New 14C dates from archaeological sites in Oaxaca, Mexico, support R. C. Kelly's observation that intervillage raiding may begin as soon as a region has segmentary societies. The oldest defensive palisade dates to 3260-3160 B.P. in conventional radiocarbon years, only a few centuries after village life was established. Over the next millennium raiding evolved into war, with residences and temples burned, captives killed, and populations moving to defensible hills. 14C dates are now available for the first use of hieroglyphic writing to record a captive's name, military victories leading to the consolidation of the Zapotec state, the first skull rack, and the building of a fortress in conquered territory.