American International Journal of Social Science

ISSN 2325-4149(Print), ISSN 2325-4165(Online) DIO: 10.30845/aijss

From Weapon to Prey: Symbolic Transformation in the Early Development of Ball Sports
Dr. Douglas M. Carroll

This study develops a theoretical rationale of ball sports from the perspective of a symbolic hunt in which the athletes symbolize hunters and the ball represents their prey. One problem for the theory is that the earliest human-made spheres of record, stone spheroids, which date back to Homo habilis, approximately 1.5 million years ago, have been hypothesized to have served as weapons. How did the weapons of the hunter-gatherers become the symbolic prey in the pastimes of the agriculturalists? This report addresses this question by positing a symbolic transformation of human-made spheres from weapon to prey that occurred in Neolithic and ancient times. An interdisciplinary approach is employed that integrates anthropological research into a historical analysis. The study concludes that the symbolic transformation is due to social factors related to the construction and use of human-made spheres.

Full Text: PDF