I want to have a society that is very isolated (physically) and has been for long enough that it doesn't really believe that there's anyone else out there. I also don't want the society to be in any way motivated to explore outside of its area. General background info about society (still up for change): The land where the people live is warm and fertile. They live in a river valley surrounded by mountains except at one end, where the river flows out. The society itself is matriarchal and has a polytheistic religion. There is one government, a monarchy lead by a queen but that also has a small aristocratic class. Most of the people there are farmers, fishing people, or artisans. There are other people who live not too far away on the other side of the mountains, but the occupants of the river valley are unaware of their presence.

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    $\begingroup$ A society which lives on a populated continent but which doesn't know that there are other people around? Talk about stretching the readers' ability to suspend their disbelief. You do realize that even if this society is made up of particularly uncurious humans the other societies will puncture their bubble? After all, both China and Japan tried to keep themselves isolated from the world and then the European navigators happened... $\endgroup$ – AlexP Jul 1 '17 at 21:21
  • $\begingroup$ Sounds like Moana only with mountains. Just forbid exploration with the good old traditional reason: We always did it like this and bad things will happen if we change. $\endgroup$ – Henning M. Jul 1 '17 at 21:54
  • $\begingroup$ The classic example is China. It was big enough geograghically, rich enough in wealth and resources, had enormous cultural diversity, and was the most technically advanced society for much of its history. Europeans only discovered when it was in regressive phase (China was occupied by a Manchurian regime). To the Chinese it was the centre of the world. They weren't isolated and the rest of the world offered effectively nothing. Japan chose to isolate itself from the world. So it is quite different, but interesting. $\endgroup$ – a4android Jul 2 '17 at 7:44

Internal struggles would probably be the best reason for why the society would be unmotivated to explore.Exploration costs money and other government resources, which is why explorers like Christopher Columbus had trouble raising money for their proposed expeditions. If the government was facing instability, it would likely be reluctant to give any resources to an expedition, because there is no guarantee the expedition would prove fruitful. As AlexP pointed out in his comment though, it is incredibly unrealistic that a society would be unaware of another civilization living just beyond the mountains, even if they didn't explore. The only reason I could think of is that the surrounding area must be so dangerous, that it makes any communication difficult.

  • $\begingroup$ If the mountains were very high and dangerous, how much would that prevent people from voyaging? Also, if the valley already basically had what it needed, would that be enough to prevent people from seeking more? $\endgroup$ – Luna Xenia Jul 1 '17 at 21:50
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