Tribal Councilman to Chief, ca 11,000 BC

Just one of these terrifying superweapons could destroy our very way of life

2nd Half Moon After Day When Sun is Highest

RE: Tharanga determined to strike at Haroongo


It is my expert opinion as the first defense minister of the tribe that the evidence presented in the attached memo is reason enough to begin planning a preemptive strike on our neighboring tribe. Our informant, “Strong Arrow,” has presented as strong a case as we will ever see for acting strongly in self-defense. If we do not strike now, it is not an exaggeration to say that every single one of our women will be abducted by these dastardly Tharanga.

We know that these “people” use something called “agriculture,” which seems to be some sort of revolutionary superweapon capable of destroying entire societies. If we allow them to attack us with this “agriculture,” we will not be able to repel it. We must sharpen our axes and attack before they are prepared. I know that Gak seems to think that “agriculture” is a way of obtaining food. Our intelligence clearly suggests that food is simply stolen from other tribes. Scouts have found newer, deadlier weapons so dangerous that we do not even know what they are used for. For example:

  • A stick with a rounded rock tied to the end of it. Called a “shove-ell,” it could be used to smash the heads of babies.
  • A curved blade that can chop down vegetation. Called a “sick-l,” could also be set off in a residential area, causing untold loss of life.
  • Biological warfare: “Ceeds” are buried in the ground. For what purpose? We are not sure, but probably to poison things and make our rain gods angry.

I stress again that the time for action is now. We must win the War on Agriculture. Anything less than total victory is defeat and the end of our freedom.

-Herga Limlit

P.S. My brother who lives in the pond with the black water would be happy to provide security services. He only accepts no-bid contracts, but he’s really good. I swear.


This memo was discovered by archeologists working in the Fertile Crescent in 1988. It was sold to the British Museum to be analyzed, but someone accidentally left it on the photocopier and it was ignored for several years. When Brian St. John-Kentucky, assistant curator, discovered the massive stone tablet on the copier in 1994, he immediately realized its importance. This memo is one of the earliest known instances of humankind using bad intelligence and political maneuvering to lead themselves to war.

Until this memo was found, most research suggested that human leaders were unaware of their ability to simply “say” they wanted to go to war. Most kings and tribal leaders wasted countless hours trying to justify attacking neighboring tribes using “omens” and “the fact that they kidnapped all of our children” as leverage to mobilize their subjects. However, this memo suggests that some tribes were able to simply say “they might be slightly different,” which is still the most popular reason states give for going to war.

The leader in question is probably Salmak II, a tribal chieftain living near Sumeria. His people were nomadic hunter-gatherers who would have been well aware of the dangers of expanding agricultural communities. For instance, many of these communities restricted hunter-gathering to business hours, which, as neither business nor hours had not yet been invented, left hunter-gatherer tribes in a tricky situation. Though the food surpluses and settling agriculture provided were great for civilization to arrive, agriculture drove most tribes like Salmak’s into either extinction or assimilation. This memo did lead to a declaration of war, but Salmak’s forces were quickly routed by large numbers of bowmen. Salmak himself fashioned an handsome fake mustache and became a Sumerian 12 minutes into the battle.

Finally, though laypeople may be confused about the memo’s emphasis on farm implements as weapons, it is important to remember that for many years, farming tools and weapons were indistinguishable to the untrained eye. Early Mesopotamian battles were often fought with shovels, or “infant smashers,” while clerical fragments suggest early Sumeria’s militiamen were armed with a bronze spear, part of a plowshare, and a handful of grass.


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