Help us understand the past to create a better future: Support the Seshat Databank

Seshat world map

Dear friends, lovers of history, and those who care about the world we live in:

Join us in supporting Seshat: Global History Databank, an international project that seeks to understand how human societies evolve. The Seshat Databank brings together the most current and comprehensive body of knowledge about human history in one place. Our goal is to systematically collect what is currently known about the social and political organization of human societies and how civilizations have evolved over time. You can learn more about this project on the Seshat webpage.

Why should you support Seshat? Those of us who live in wealthy and democratic countries tend to take the continuing functioning of our societies for granted. Yes, our wonderful complex societies have delivered unprecedented well-being to large numbers of their citizens (long and healthy lives, freedom from violence, and ability to pursue meaningful careers and fascinating hobbies). Yet they are much more fragile than is commonly realized. They are based on social cooperation, and cooperation can unravel rapidly, with catastrophic results for all. A central goal of the Seshat project is to test scientific theories about how human capacity to cooperate in huge societies evolved, and why such cooperation periodically unravels. Such an understanding will be sorely needed as we negotiate way forward through our current Age of Discord. By supporting Seshat you will help to make positive futures more possible.

The roots of the Seshat project go back to 2010, and over the past years we’ve done an incredible amount of work to make this Databank a reality. We have proven the Seshat concept: the best method to collect large amounts of high quality historical and archaeological data. The first articles based on these data have been submitted to, and several already have been accepted in top scientific journals.

In the process of building the Databank we trained a crew of highly intelligent, knowledgeable, and dedicated research assistants. They are the primary engine that drives data collection for Seshat. But if we can’t continue to support them, we lose them; we would allow all that concentrated talent and energy to dissipate. Your contribution will help us continue employing these bright and hard-working women and men.

Thank you for joining us and contributing to a greater understanding of what makes human societies work!



The Evolution Institute, home of the Seshat Project, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Your donation is tax deductible.


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