I’ve been listening to some lectures about the history of warfare, and—more particularly—the effect of warfare on history, or the lack there of. What is fascinating is that in the first urbanizations in the Old World (Uruk) and the new (Tenochtitlán), it seems that warfare, as such, was absent. There were no walls, no evidence of organizations of warriors, nothing that would indicate military activity. There was organized violence in the form of raiding, but not large-scale political violence. The theory is that originally, culture was transferred through trade.
What a great concept, eh? War is no longer endemic to humanity, though it might be at a certain part of civilization. Maybe we’ll outgrow it? Unlikely, but there is hope.
Along with that interesting information/theory and the attendant thin ray of hope, the discussion of culture and trade at the time of Uruk made me wonder about gaming in a Mesopotamian (or Meso-American) milieu. Technology and accepted society would be very different. I mean, gaming in a Classical Greek (or even Mycenean) campaign is different, but a lot of the assumptions on which we base our characters and settings remain. Taking inspiration from Uruk, or even its successors—in which warfare was absolutely a part—would be very, very different. From Priest-Kings to the lack of iron, to the hierarchy of society, a Sumerian campaign would be pretty alien.