Lands of Bronze and Fire - An American Domestication Timeline, Take Two

Deleted member 67076

Thank you!

Hmm, how do you mean? The only region which saw regular contact with the Americas before 1492 was (possibly) Polynesia, and while I'd like to play around with the region, twovultures' timeline has already dealt with that matter pretty extensively, and I'm wary of playing copy-cat.

I mean how many timelines dealing with changes in the pre Colombian Americas have nothing effect on the other hemisphere change until Columbus reports back to Spain that the New World has been found even if the POD is thousands of years back. One would expect the butterfly effect to start kicking in far earlier.

Hmm, perhaps if you want to be different you can have a migration of llama using tribes moving back to Siberia, where they introduce the animal into Asia.
 
I mean how many timelines dealing with changes in the pre Colombian Americas have nothing effect on the other hemisphere change until Columbus reports back to Spain that the New World has been found even if the POD is thousands of years back. One would expect the butterfly effect to start kicking in far earlier.

Hmm, perhaps if you want to be different you can have a migration of llama using tribes moving back to Siberia, where they introduce the animal into Asia.

I'd considered touching eastern Siberia in some respect, yes. ;) Don't worry, the nature of the butterfly net is a porous one, and even though I foresee no changes in Europe as of early 1492, the story may be different elsewhere.
 

Deleted member 67076

I'd considered touching eastern Siberia in some respect, yes. ;) Don't worry, the nature of the butterfly net is a porous one, and even though I foresee no changes in Europe as of early 1492, the story may be different elsewhere.
Aww, no change starting from Vinland contacts?:(
 

Drynemeton

Banned
I don't see why things shouldn't be different in Europe in one way or another?


I mean, the Vikings made contact with perhaps the most backward of Native American groups (the Beothuk didn't even keep dogs, despite the fact that everyone else around them did, it's not like they weren't exposed to the practice)... what if they had made contact with a civilization on par with their own, or perhaps vice versa?


I think that assuming the a butterfly net up until the Viking Age is more plausible, but after that... not really.
 
I don't see why things shouldn't be different in Europe in one way or another?


I mean, the Vikings made contact with perhaps the most backward of Native American groups (the Beothuk didn't even keep dogs, despite the fact that everyone else around them did, it's not like they weren't exposed to the practice)... what if they had made contact with a civilization on par with their own, or perhaps vice versa?


I think that assuming the a butterfly net up until the Viking Age is more plausible, but after that... not really.

The *Canadian Maritimes will still be a comparative backwater by Hesperidian standards as of the 11th Century CE, by what I have planned so far. I'd rather give the continents a further 4 centuries to develop to see my long-term plans pan out.
 

Deleted member 67076

The *Canadian Maritimes will still be a comparative backwater by Hesperidian standards as of the 11th Century CE, by what I have planned so far. I'd rather give the continents a further 4 centuries to develop to see my long-term plans pan out.
What will their level of agriculture and fishing be like? Because if they are more advanced (for lack of a better word) than OTL at the time, it may prompt a greater amount of settlement and exchange in response.
 
What will their level of agriculture and fishing be like? Because if they are more advanced (for lack of a better word) than OTL at the time, it may prompt a greater amount of settlement and exchange in response.

Newfoundland's the pertinent area here, I think, since it's where Leif and his Norse first landed and made contact with the natives. The nearest major population center to *Newfoundland ITTL as of ca. 1000 CE is hundreds of miles away in *Nova Scotia (which is nearer to the Northeast Columbian cultural area, which will probably start taking off between 800 and 900 CE). I imagine the *Nova Scotians have little compulsion to sail north, but they must make contact with the people living in *Newfoundland on occasion.

That said, the contact probably isn't frequent or particularly fruitful. Newfoundland has very poor soil, and its agriculture, even in modern times, has been more or less purely supplementary in nature. The fishing is good, but there likely aren't any major innovations in that craft which would have made it northward to Newfoundland at this date.

