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Questions tagged [prehistoric-times]

For questions about the historical period before written language, which is considered "prehistoric". This tag is most appropriate to describe the relevant time period on Earth, but it may also be acceptable in similar settings.

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3answers
105 views

Ecological balance in a pleistocene+ world

So a friend is working on a worldbuilding/rpg project and I'm "beta-testing". He drew up an earth-like map and set the players start locations. Then I ask him about fauna. Will it be modern earth? ...
5
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2answers
162 views

Would a More Extreme Icing of Antarctica Create an Extinction Event?

55 million years ago, the world was literally a jungle. It was so warm that plants like the bald cypress and the dawn redwood have been found at Ellesmere Island, right inside the Arctic Circle. ...
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8answers
4k views

What's the oldest plausible frozen specimen for a Jurassic Park style story-line?

We've found all sorts of interesting stuff in arctic ice & permafrost around the world. Bacteria & the like far older than the more media friendly mammoth specimens have been found, living ...
3
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4answers
221 views

Could Argentavis be Ridden?

In my book series, there is a planet called Aurea that is home to all sorts of strange fauna. Not only does it have animals from the real world, but it also has prehistoric and mythical creatures as ...
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3answers
187 views

Backpack contents for a modern person stranded in the stone-age [closed]

A time-travel experiment sends a volunteer back to the stone age. The Stone Age begins with the first production of stone implements and ends with the first use of bronze. Since the chronological ...
3
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2answers
927 views

Humans without fire?

Suppose anatomically modern, but technologically primitive, humans (say, early Paleolithic) were magically transported to a world broadly similar to our own, but where open flames are impossible. (I ...
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7answers
1k views

Extreme adaptation: evolutionary narrative for Vantablack-like skin pigment

Premise Inhabiting my earth-like world will be humanoid beings that have a skin tone that is as dark as Vantablack. Let's assume these human-like beings share the same ancestry as humans and we can ...
16
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5answers
2k views

Does harmony have to be invented?

The oldest known musical instruments are a set of bone and ivory flutes from around 42,000 years ago. Paleolithic tribesmen undoubtedly played these instruments gathered around the campfire, as an ...
2
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2answers
120 views

Earth Time Periods: Choosing for a hidden lair in time [closed]

You are a former nuclear scientist who has researched in the field of fusion, who is in possession of a device that once activated will create a two-way portal into any time period on Earth. The time-...
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4answers
589 views

The Hadean Explosion?

In recent years, the search for the origins of life is becoming complex. It turns out that oxygen is NOT a requirement for multicellular life to thrive. As stated in this BBC article, poriferans (...
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7answers
3k views

Do hunter-gatherers move or stay put in the winter?

A hunter-gatherer society exists in lands similar to that of Bavaria. There is plentiful game in the forests and glades, and there are many rivers with edible aquatic life. Smaller rivers can freeze ...
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3answers
169 views

Can A Theia-Like Object Make Earth Richer?

Let's start with a little backstory--our planet underwent an impact-coalescence cycle only once, 4.5 billion years ago, when a Mars-sized object named Theia destroyed the infant Earth in a glancing ...
6
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1answer
425 views

What was the weather like in the Eocene?

I was reading this question earlier today. It asks about the characteristics of global winds in a modern-day earth with Eocene-like temperatures. I'm here to ask about other kinds of weather in the ...
2
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1answer
165 views

A Tiktaalik for Placoderms

So many millions of years ago their was a lobe finned lung fish named tiktaalik that led to the evolution of all tetrapods and the diversity they hold today. And I wanna do that again, but instead of ...
4
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1answer
170 views

How could a stone age tribe of merfolk tame blue whales?

An underwater stone age tribe of merfolk captured 2 baby whales and killed the adult beast for meat. My sea people would like to tame the young whales and use them as transport when the babies reach ...
1
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3answers
194 views

Evolution of intelligent drepanosaurs

For a story I require an intelligent [drepanosaur]. But to work with the plot the creature needs to still have traits that don't mix well with classical vertebrate evolution of intelligence. ...
41
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12answers
7k views

How to trigger explosive arrows?

