Added to the aforementioned (and perhaps too high) figure of 1,240 million between 3500 BC and the late 20th century, this would mean a total of 1,640,000,000 people killed by war (including deaths from famine and disease caused by war) throughout the history and pre-history of mankind.
Quite to the contrary, on a global scale the time since WWII has been unusually peaceful. Lord notes that of the 27,574 discarded muskets found on the Gettysburg battlefield, nearly 90% were loaded, with 12,000 loaded more than once and 6,000 loaded 3 to 10 times.Scarcity of resources meant defensive works were not a cost effective way to protect the society against enemy raids.William Rubinstein wrote "Pre-literate societies, even those organised in a relatively advanced way, were renowned for their studied cruelty...'archaeology yields evidence of prehistoric massacres more severe than any recounted in ethnography [i.e., after the coming of the Europeans].'" Recent rapid increases in the technologies of war, and therefore in its destructiveness (see mutual assured destruction), have caused widespread public concern, and have in all probability forestalled, and may altogether prevent the outbreak of a nuclear World War III.Nuclear warfare breaking out in August 1988, when nuclear arsenals were at peak level, and the aftermath thereof, could have reduced human population from 5,150,000,000 by 1,850,000,000 to 3,300,000,000 within a period of about one year, according to a projection that did not consider "the most severe predictions concerning nuclear winter".This would have been a proportional reduction of the world’s population exceeding the reduction caused in the 14th century by the Black Death, and comparable in proportional terms with the plague’s impact on Europe's population in 1346–53. Keeley, a professor at the University of Illinois, says approximately 90–95% of known societies throughout history engaged in at least occasional warfare, Keeley describes several styles of primitive combat such as small raids, large raids, and massacres.