organization everywhere on tne pl<iriet, before the great Old World desiccation occurred. Given the new evidence presented here, patrism, to include its child-abusive, female-subordinat- ing, sex-repressive, and destructively aggressive components, is best and most simply explained as a contractive emotional and cultural response to the traumatic famine conditions that first developed when Saharasia dried up after c.4000 BeE, a response which subsequently spread out of the desert through the diffusion of

affected peoples, and their altered social institutions.


  1. My survey involved over 100 separate sources, to include a number of classical sexological works: Brandt 1974; Bullough 1976; Gage 1980; Hodin 1937; Kiefer 1951; Levy 1971; Lewinsohn 1958; Mantegazza 1935; May 1930; Stone 1976; Tannahill 1980; Taylor 1953; Van Gulik 1961:

  2. Sometimeaftermydissertationhadbeencompleted,IlearnedofRianeEisler's(l987a)studyChalice and the Blade, which identified dominator and partnership types of social organization. These are nearly identical in concept to the respective patrist and matrist forms of social organization as defined here. Both Eisler and I came to nearly identical conclusions about the past history of humankind from different starting points.

  3. The structure of the argument presented here demands that we make a sharp distinction between facts, and theories about facts. All behavior science theories attempt to explain a variety ofclinical and social observations. A few even 'make the ,attempt to incorporate the facts of anthropology, that is, behavior in other cultures. However, most of such theories fail to be either global or geographical in nature. That is, they do not attempt to simultaneously explain human behavior aIll.Qng a significant number of the better-studied cultures within each world region. Most behavioral theories, if they address the anthropological literature at all, focus only upon patrist cultures, and fail to pass the test of being both systematically-derived and global. Cross-cultural studies are a great step forward in these matters, but the combined geographical and cross-cultural approach is an additional, necessary refinement, which will force all behavioral theories to henceforth address the specific facts of history, migration, culture-contact, and natural ,environment.

  4. The 15 variables were: female premarital sex taboos; segregation of adolescent boys; male genital mutilations; bride price; family organization; marital residence; post partum sex taboo; cognatic kin groups; descent; land inheritance; movable property inheritance; high god; class stratification; caste stratification; and slavery.

  5. My study was possible only by the grace of the prior good works of many other scholars. Besides the work of Reich, my ideas on environmental and cultural transformations drew in large measure from the works of Bell (1971), Gimbutas (1965), Huntington (1907, 1911), Stone (1976) and Velikovsky (1950, 1984), though I take full responsibility for the conclusions and maps presented here.

  6. This finding dir!!ctly challenges the assertion that all pre-Columbian peoples of the New World arrived by migrating across the Bering Strait during the glacial times predating c.lO,OOO BeE. If patrism had been carried into the New World at that time, it would have been more homogeneously distributed. The quantity and quality of data supporting the idea of pre-Columbian contacts has grown tremendously in recent year's, For a summary of such evidence, see Chapter 7 of DeMeo, 1986.

  7. A description of human sexual behavior and family life among the earliest hominoids, as inferred from physical anthropology and primatology, has been given by Helen Fisher (1982) which is in good agreement with the inferred behavior of the earliest, pre-Saharasian, matrist peoples.



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