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

Awesome!! So glad this is back! One of the better takes on North American domesticates. Very much looking forward for more, keep it up Huehuecoyotl
 
Wow, things got busy on here! I love what's been done with the timeline, and I'm eager to continue.

Tell me do the capybar- er, water-pigs become good pets for the Columbian peoples at any point? And did Neochoerus pinckneyi survive in Southeast? I could see them thriving in what would be OTL Louisiana.
 
Wow, things got busy on here! I love what's been done with the timeline, and I'm eager to continue.

Tell me do the capybar- er, water-pigs become good pets for the Columbian peoples at any point? And did Neochoerus pinckneyi survive in Southeast? I could see them thriving in what would be OTL Louisiana.

You're close to the mark, but the surviving critter is a Californian population of either Hydrochoerus or Neochoerus (to my knowledge scientists haven't resolved just which it definitively belonged to) but they will spread into all sorts of appropriate areas across the continent with time, and beyond. :)

As for pets, taking the animals into the house while they're young may have something to do with how their domestication starts, but after that I'm not sure how popular keeping a livestock animal as a household pet would be.
 
As for pets, taking the animals into the house while they're young may have something to do with how their domestication starts, but after that I'm not sure how popular keeping a livestock animal as a household pet would be.
Righto.

In other news, I mentioned this timeline to my uncle and received an hour-long lecture on why evolution will bring about the end of Western civilization. Since this is clearly (completely un)true, I apparently need to repent and come to Christ.

My family sucks. I hope the Black Hand religion is more open and accepting of evolutionary theory here.
 
Righto.

In other news, I mentioned this timeline to my uncle and received an hour-long lecture on why evolution will bring about the end of Western civilization. Since this is clearly (completely un)true, I apparently need to repent and come to Christ.

My family sucks. I hope the Black Hand religion is more open and accepting of evolutionary theory here.

It's funny that you should bring that up in particular, because I have a more-or-less complete update for the late 13th Century (i.e. one I completed a year ago but which I probably won't have occasion to post for another year or so!) which will tangentially touch upon the subject, and later on in the TL, of course, anything is possible...
 
IX. Renewed Petsiroò - Agriculture and Technology
Renewed Petsiroò - Agriculture and Technology

By the fall of the South-Wind Empire in the late 7th Century BCE, the day-to-day crafts of farming, metalwork, and animal husbandry had been altered fundamentally since the days of Tseroro. While the big population drop-off in the period in between slowed the rate of new innovations throughout Petsiroò during the 11th and 10th Centuries BCE, the unification of the region under the Empire starting in 878 BCE spurred on technological progress, especially after the fall of Atsadzil.

These dates themselves are something we know as a result of one cultural innovation, the first Petsiroan calendar. The concept of a firm chronicling of the years seems to have come north from the old Otopa lands just after the collapse, and with a few modifications, came into widespread use as the bureaucracies of the new cities were faced with the task of chronicling harvests of the peasants in the countryside. The five-season model, based upon the basic climatic seasons of southern Petsiroò, begins the year with the vernal equinox and the beginning of the wildflower blooms, and splits summer in two, parting the year into five roughly 70-day-long periods, with a few ritual days not belonging to any particular season to round out the rest. This calendar, with modifications, would spread through much of the continent, even in places which lacked Petsiroò's seasonal peculiarities.

The chronological regimentation of the harvests throughout the country corresponded both with a great refinement of mathematics, and correspondingly a minor agricultural revolution. Both the concept of a calendar and of the number 0 arrived in Petsiroò, apparently via the trade routes from Nuuyoo, the former in the 11th Century and the latter late in the 8th. The ability of Black Hand monks to work with the newly-refined number system, being the only literate class amongst the population, would see a vast expansion of the earthworks and irrigation networks supporting Petsiroò's agriculture and spark a long tradition of religious leaders being expected to function as civil servants as well. This role would carry downward through the centuries and give rise to some of the most accomplished architects, inventors, and thinkers the continent would ever know.

Here and now, however, the boon of their efforts in the dry Petsiroan lands would be to vastly improve the harvest output of the region of the following centuries, encouraging the farmers to experiment a bit more with their crops. Hesperidian peppers (genus Capsicum) featured prominently in the new shoots sprouting along the plateau and valley gardens around the Petsiroan cities. Both larger, sweeter fruits, useful as food, and the smaller, spicier variety which became popular as a source of spice, quickly grew in popularity among the farmers of the region, spreading from south to north.

At the same time, one of the local breeds of juniper (J. osteosperma) was first being welcomed into controlled groves and orchards alongside the crop fields. The sweet, berry-like cones of the tree had long been prized in Petsiroò, and as wild stands of juniper were depleted by expanding farmland and cities, it became necessary to begin extensive replanting to keep it from vanishing from the inhabited regions altogether. Such was the anxious demand for a solution to the receding juniper forests that the Emperor himself was forced to address it with a decree in 699 BCE, offering out written contracts to landholding families to entitle them with choice tracts of land to serve as juniper groves protected by the state. Some of these contracts would remain in force until as late as the 8th Century CE. The new controlled groves would provide a minor supplementary food source as the berries were selectively bred to be plumper and more plentiful, and the trees (already a bit runty so far as junipers go) to generally grow shorter. The needle-like leaves as well as the berries would also be used in tea and alcohol, and the wood from whatever trees were occasionally cut down could be used in utility and construction, or mulched and mixed with uurung dung as a useful fertilizer.