I do concede that the people the Norse make intermittent contact with here must by necessity be different from OTL, as the Beothuk probably would not have moved across the strait from Labrador as they did IOTL, and may well not exist as a distinct group at all. But whatever group lives there will not have anything more to entice the Norse to stay than the Beothuk did IOTL. The story in Labrador (Markland) is very similar, and Baffin Island (probably Helluland) is very sparsely-populated indeed.
 
II. The Second Cradle
The Second Cradle
The Formative Period in Petsiroò
From "Two Cradles: New Revelations of the Origins of Civilization in Columbia" by Otis van Hoek, Nova Vizcaya University Press, 2006

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The landscapes of Petsiroò seem almost otherworldly when compared with those of Nuuyoo. It is a land of tall evergreens, red bluffs, and goliath canyons which score the surface of the dry land like scars of battles waged deep in geological time. Though undeniably beautiful, its agricultural prospects seem somewhat lesser than those of Nuuyoo's fertile valleys. Fecund soil is a scarcity in most parts of the region, and so, much of its early agricultural development was dependent on labor-intensive dryland farming techniques. One can only admire the persistence of the first Petsiroan peoples[1] not only in their mastery of these, but in their dogged efforts to hybridize the natively Nuuyooi crop of maize into breeds better adapted to low annual rainfall.

As difficult as maize farming was for early Petsiroans, it is no surprise that the uurung-herding tribes of the northern plateau were substantially more successful, even in the early Formative Period in the region. Herds of these animals offered a more regular and reliable food source, supplemented usually by foraged plant matter and game. The flatter and more arid lowlands to the south seem to have been home to a since-vanished subsistence farming society to which maize arrived via diffusion through the tribes of the Tuuwaya, and it was they, out of all the peoples of the region, who first claimed the crop for their own purposes. These people were ultimately remembered as quiet dwarves in the cultural memory of Petsiroò, as the uurung-herders displaced them from the southern basins by the 21st Century BCE with their burgeoning numbers. It is from them, however, that the uurung-herders inherited maize, and from thence it spread to the highlands where it was fed by the mountain rains. In the cooler, wetter climate of the highlands, the maize grew comparatively well, even generating enough of a surplus to help feed the herders' animals, and over the course of generations, as new innovations led to the first use of uurung as draft animals, improving the harvest every year. This self-improving cycle drastically increased the food output of the highland villages, and within just a few centuries Petsiroò was experiencing an unprecedented population boom which would lead to the blooming of the Tseroro civilization.

The first civilization of Petsiroò is thus named for the first of its cities [Near OTL Flagstaff] to be cataloged and described by 19th Century archaeologists. Tseroro, we have since learned, was not the capital of some region-spanning kingdom, or even the largest and most important city in the area, but it is archetypal of Tseroro towns, and of the template upon which later cities in the region would likewise be built. But despite its perhaps overstated importance, Tseroro remains one of the most complete sites of the Formative Period, and provides us with a window into the world of Petsiroò between the 19th and 13th Centuries BCE.


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The site of the ancient city is just a few miles south of the modern city of Taanashdats, among the cool shade of the expansive pine forests which grow between the surrounding dormant volcanic peaks. It is set upon a small hill which must have afforded the site a bit of a commanding position over the rest of the area, which fell under its political sway as far south as Lhiitsézh [Site of OTL Sedona]. It is laid out in a vaguely-circular pattern with a clear demarcation between its outer and inner circles suggesting a great deal of social stratification. One of the most important structures of the interior site seems religious in nature, suggesting the heavy role which spirituality already played in the governance of the state even in this embryonic stage. Roughly-shaped copper objects of devotional and artistic purpose are found here and in other places throughout the abandoned structures of the site, hewn from ore gathered 45 miles to the southwest [OTL Jerome, AZ]. The volume of copper artifacts is nothing like that of later epochs, but it does hint at the budding of a sophisticated metallurgical culture which would dawn in Petsiroò's later centuries.

