I'm working at a tale about historic cycles. Every new cycle is anounced (or even caused) by an astronomic phenomenon.

Looking for some cyclical astronomical events, I'm thinking about periodic comets. Halley's comet cycle of about 76 years is too short. Hale-Bopp has a 2,500 years cycle and one of his ancient periods of visibility was in 8,000 BC, just the end of paleolithic age and the beginnings of the neolithic.

Comet Hale-Bopp above Stonehenge

The ages anounced by the comet would be (some of them in blank):

10,500 BC - ?

8,000 BC - End of the paleolithic. Beginning of the neolithic age. Beginning of agriculture in Fertile Crescent and Anatolia.

5,500 BC - ?

3,000 BC -Beginning of the Dinastic Egypt.

500 BC - Axial Age. Classical Greece.

1997 AD - ?

These are my questions:

A) Can you help me to fill the cycles in blank with the most important historical facts of every date? Can you add some other historical facts to the already written dates?

B) Can you suggest any trend, any purpose in this progression? What are the purposes of aliens, or gods, or demons, that are driving the progress of humanity?

C) Can you suggest the new age to come in year 4,500 AD?

D) Can you suggest a better astronomical cycle?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Comments were typically symbols of Doom for the ancients they predicted stuff like famine invasion plague earthquakes and so forth. $\endgroup$ – Bryan McClure Apr 8 '16 at 18:13
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Well, I expect that your comment is not a symbol of doom. ;-) Thanks for your opinion. $\endgroup$ – Ginasius Apr 8 '16 at 18:14
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It's possible that the Unity of Egypt could be looked at as a bad thing from the Viewpoint of the countries they conquered this could possibly be the meaning of your asteroid. $\endgroup$ – Bryan McClure Apr 8 '16 at 18:16
  • $\begingroup$ I am open to all interpretations. The intentions of those mythical aliens can be good, evil or neutral. $\endgroup$ – Ginasius Apr 8 '16 at 18:34
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I think you have a typo. Do you mean "before Christ" (BC) and "anno Domini" (AD), or do you have a custom definition for BC and AC? $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Apr 8 '16 at 19:34

When I'm doing this, I'm naturally giving some leeway in the exact times. For most of these eras, we only have approximate estimates for when things happened anyway. So I'm basically taking it to be "Comet Hale-Bopp has shown up, something big has happened or will happen within about 50-100 years or so".

Filling in some of the blanks:

10500 BCE: This is the approximate time that the first settlements began at Jericho. Start of the Holocene Epoch.

8000 BCE: I'd say you're good here. Agriculture is the main thing.

5500 BCE: This was about the time that the Sumerian civilization began, leading to irrigation and the first known invention of writing (though writing wouldn't be for another ~2500 years). Smelting of copper, leading to the use of metal tools.

3000 BCE: Approximate invention of writing in Sumer (this is the commonly-accepted distinguishing point between history and prehistory).

500 BCE: I'd say the biggest thing here was the beginning of what we would now call knowledge/philosophy; within a hundred years, there was Buddha, Confucius, Socrates, Plato, Euclid.... This was also the time of the beginning of the Roman Republic, aka the time where Rome became the powerhouse that we remember it as.

2000 CE: Woo boy. In this general time frame, we have the first use of atomic energy, the computer age, globalization, and the beginning of the space age. Thinking to the future, it's possible that within the next 50 years or so we make contact with extraterrestrial life; learning that we aren't alone would certainly

4500 CE: Honestly, I'm not going to even try to guess what will be happening to humanity in 2500 years. I mean, 2500 years ago we had only just reached the point where we were advanced enough that people could spend time doing "pointless" things like math and philosophy (where by "pointless" I mean "things that don't directly contribute to your immediate survival"). Advancement is currently on an exponential curve - how many thousand years from the wheel to powered flight, and then 66 years from powered flight to walking on the moon. As such, there's really no way of predicting where we'll be in 4500. It'd be a pure guess, and such wild guesses that any guess would be equally valid. If you want something to fit in with your theme, maybe say that this is the founding date of the Interstellar Terran Republic, or something.

Now, what's the point? What's the trend here? The trend is slow uplifting. From nomadic hunter-gatherers to city-dwelling hunter-gatherers. From city-dwelling hunter-gatherers to farmers. From farming with stone tools to forging metal, from metalworkers to writers, from writers to mathematicians/philosophers. From city-states to large empires to a global society to an interstellar civilization.

Why would they do this? Maybe they're lonely and want someone to talk to. Maybe they're breeding us to be soldiers for their wars. Maybe they've destroyed all the other intelligent life and want someone new to fight. Maybe we're a massive supercomputer trying to figure out the Ultimate Question. Depends on what the story calls for.

  • $\begingroup$ First settlements at Jericho date to around 9000 BC according to this. Perhaps the earliest known large structure build by humans is Gobekli Tepe, and this article says it could be around 12000 years old, although this article gives a more precise figure of about 11,600 years ago which would still make it a millennium too late. $\endgroup$ – Hypnosifl Apr 8 '16 at 22:44
  • $\begingroup$ @Hypnosifl 9000 BCE was the first permanent (many years) settlement, but the site was regularly used for temporary (less than year-round) settlement before then (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…). A winter home, as it were, due to the climate not really allowing for permanent settlement. Still an important stage in human history along the road from nomadic societies to cities. $\endgroup$ – John Robinson Apr 8 '16 at 23:02
  • $\begingroup$ Also how do you make links in comments show up as words? $\endgroup$ – John Robinson Apr 8 '16 at 23:03
  • $\begingroup$ The article just says "regular camping ground" though, I'd imagine that various places had been regular camping grounds for hunter gatherers long before 10,000 BC, so not really a milestone event. For example, this book refers to the discovery of "a springtime camping ground for a group of Homo erectus (or perhaps Homo heidelbergensis) hunters who visited this spot annually over a period of several decades, sometime around 400,000 to 300,000 years ago", which had "remains of the oldest known fabricated shelter". $\endgroup$ – Hypnosifl Apr 8 '16 at 23:28
  • $\begingroup$ As for making links, I don't know how to type it here without actually turning it into a link, but if you scroll down to the "links" section of this page you'll see the code. $\endgroup$ – Hypnosifl Apr 8 '16 at 23:29

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.