As they worked on all this, the farmers had new tools in their hands, something owed to the metalworkers of the cities who had perfected at last the independent discovery of a useful alloy first created in Egypt more than 2,000 years earlier--bronze. Without access to tin, the ancient Petsiroans had to instead discover that a dust created as a byproduct of copper smelting, today known to be arsenic, was capable of strengthening that metal into something which would revolutionize Columbia's tools and weaponry. This process would not come into wide use until around 800 BCE, so the famous ballads of the Battle of Atsadzil and their references to bronze spears and swords are surely anachronistic. At the time, obsidian was still the most popular implement in sharp weapons.

Nonetheless, by 700 BCE, Lhiitsézh and Atsadzil had become important centers of bronze production, supplying the Empire with bronze hatchets and cutting tools for its peasants, and a formidable array of weaponry for the Imperial armies which would drive the last, ill-fated South-Wind campaign of the late 7th Century BCE. As well, the expanding use of the metal saw the invention of the first plows in the uplands, where the farmers learned to harness a pointed wedge of metal to an uurung's back in order to till the soil much more efficiently than the hand-powered hoes then common in the area.

This period of discovery and innovation is sometimes called the Petsiroan Bronze Age, and is considered to have lasted about 900 to 622 BCE.


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[1] - Pic source
 
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Having them introduce the idea of "zero" as a number in its own right by the 11th century BCE seems a bit early...I mean, the Indians didn't do that until, what, 1800 years later? Not saying it's impossible, just...
 
It is a bit early, but I've heard it proposed that IOTL the Olmec may have started down the path to discovering it. The Otopa ITTL are sort of their ATL analogue, and it doesn't seem improbable to me that its transmission into a complex, literate society at this date could see it done a few centuries before the Maya got the hang of it IOTL.

EDIT: On second evaluation I've decided 11th C. is still rather too early even by this logic so I've bumped it down a few centuries in the post.
 
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X. The Song of Fallen Stones
Excerpt from "The Song of Fallen Stones" (620s BCE, Anonymous) [1]
Translated from Middle Diné by Afanasy V. Magomedov (1791 - 1876)


And noble Hastiin wept,

Where now have you gone old friends,

Now that the battle is finally won?
Will you not join in our songs
And drink alongside us?
Is this not your victory too?

When first we marched to war

And our arrows glinted in the sky
Were you not also overjoyed?
Did you not also smile alongside me?
Are you not happy now?

Peace settles like dew on the land

And flocks come back to rest.
Am I to remember our travails alone, O brothers,
To remember all of the fallen stones.
Fallen, fallen...

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[1] - A famous epic poem about the Battle of Atsadzhil and the unification of the South-Wind Empire, written about 190 years after the fact. The actual article is literally Homeric in length, so this short excerpt from near the end will have to slake your curiosity. ;)
 
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XI. Tuuwaya Blooming
Tuuwaya Blooming: The Central Deserts and the Western Seas
From "A Primer on the Renewed Period of Columbia: Volume One" by Thomas Liebknecht

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Even apocalypse couldn't empty the roads of the Tuuwaya for long. The lure of wealth and adventure in the sprawling roads through the wasteland ensured that, once the dying ended, spice, plant seeds, and gems would travel on uurung-back from city to city once more. But as well as the ever-growing caravans which continued from the last epoch of Columbian history, a new power would rise upon the waves of the Tuuwayan west: the power of sail.

As in the rest of Hesperidia, hand-rowed canoes had carried fishermen over the blue waters of the Gulf of Quijhant for centuries already, and, when built larger, could carry goods from one oceanside town to another. In the early 9th Century BCE, Columbia independently achieved what Egypt, China, and Madeira already had some centuries distant, unfurling the first cotton sails to the Panthalassic breeze and plying the dry coastline in ways which their Formative predecessors had never been able to match.

Though many trading havens grew and decayed around the edges of the Gulf, the most lasting would arise from a group of merchant lords collecting around the island of Tahéjoca [2]. The expansion of the South-Wind Empire to the north starting in the 9th Century meant also Imperial interest in the southern trade routes. Moving south from their western outpost of Hasbidi, South-Wind traders found Tahéjoca on their path southward toward Nuuyoo. Their steady patronage swiftly grew the power and prestige of the merchants around the island, ensuring that they could spread their roots all over the Gulf.

The drawback from these close contacts, of course, was that when the South-Wind Empire descended into civil war in 622 BCE, the disruption in the trade networks fractured the Tahéjoca merchant factions, warlords seizing large portions of the fleet and scattering to the four winds. This crisis too, however, the Tuuwaya would weather, to shape history again in coming centuries...


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[1] - Image source.

[2] - Modern Isla del Tiburon, Sonora.
 
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Whew! It's been a while, so I thought I'd refresh my memory by rereading this TL.

Clarification: was it warlords from the South Wind Empire who seized the merchant's fleet or the Empire's fleet, or were the warlords former merchants? It wasn't very clear.

Thanks in advance, glad to see this is back!
 

Benevolent

Banned
Domesticate Distichlis palmeri, it can grow in basically seawater (prefers to be slightly below but it's being pushed to take it completely) and in less than twenty years of breeding irl can produce 2 tonnes per acre

Plus with enough salt in soil you only need to plant it by seed once before rhizomes regenerate themselves

Zostera Marina in Seri territory seed at 100% or nearly so, I'd be one to think that since it's relatively easy to propagate by seed it can be spread along the coast adding another marine based crop of carb rich grains with very little need to care for :3
 
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