From the oft-neglected midden piles around the site, we find more clues of how Tseroro's people lived. Pottery fragments contain molecular traces of maize and squash in considerable numbers, and traces of bone and fecal matter paint a more complete picture of the day-to-day diet of the Tseroroans: sheep in large quantities, meat of the uurung and game like deer and elk[2] in lesser numbers, maize, squash, and wild foraging matter like berries. Incredibly, too, we now even have a hint of some of what they wore—preserved by the arid climate among fragments of refuse, there are shreds of woolen fabric shorn from uurung and sheep, useful for staying warm in the sometimes-chilly Petsiroan nights. As more relevant field work is done on these remarkable ruins, more of the myths that have accumulated around this ancient city will be brought into sharper clarity. Despite the widescale looting and occasional fits of vandalism committed against the skeleton of Tseroro in the intervening centuries, it seems that there will always be more there to discover...


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[1] - Not all one ethnic group, mind you. The predominant people are Diné—let's call them an ATL cousin to OTL's Diné, whom we call the Navajo—and the region to the east around the north-south run of the Rio Grande is populated by Tanoan peoples. Sometime between the last glaciation and the Formative Period, the Proto-Uto-Aztecans left their homeland in southern *Arizona and northern *Sonora northward, and presently reside east of the Colorado Plateau as uurung-hunting nomads. There's a few Uto-Aztecan enclaves left in Petsiroò as of the time covered in this update, as well as a few pockets of isolates like the *Zuñi.

[2] - By which I mean the wapiti, not the moose. Sorry, Europeans! :p
 
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III. A Fateful Meeting
A Fateful Meeting
Early Tuuwaya and the Origins of Disease in Columbia

The rapid population growth in both Petsiroò and Nuuyoo which characterized the Formative Era spurred on a blossoming of trade across the arid south and west of the continent. The demand for goods rare at home, but plentiful abroad, grew, spurring thousands of prospective merchants to take to the road, even across the expansive, treacherous Tuuwaya Deserts. Particularly on the Pacific coast, along the Gulf of Quijhant[1], rough trails are charted through the desert on Petsiroan bark—maps which would become invaluable to the merchants of the Tuuwaya as they carved the first trails along the north-south stretch of this expansive region. Elsewhere, further inland, oases and hill-towns became important stop-offs, flourishing from the traffic and wealth brought by the early Tuuwaya Trade. On both ends of the exchange, traders soon found it more economical to have pack animals do the heavy lifting for them. Particularly strong breeds of uurung can bear up to 25% of their body weight, placing them among the most efficient pack animals in the world. More goods crossed the desert in less time, and for the first time, people in Nuuyoo could quickly and reliably hear tell of news from Petsiroò, and vice-versa—the first regular contact between the 'Two Cradles' had been established.

Although this exchange began around 1400 BCE, it wasn't for another century that the effects truly began to be felt across the continent. This new class of merchants was curious about the different breeds of uurung found at either end of the trading routes, and used their new-found wealth to purchase some of the local animals for themselves. Petsiroan merchants took a similar interest in the peculiar crops grown south of the Tuuwaya to bring back home, carrying north Petsiroò's first tomatoes and beans; and, likewise, the first domesticated sheep reached Nuuyoo at around this time[2]. By 1300 BCE, the first paixaay herds were grazing at the foot of the Alinta Mountains, and the true uurung was being raised for wool in the Nuuyooi highlands. The two breeds of uurung were being bred together by farmers for the first time, sowing the seeds for the curious melange of camelid breeds which would spread across the face of the continent, and beyond. This, and the central role of the uurung in the network of trade across the Tuuwaya, created, in effect, a continuous gene pool of the animals from the Great Bitter Lake to the Isthmus of Naizaa, laying the foundations of a vast breeding ground for epidemic diseases...


