In addition to looking to history for answers to whether or not humans are naturally violent, archaic and stateless societies are also studied for their mechanisms of conflict resolution.
Many of these mechanisms, like village councils, would be multifunctional and intermittent. So councils could be used for decision making and deliberation as much as for solving problems, and they didn't have a set schedule and would be convened as necessary.
Legal scholars also wonder about whether or not they are trying to resolve conflicts or if they're trying to apply law – these are considered two different activities today, but they were potentially more flud back then. This fluidity was due in part to how there was no fixed state or leader with power to resolve conflict as an arbiter. There wasn't a set system to fall back on. Elders could be consulted, myths could be told and retold, people could make their case, but there wasn't necessarily the kind of consistency we would typically associate with law.
But in addition to the academic value of this kind of research, some scholars want to study these mechanisms in hopes of perhaps resurrecting dead practices or perhaps finding new uses for them today. Jean-François is skeptical of their success, but lists a few examples.
First is the welcoming ritual, particularly common in different First Nations across North America. The peace pipe is a particularly valuable symbol, and some researchers have thought that processes like these can help negotiations run smoother. Build rapport before the fact. There may be something to this, but there isn't a lot of data to verify it, and Jean-François reminds us that sometimes a ritual exists for its own sake rather than for a purely functional purpose.
Second is the exchange of gifts, either on a small-scale or during larch potlatches. This was also common in North America, and may have been the reason for the feasting Captain James Cook saw during his voyages in the south Pacific. Some functional benefits may be the generation of trust, or the expectation of reciprocity. Some negative impacts may include how massive spending prior to the ceremony may lead to poverty, and all potentially for the sake of status than for sustainable peace.
Another documented example of exchange is that of women between different tribes. Some say that this promotes peace, others say it's more to freshen up the gene pool. Researchers claim that this was a common practice in European royalty particularly for its ability to hold royal members hostage should hostilities break out.
A third, interesting are the deliberative processes, often found in village councils. As mentioned above, part of what made these processes more inclusive than certain contemporary ones was the lack of centralized power. When your status of chief is conditional (and often temporary), you have less ability to command people or arbitrate disputes, so you need to use mediation and negotiation mechanisms as well. Permanent authority figures only emerged later.
But whenever you talk about these peoples you can't avoid mentioning their gradual (or sudden) disappearance.
Some vanish through demographic decline, especially through intermarriage into stronger tribes or multicultural societies. Academics, missionaries and colonizers have also inadvertently killed certain societies through the transmission of viruses and disease.
Many of the archaic societies still in existence today are hybrid societies, ones that have been impacted by modernity and have been changed even unintentionally. There are a few tribes in the jungles and plateaus that still qualify as 'untouched', but not many. Even in Semai or Paliyan villages you'll see some seasonal workers, a little store, a little church. Some First Nations or Init communities would certainly qualify as hybrid.
There are conversations within the communities themselves about whether or not to continue their way of life – some communities divide over their different answers, or young people move to larger cities regardless. There are also some state-supported initiatives to help support traditional ways of life, but critics claim they go too far or not far enough.
Modern conflict resolution mechanisms (elections, justice systems, tribunals) find their way into otherwise traditional societies – sometimes they form the exclusive way to moderate disputes, and sometimes they exist alongside traditional mechanisms. Some see this as a loss of culture, others see it as an innovation. It'll be up to the next generation to decide what to accept and what to protect, and researchers hope to follow that process very, very carefully.