So, I have a small tribe of island people with stone-age technology who have discovered how to make gunpowder. However, they want to make war on the neighboring islands, and they need a delivery ...
6
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7answers
1k views

Humans get knocked back into the stone age; would archeologists from 10,000 years in the future be able to tell that we existed?

I am inspired by Dr. Robert Schoc's hypothesis that the Great Pyramid and Sphinx date back to a lost civilization from 10,000 BCE. The Question: Suppose an asteroid/mega solar flare/etc. reduced ...
4
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5answers
491 views

How would a Mesolithic community go about building a permanent settlement?

Edit: I've gotten some answers now, but many of them use Neolithic settlements as examples. I wish I had the archaeological know-how to analyze these settlements' technologies and economies and ...
1
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6answers
255 views

What kind of trade/profession would be the most useful to uplift a paleolithic tribe? [closed]

Inspired by the question What technologies could an every-man teach a Palaeolithic tribe? If you want to jump start the civilization of a late paleolithic tribe, and instead of high school dropout ...
23
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9answers
3k views

What technologies could an every-man teach a Palaeolithic tribe? [closed]

In my story I have an every-man, lets call him Jim. Jim never finished high school, works as a night guard, and spends his time drinking beer, watching TV, surfing the internet and hanging out with ...
0
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1answer
107 views

How might lions and orcs engage in warfare with one another? [closed]

There are two populations of beings in a world akin to prehistoric subsaharan Africa: lions and orcs. The orcs have essentially the same intelligence and physical capabilities as humans, but they are ...
18
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4answers
3k views

What is the closest Mesolithic/Neolithic peoples could get to making a flint-knapped “sword”?

In the two latter periods of the Stone Age, the Mesolithic and the Neolithic, technology improved significantly. Their predecessors, the Paleolithic people, used roughly hewn flints as weaponry and ...
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3answers
285 views

All Else Equal, would certain human types be better suited for living in an Ice Age? [closed]

(Turns on future technology super-computer, opens world simulation command prompt) ...
1
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5answers
918 views

Humans with natural “weapons”, how effective would they be and how would it impact development

The difference between humans and most animals, is that animals usually have natural "weapons", by that I mean claws, powerful jaws with sharp teeth, horns, tusks, etc... Humans depend on their ...
2
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3answers
276 views

Effectiveness of flaming spears as a psychological weapon in a hunter-gatherer society

In my world, there is a tribe that covers themselves in ash and attacks in the dark, with torch spears. While this is clearly a really good way to be seen and picked off by archers, in a time of ...
5
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4answers
323 views

Realistic division of labour in a small prehistoric village?

If you have undeveloped society, like hunters-gatherers living in a small village, but at the same time a highly developed social structure with division of labour and expertise, what would it look ...
4
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4answers
377 views

Can early civilization utilize gold and silver when they are abundant, and copper and iron are rare?

This question is a thought expansion on this What early tools might be devised on a planet where diamonds were abundant? According to this article, prehistoric men already utilized gold and silver ...
5
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5answers
386 views

Could prehistoric humans colonise a planet with no land bridges between continents?

If an approximately Earth-sized planet had a greater ocean-to-landmass ratio than Earth, and the minimum distance between continents was at least the width of the Atlantic (i.e. >3000 km), how could ...
25
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24answers
6k views

What Natural Forces could Make Intelligence/Technology a Disadvantage or at Least Inferior to Something Else?

Premise I'm creating a pre-history world to attempt to demonstrate an alternative sequence of events. I would like natural forces to somehow make natural selection view intelligence/technology as ...
6
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4answers
520 views

How long would it take these two languages present in a common area over a LONG period of time to merge?

Note: Sorry if this post is needlessly detailed, I understand a lot of these details don't affect the question much. I thought I'd bring them up anyways since this is quite the unique situation for ...
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1answer
78 views

Asteroid-Merging vs. Dwarf-Planet-Merging: What's the Difference?