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Range of uurung domestication, ca. 1300 BCE

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The trouble begins one cold and lonely Tuuwayan night in the 13th Century BCE. Some enterprising individual, weeks into the trek across the deserts, enjoys a tender moment with one of his animals, perhaps inspiring centuries of later stereotypes of the Tuuwaya as a land of lonely men and nervous sheep. Whatever humor might be found in the situation is outweighed somewhat by the unfortunate effects soon to transpire from this unnatural union. The unsuspecting traveler is now carrying the coccobacilli bacterium Brucella, the same agent responsible for brucellosis in the Old World. He arrives at a trading town a few miles north the next day, feeling suddenly ill, and is soon in bed with a terrible fever, sweating profusely. His condition rapidly deteriorates as he's wracked with stabbing pain and fits of coughing. The miserable fellow at last dies after a week, but not before passing his ailment on for posterity. The attendant who had been tasked with providing for the traveler in his last days returns to her family, and six new victims are soon suffering from the symptoms of the man's mysterious sickness. From patient zero, it spreads by physical contact, sexual and otherwise, in the crowded villages and burgeoning trading towns of the region. The alien enemy is the disease traditionally known as Columbian sweating sickness (though these days it's more fashionable to call it mucoa, the Nemeni[3] name for the sickness).

From the trade nexus that is the Tuuwaya, mucoa is rapidly carried north into Petsiroò, where it carries away one in every five people (up to a full half in a few areas), and south to Nuuyoo, where the death toll is no less horrifying. It makes the trek north to the Great Bitter Lake before its initial spread at last peters out. It flares up repeatedly for another century and a half, before seemingingly dying off. Occasional cases of the disease will never disappear completely, and future outbreaks will take an even greater toll as the bacterium mutates among its new hosts, but the worst is over for now. The emergent civilizations of western Columbia are shaken by the loss of life, but survive nonetheless, fortunate in the fact that the disease did not have a wider rate of infection than it did.

Their luck was not to last long.


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[1] - The Gulf of California.

[2] - It seems that Nuuyooi bighorn sheep, for whatever reason, did not naturally form the same bonds with uurung as they did in Petsiroò, though Nuuyooi farmers adopted local sheep into their herds once the practice spread from the north.

[3] - A people whom we'll meet some centuries down the road.


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And another, far quicker on the heels of the last than I expected! This one's mostly scavenged from the last incarnation, though I've fixed it up considerably.
 
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Whoo hoo! Love the updates and the idea that I live in the middle of the Second Cradle. :D

I drove north from Sedona through your city on the way to the Grand Canyon last summer, and I admit that I centered the Tseroro culture there because I rather fell in love with the area. :eek: IOTL the American Southwest was one of the most densely-populated, culturally sophisticated, and fascinating areas of the continent. I felt all it needed was a little push...

Yay, new updates! I love this TL.

I'm thrilled I've made something that people enjoy. :D

Sub-freaking-scribed. I absolutely love Meso-American timelines.

More Pan-American than just Mesoamerican in scope, I say. But the next update will briefly revisit our friends in the First Cradle again, if only to heap mountains full of trouble on top of them.

Ah, in fact, said update could possibly be up this evening. It'll describe the effects of the mucoa epidemic on the civilizations we've visited so far, and then explore the advent of two new diseases which will shatter the Formative world and leave another to eventually rise from its ashes. Stay tuned for The Formative Collapse.

EDIT:

Gonna take this to today?

Yup! 11,500 BCE to 2014/15 CE. I have my work cut out for me. :eek:
 
IV. Lands of Plague and Fire
Lands of Plague and Fire
The Formative Collapse
From "Two Cradles: New Revelations of the Origins of Civilization in Columbia" by Otis van Hoek, Nova Vizcaya University Press, 2006

The great expansionary phase of the Tsung'oo culture began late in the 15th Century BCE, spelling trouble for the lowland cities like Oote Nanav to the northeast. Even in this earliest phase of their civilization, the Nivdavay must have already been a fiercely martial culture, for we find that most of their famous painted pottery wares feature warriors and jaguar figures. Indeed, a couple of western Otopa sites from before the Collapse show traces of being destroyed violently, and obsidian spearpoints found in situ at these unhappy ruins offer damning evidence that they were destroyed by invading Nivdavay from the west. Oote Nanav suffered for its close links with the crumbling Otopan frontier, for monument construction ends at about this time—the last major constructions at the site were a new set of earthen and packed-stone fortifications at the extremities of the city. The demographic pressure of the expanding Tsung'oo culture may have spelled a rapid end for the Otopa if it weren't for the arrival of mucoa from the north.

