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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5 votes
4 answers
517 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 ...
7 votes
1 answer
924 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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
238 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 votes
1 answer
216 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 vote
3 answers
235 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. ...
1 vote
6 answers
302 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 votes
9 answers
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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
140 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 votes
4 answers
4k 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 ...
7 votes
4 answers
823 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 ...
0 votes
3 answers
2k 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) ...
14 votes
18 answers
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 "...
2 votes
3 answers
328 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 votes
4 answers
442 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 ...
5 votes
5 answers
497 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 ...
7 votes
6 answers
860 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 ...
6 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
-1 votes
1 answer
92 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 ...
9 votes
4 answers
3k 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' ...
7 votes
2 answers
645 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 ...
15 votes
4 answers
959 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. ...
18 votes
3 answers
4k 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 votes
1 answer
152 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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
173 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 votes
7 answers
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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
285 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 ...
2 votes
3 answers
219 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 votes
1 answer
473 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 ...
6 votes
2 answers
4k 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 votes
4 answers
613 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 votes
1 answer
146 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 ...

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