It has become accepted knowledge that the planet Earth was birthed via a swirling cloud of dust and gravel clumping into larger and larger pieces of rock. It began 4.54 billion years ago, and 100 ...
15
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4answers
924 views

Encountering the Accountants : Spreading Numeracy in the Neolithic World

The BBC in the UK are currently screening a archaeology series exploring the idea that the Neolithic peoples in the Orkney Isles (North of Scotland) were the cultural capital of the British Isles. ...
17
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3answers
3k views

How long could an operational Virginia-class sub survive in the Jurassic sea?

A nuclear attack submarine carrying a crew of, at least, a hundred people went missing in the North Atlantic Ocean, its last known location was the Bermuda Triangle where ships and planes have ...
3
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1answer
117 views

Establish common language with Chalcolithic group (Modern man vs copper age group)

How would a single person establish a common language with group that does not speak any language that this person knows? This group is from copper age period and modern man does not have any modern ...
7
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2answers
485 views

What are the hippos of the Americas?

In a world where man entered North and South America without causing a mass extinction, all of the paleofauna which became extinct ~10,000 BC in the Americas are still around. There are several ...
8
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4answers
2k views

What American animals would have been domesticated had they not gone extinct?

Here are some lists of North American and South American megafauna that went extinct during the Quaternary. In Eurasia, many species of large mammal were domesticated, most particularly the 'big 4' ...
14
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18answers
2k views

How might the actions of descendants matter for their ancestors? (reverse causality)

Imagine two groups of people exploring the same location, but at different times. For convenience, think of the group exploring first as the "ancestors" and the group exploring later as the "...
4
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1answer
147 views

Neandertal Civilization [closed]

Since its initial discovery in Germany's Neander Valley in 1848, Homo neandertalensis, the Neandertal, had undergone quite a dubious reputation. From sensationalist beginnings as big, hairy apes, ...
5
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7answers
17k views

Could an intelligent civilization have existed on Earth before humans? [duplicate]

And more importantly, how could we not know about it? I remember hearing that most of our man-made monuments and buildings will have completely collapsed in a few thousand years, so is it possible for ...
6
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2answers
733 views

The Key For a Longer-Lasting, Steampunkier Industrial Revolution

From 359 to 298 million years ago, the "Carboniferous Coal Swamps" dominated the continents. It was the Carboniferous coal itself that sparked one of the greatest watersheds in human history--the ...
4
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7answers
790 views

How far in the past could unprepared humans survive?

A small late medieval county, consisting of a very small town, a small castle, and a couple of surrounding small villages suddenly and inexplicably gets transported into the past. It's not a spherical ...
2
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1answer
235 views

The Tethys Salinity Crisis

From 5.96 to 5.33 million years ago, disaster struck the Mediterranean Sea. A tectonic snag turned this... ...into something like this. In this alternate scenario, the sea separating modern Europe ...
7
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6answers
623 views

How to keep water out of a trench civilization

In my world there is a neolithic civilization of people who inhabit earthen trenches. The people first soften the earth with ... fluids ... and dig out 6 - 12 foot deep trench systems that extend out ...
2
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3answers
172 views

Cultural divides?

I am currently trying to build a world history and I'm trying to find sources and reasons for what determines where a new culture is created or how big a culture is? A bit of background is that I'm ...
4
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1answer
309 views

Comet Hale-Bopp is the herald of new ages of Humanity

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 ...
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2answers
2k views

What kind of names would humans living in Lower Paleolithic Ethiopia have?

I'm writing a story set in the early Lower Paleolithic era, in the area around where Ethiopia currently is. What kind of names would my characters have? Do we have any knowledge of how people were ...
2
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4answers
507 views

Rise and Fall of prehistoric civilizations

Behaviourally modern humans showed up around 50000 years ago, but what we can call a civilization: settlements bigger than a few huts, agriculture and complex social structure, started only some 6000, ...
0
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1answer
116 views

An Earlier Pleistocene = Mass Extinction?

Five million years ago, the warm Miocene gradually descended into the cool Pliocene before dropping into the frigid Pleistocene. Such a change in temperature was so gradual that life went on without a ...