It swept first through the highlands of the Nivdavaya, killing two in every five people living in the area. The hilltop cities of the Nivdavay depopulated rapidly, the once-vocal temple walls and stelae of Tsung'oo falling quiet. They would not speak again for two centuries. The collapse of Tsung'oo must have, briefly, seemed like a godsend for the Otopa cities, but it can't have lasted long. Another wave of burned cities and mass graves appears in the archaeological record as Mycobacterium—the bacterium responsible for tuberculosis—jumped the species barrier from sheep, spread into Otopa lands, and displaced refugees of the Tsung'oo collapse who became bands of brigands, burning and stealing unabated. The black cough, as it came to be called, was followed soon after by the first cases of the biting pox[1], which spread from the north, in a fatal one-two punch which devastated the region. Oote Nanav was finally abandoned by 1220 BCE, marking the end of the Northern or Gulf Otopa culture, but the Otopa would persist in their Southern or Panthalassic phase along the coast and in the Maya uplands.

At around 1200 BCE, the population of Naizaa was only 20% of what it had been in 1400, the rest killed by disease, or else emigrated. Another great civilization would not arise in Nuuyoo for a century and a half...


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The situation was little less grim north of the Tuuwaya. The highland cities of Petsiroò were less densely-packed than those of Nuuyoo, and most of the herd animals who acted as vectors were herded out in the expansive countryside, seldom kept in close quarters with people. All the same, the epidemics devastated Petsiroò, and genetic evidence would seem to show that three-fourths of the population disappeared between 1300 and 1200 BCE. Graves filled with the famous black ash of the region likewise give us a hint of the desolation. Tseroro must have emptied in this timeframe, never to be occupied again, spelling the end of the culture to which it gave its name.

The Formative Period had drawn to a close, but the trends that would carry Columbia into its next epoch were already in motion...


The Formative Period ends. (1800 - 1200 BCE)

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[1] - An orthopox transmitted first from uurung to humans. Biting pox : camelpox :: smallpox : cowpox.
 
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Very cool!

Does this orthopox virus grant cross-immunity the old world's smallpox?

A limited sort of cross-immunity, yes. The toll of smallpox and tuberculosis on the Americas won't be great, and consequently, the biting pox and black cough won't be very big killers in the Old World. Sadly, measles and other Eurasian diseases to which the Hesperidians have no resistance will still exact a terrible death toll, and mucoa will run rampant in Europe.
 
Please sir, can I have some more?

Like, for instance, what are the various domestic breeds of uurung? Like how there's Holstein cattle, Texas longhorn cattle, and so on. (This wasn't covered in the first post, was it? I worry it might've been, but I'm too lazy to check.)
 
Please sir, can I have some more?

Like, for instance, what are the various domestic breeds of uurung? Like how there's Holstein cattle, Texas longhorn cattle, and so on. (This wasn't covered in the first post, was it? I worry it might've been, but I'm too lazy to check.)

That's absolutely something I plan to go into in great detail. :D

... When I have a more concrete idea of what they are, I mean. :eek: The only particular ideas I've had on the matter so far are that there must be a number of breeds which fulfill specific roles. There are particularly shaggy breeds which are bred up in the Rockies and Sierra Madres which will be an important source of wool, and a few centuries down the line milk-producing breeds will become very important. There's some stocky, more powerful breeds, too, which will become the first riding uurung out in the plains.
 
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