War, huh, yeah. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing.

Come again? UCLA researchers might beg to differ, Senor Edwin Starr. Research suggests that ancient battles of the Apocalypto variety might have spawned the earliest vestiges of civilization, namely buildings, religions and political systems.

(Pot shops would come later). According to a UCLA statement:

Warfare, triggered by political conflict between the fifth century B.C. and the first century A.D., likely shaped the development of the first settlement that would classify as a civilization in the Titicaca basin of southern Peru …

Bruin researchers led by Charles Stanish, director of UCLA's Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, and Abigail Levine, a graduate student in anthropology, did some digging, literally, in the Taraco region of Peru and just recently concluded that war burned the Taraco state down and led to a more civilized, dominant culture, Pukara, in the Andes highlands.

Mmm, yes, you say, stroking your chin and smoking your pipe. But wait, there's more. UCLA:

Because the downfall of Taraco, which was home to roughly 5,000 people, coincided with the rise of neighboring Pukara as a dominant political force in the region, the authors suggest that warfare between the states may have led to the raids, shaping the early political landscape of the northern Titicaca basin.

Brutal, but true. Professor Stanish:

War, regional trade and specialized labor are the three factors that keep coming up as predecessors to civilization.

Okay, here's the part where you chose the kicker to the story:

A) And all this time you thought Latinos were savages. Or B) So George W. Bush was right all along? (Vote in the comments section).


Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.

LA Weekly