Land of Quaggas and Diamonds: a cradle of civilisation in South Africa

I’ve been an avid reader of this forum for a very long time and I’ve finally decided to try my hand at writing a timeline of my own.

Being mostly interested in ancient history and anthropology - specifically the bronze/iron ages and the development of complex societies, one of my favourite timelines must be "Land of Red and Gold". LoRaG has inspired me to develop a timeline following a similar concept, but using Southern Africa as the birthplace of an "alternative cradle".

Now, the area has already been discussed in a few threads - However, none of these threads have progressed beyond discussion… So I think I’ll be giving it a shot!

The general idea is this:

- The POD is around 10.000 BC, when a group of “Khoisan” people in the Kalahari develop agriculture thank to the Morama Bean, a legume with a tuberous root that even in its current undomesticated form is extremely nutrient and resistant to the dry environment of the South African desert.
- Agriculture would spreads along the coast and along the Orange into the high Velt, followed by the domestication of the Quagga - an extinct species of Zebra that existed until the 19th century and is reported to have been more tameable. This animal could be used as a pack animal, transport and as a guard animal, defending against hyenas and feral dogs.
- Complex states emerge along the Orange River and the Western coast, eventually conquering the fertile east. At its Zenith, a large bronze age Empire occupies most of current South Africa.
- An equivalent to the Bronze Age collapse occurs when the Bantu expand into these new lands, bringing Iron, new crops and new technology. in this TL, however, rather than exterminate the *Khoisan groups and push them in less desireable lands, they integrate in their advanced states, forming a Bantu aristocracy and beginning the Classical Age of this *South African Empire.
- The Empire continues its growth and comes in contact with the Malagasy Austronesian, widening their knowledge of the world.
- The Portoguese arrive and everything... explodes, I guess.

Over the next few weeks I'll be researching material for this timeline! Let me know if you find it interesting and if you have any ideas - discussion and feedback are very welcome. This first post also serves as a sort of plausibility check, so let me know if you find this a bit too outlandish.


If you're interested in reading previous discussions/tentative timelines regarding the topic:


https://alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/what-would-a-bronze-iron-civilization-arising-in-south-africa-look-like.380700/

https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/a-“khoisan”-civilization-in-south-africa.467793/

https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/from-fog-arises-a-nation-civilization-on-the-namib-fringe.414742/
 
I like this! I don't know enough to comment

Is there any chance that instead of a what-if you could write it as a more detailed timeline?
 
I like this! I don't know enough to comment

Is there any chance that instead of a what-if you could write it as a more detailed timeline?
Yes! I'm planning on writing the entire history of the region, particularly focusing on the classical time and on the culture and society of the *Khoisan and later of the *Khoisan-Bantu. I'll probably alternate between scenes and OOC content.
 
Oh? Is something the matter?
Sorry, I must have posted this accidentally. I'm actually interested in your TL.

I have to say, it was quite something to see someone quote my post in a thread that up to this moment I was sure I hadn't posted in. I was on pins and needles to see what I had apparently said:closedeyesmile:
 
Lol! No worries -- I'm glad that you're interested! I'll update the thread in the following days as soon as I'm done with my research :)

In the meantime, if anyone has suggestions or objections, I'm all ears.
 
very interesting, any pod with an alternative ancient civilization pleases me. Unfortunately I don't have much knowledge on the subject, but a civilization with the khoisan has always seemed to me a very good idea to be explored, this region is said as the cradle of humanity. The language of these cultures is very exotic and I imagine how unique an alphabet would be that would simulate the clicks of consonants
 
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