(From sticks and stones to advanced projectiles capable of annihilating the entire planet, warfare has evolved along with civilization.

The advent of technology was one pivotal aspect that forever changed how wars were fought from ancient times to the modern era—and it will be the same factor that will keep it in constant development as humans strive to gain the upper hand over each other.

Certainly, aggravating skirmishes did not begin during the rise of Mesopotamia, but it was during this period that traces of the “earliest armies at war” were first uncovered by archeologists. Not to dwell much on that department, in short, men have always fought one another, whether for basic necessities and resources to plain greed for control and power. What makes it different from one era to another is the advancement of tools and tactics.

In ancient civilization warfare, with the absence of long-range weapons, formidable tanks, and destructive missiles, warriors relied so much on hand-to-hand combat and wit to outsmart enemies, which would become the centerpiece of the evolution of military tactics—branching out as people who fought for dominance and power generation after generation aimed to conquer effectively and efficiently without losing so much of their own. Here are three ancient military tactics that helped shape warfare across centuries.