62 votes
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How to trigger explosive arrows?

Historically speaking, timed fuses were far preferred to impact triggers for exactly this reason. Estimating the time of an arrow flight from the distance is a pretty straightforward affair, and if ...
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39 votes

Underwater Cuneiform?

Quipu The quipu is an ancient Inca method of storing data by essentially just tying knots in strings in specific patterns. Typically, one long string has many cords tied on to it, with knots located ...
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36 votes

How to trigger explosive arrows?

An Engineer of your stone-age tribe sat down one day with a quiver of arrows. He knew that the black powder the alchemists created was a powerful weapon and that if he could figure out how to imbue ...
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33 votes

Is stone age humanism possible?

The issue with your idea is that there is no way for the tribe to be able to parse between what we would consider obviously supernatural explanations and physical ones. The reason that humanism became ...
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30 votes
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How to create stone-age landmines?

The best weapon is fear. A fist or a spear or a bomb works while you are using it. Fear and uncertainty keep working on your enemy after he goes home. Fear is contagious - it will work on his ...
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29 votes
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What explosives could a small stone-age island nation feasibly discover?

Yes they can. First, we need to know what Gunpowder is. Luckily we have Wikipedia, they will need an inventor. Will make a good story on how to get to gunpowder, methinks. Your island(s group) are ...
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22 votes

How to trigger explosive arrows?

If the target is always in contact with water, they can use something like Greek fire to start the fire triggering the explosion. Actually, they could just use the Greek fire, but if you want ...
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22 votes
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Is stone age humanism possible?

This question is really asking, "Is belief in the supernatural an inherent part of the human make up?" I submit that it is. A key component to the development of humanism is that it arose in ...
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20 votes

Does harmony have to be invented?

We can't go back in time but, as a musician I think I can answer. It doesn't have to be invented because it occurs naturally. When people chant together in a large group, they have different ...
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16 votes

How to create stone-age landmines?

Given a stone-age technology, the classic percussion mechanism would be too sophisticated for these people. OPTION 1: HIDDEN BARRELS That's it! Bury many barrels of explosive mixed with sharp shards ...
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16 votes
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Underwater Cuneiform?

Tar balls. https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-tar-ball-questions-20150604-story.html We see tar balls when they wash up on the beach but the ocean is full of them. A lot are floating ...
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14 votes

Can transistors be made in the stone age? (Spoiler: Dr.Stone)

No, they can't. To make a transistor you need to be able to smelt and refine to high levels of purity specific materials like Silicon, Germanium, Boron, Phosphorus and the like, and for some of them ...
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14 votes

Is stone age humanism possible?

No, not because they are inherently superstitious and illogical, but because you are putting too many restrictions on them. Apollo and his chariot pulling a big ball of fire is just as reasonable an ...
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  • 505
11 votes

Is stone age humanism possible?

Science, or better a scientific mindset, is not given by just repeating the same "right" information over and over. Doing so is not different from the ipse dixit which stopped progress after ...
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10 votes

How to trigger explosive arrows?

Fire Piston From Wikipedia: A fire piston, sometimes called a fire syringe or a slam rod fire starter, is a device of ancient origin which is used to kindle fire. It uses the principle of the ...
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10 votes

Stone-age air-force

As @Alexander pointed out in his comment, mica would be terrible. To get it thick enough to be strong enough, it would be too heavy. Wood and canvas work. Just look at the WWII gliders (wiki). ...
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9 votes
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How would a Mesolithic community go about building a permanent settlement?

Skara Brae, an early Neolithic village in the Orkney Islands, is possibly a good model here. It dates back 5,000 years, which sets it partway through Northern Europe's Neolithic period. What is ...
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9 votes

What explosives could a small stone-age island nation feasibly discover?

GUNPOWDER! Wars were fought over islands that were covered feet deep in seabird guano. http://pigeonsformeat.com/index.php/utility-pigeons/10-gunpowder The wars were fought because guano is a ...
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  • 277k
9 votes

How to create stone-age landmines?

Use a variation of the trapping pit. You can do this with a few simple steps. Dig a hole, perhaps 6 feet wide, 6 feet long, and 10 feet deep. Fill the bottom of the hole with gunpowder, as much as ...
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9 votes

Does harmony have to be invented?

Harmony is natural in most instruments, and is actually universal mathematical phenomenon I play the violin in an orchestra and you notice a few things about the strong link between mathematics and ...
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8 votes

Humans without fire?

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 ...
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8 votes
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What animals in North America are rideable?

North America did, in fact, have horses (actually, the genus Equus evolved in North America), which went extinct 11,000-13,000 years ago: https://www.statelinetack.com/content/general-information/the-...
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8 votes

Is stone age humanism possible?

Yes and They Exist Today Many Pygmy tribes living in Africa have no concept of gods, supernatural beings, or religion what so ever. This is not because they actively reject religion so much as they ...
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  • 65.9k
7 votes

How to create stone-age landmines?

The same fuse/trigger mechanism they use for the arrows could be adapted to a step-on pressure plate, with a payload delivery system that uses the victims weight instead of the impact of the arrowhead....
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7 votes
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How close to Impossible can Navigation be on a Jungle Planet (for a Stone Age Civilization)?

Well-nigh impossible I'm going to have to add another restriction: the jungle can't reasonably extend very much in the upper latitudes. With little axial tilt, you're still going to get a very low ...
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7 votes

Could a stone age civilization independently figure out about quantum mechanics

Mathematics development has been strongly bond to practical necessities until very recent times. You need to count your sheep or carrots? Here you are your integers. You need to measure your fields ...
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  • 241k
7 votes

Navigation on a planet with an eccentric orbit

Navigation wouldn't be any different than it is on Earth. Consider Pluto: It has a much more eccentric orbit than Earth does, but navigation on Pluto's surface would be exactly the same. The sun ...
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7 votes

Underwater Cuneiform?

They could weave stripe shaped sea-weeds (like poseidonia mediterranea) into a sheet like shape, and use spiral sea shells or pebbles inserted into the thread as characters. For a given sea shell the ...
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  • 241k
6 votes

How to trigger explosive arrows?

bows & arrows vs. canoes. Hmmm... If I were the tribeleader, I'd save the explosive arrows for the land fights. I mean, if you miss your target, you waste precious explosive material. It's way ...
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5 votes

What explosives could a small stone-age island nation feasibly discover?

Gunpowder is within their realm of options. It requires three ingredients. Sulfur, this will be the hardest of the three. It must be mined. Mining without metal is hard but not impossible. Can be ...
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