22

Actually, I wouldn't be 'dropping in' a team of xenoanthropologists; the first step in their scientific process would be 'observation', and preferably in an environment that precludes interaction (and therefore potential contamination of the culture). Your anthropologists, and the rest of your scientists bar a special field team which I'll get to later, ...


9

The scientists are excited that they have a "natural experiment" and a species with ZERO shared ancestry to humans Tim B II did a great job explaining your first question: "What is the likely order of priorities" (observation! without contaminating! and the need for archaeologists to put that observation into perspective). Much later down the line you can ...


9

Yes, but probably just blue/purple. It's not very likely for humans, but other primates do develop blue skin, so it's feasible that humans could (given our common ancestor). $_{Source}$ This paper describes that the blue coloring of the Mandrill flank (and another monkey's blue scrotum) is not due to pigmentation, but rather arises from a nanostructure ...


8

Humans already make pheomelanin, a red form of melanin; it's the pigment which makes the lips and areolas pink/red/brown. So you just need a mutation which modifies the distribution of pheomelanin and the ratio between pheomelanin and eumelanin. The result won't be red as a red rose, but red enough. And anyway, some of the hues on Von Luschan's chromatic ...


8

Before I give the answer you're looking for, just a word on atmospheric modelling, particularly in respect to fire. I know you're handwaving it for now, but to explain how it works; The best way to think of an atmosphere is in terms of Partial Pressure. If you think of 1 ATM being 1 Bar, or the pressure of atmosphere experienced on Earth by someone at sea ...


6

Seriously…how have we never created an anthropology tag in 2+ years…anyways Step 1: Define the culture’s state. The first step is to pick a point in time and define the culture as it exists in that time. You can go about this a few ways. You can pick a time in the past, perhaps a golden age where things flourished and there is a lot more culture-y stuff....


5

Issues that your humans would face: Climate: A civilization without access to fire would be limited to areas where they wouldn't need heat to survive a cold climate. This would severely affect where they settled. Body hair: Connected to the above idea, your humans might have stayed hairier. From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...


4

If our eyes can do it, our skin can do it. Depicted: Frank Sinatra and Emma Stone. Humans have only one pigment molecule: melanin. Brown, blue and green eyes are caused by different distributions of melanin molecules in the eye, and different proportion of light absorbed and light scattered. http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/news/a41980/blue-eyes-...


4

Humans form societies everywhere, in any place, with any group, and quite quickly. If they're being told that they'll be held for an 'indefinite amount of time', I would expect some form of society to appear in a matter of days. Some enterprising person will decide to make their life comfortable as soon as possible, not caring about a potential release ...


3

Interviews with minimal impact In addition to the great answer by Tim B II, they might want to interview individuals. Pretty much the only reasonable way to achieve that while minimizing the impact on their society and possible contamination of their practices would be the "alien abduction" sci-fi trope. I.e. they'd want to interview a selection of people, ...


3

Following on Sava's answer, no matter where and who and how and why, problems will be encountered, conflicts will emerge, opinions & narratives will be aired. In those moments, leaders capable of offering creative approaches, leveraging projects, mediating disputes, on the bright side, or organizing a cadre to impose their will, on the dark side, will ...


3

The Orcs would win. They can build tools and weapons and shelters. Your lions are smart, but you said their bodies are the same as normal lions, so they don't have opposable thumbs. Also the Orcs have the boars which takes the burden of work and travel off them. Giving your lions smarts does little to change them because they're bodies can still only do so ...


3

I would also consider changes throughout your culture's history. Cultural changes often shift dramatically over a short period of time because of cataclysms. For example, if your farming community is invaded and conquered by a militaristic community, the resulting culture would have elements of both. Perhaps the symbols of the farmers would begin, for the ...


3

I think a few key things are missing from the list of 12, and another few things are represented but not called out explicitly in the list. Also, the list is a somewhat confusing mix of tangibles (tools/clothes) and intangibles (religion/arts). The 'intangibles' are aspects that can very between cultures that otherwise inherit the same list of tangible ...


3

since we are not exactly sure how the intermixing occurred it could go either way. The more voluntary it was the more mixing there will be in your hypothetical. Assuming the altered neandertal are technologically similar then they may just end up as rather distinct human "race" with normal intermingling we see today. One aspect you may have to consider is ...


2

Frankly, this is a huge topic which I don't think anyone can do justice here. Which I guess is why you ask for references! Nonetheless, let's have a go. I would venture that the most important thing to remember is that cultures are a product, first and foremost, of their geography. Geography provides the resources, abundances and scarcity, and texture ...


2

For a cultural anthropological precedent, consider the indigenous peoples of Australia. They lasted upwards of 50,000 years in almost complete quarantine. Could you imagine catching that much in one day using only a spear? And then again the next day and the day after that? I said it would be just about impossible. Aboriginal people, she said, have ...


1

A conditional no we haven't, and a yes we could. This will be a behavioral evolution trait in humans if it does come about. Same thing that occurred in Dino's...as much as we like to point towards survival of the fittest, in truth it's survival of the most capable of breeding and traits that attract mates tend to amplify quickly and get out of hand (a ...


1

I think an important step in cultural evolutions that shouldn't be overlooked is the chance of regression or reversal. This is seen many times over in history, normally after some "event" such as the Roman departure from Britain, and would definitely add a natural complexity to any fictional world. And it doesn't have to be a huge post-apocalyptic return to ...


1

I was thinking about what you are asking. It got me thinking about history, and working backwards through the earliest recorded history and how many cultures had a common beginning, really most can be traced that way. But its interesting to see how common ancestry separated for a variety of reasons, ranging from just not enough room for livestock to coexist, ...


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