Most Interesting Pre-European PoD for America?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Daeres, Jan 14, 2012.

  1. Daeres Well-Known Member

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    To be more specific, i've been very impressed with several timelines that deal with different domestications and/or agricultural packages in America. That's not what i'm looking for in this thread however; I'm looking to find out what people familiar with pre-European American history think would be interesting moments for change during 'historical' periods and known civilizations, like the Olmecs, Aztecs, Maya etc. I have a decent knowledge of American history, but nothing approaching expertise and certainly not on par with how familiar I am with pre-Christian Hellenic culture and the Near East.
     
  2. 9 Fanged Hummingbird Some Random Guy

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    Personally I think the most interesting and exciting pod is averting the Classic Collapse in Mesoamerica. I made a TL (well, two actually) about averting the Maya collapse, but I think it'd be more interesting if Mesoamerica as a whole came out stronger.
     
  3. 9 Fanged Hummingbird Some Random Guy

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    I see this is a very popular topic, to be sure... As for a more specific PoD, I think a victory for the Snake Kingdom at the Battle of Yellow Rabbit Place in 695 would do a lot to bring stability to the region. One of the big problems later on was instability, and personally I think the weakening of what was formerly the strongest Maya kingdom had a lot to do with this. Of course, the betrayal of Dos Pilas and the creation of their Petexbatun kingdom certainly exacerbated things, and even if they were a thorn in Mutul's side they certainly didn't help with the general problems of instability.

    I wonder though if most of the Maya could form up into a confederation, like the later League of Mayapan that had most of Yucatan joining them. There is a theory of how Classic Maya were organized that could help with this. One theory states that they were organized into at least 13 regional provinces, or Tzuk', much like how the Postclassic Maya of the north were organized into 16 or 18 "Petty States". The idea was that each Tzuk' represented an ancient kingdom and the capital of each were all principle cities that competed for rights to host the cycle, that is the 256 year calendrical cycle called the may in later times. The cycle seat would have many rights and privileges, and cities in their Tzuk' would rotate seating each katun, or 20-year period. Obviously this wouldn't make very much sense given the violent competition and warfare, especially over more mundane matters like resources, we know happened throughout the Classic Period. The theory states that this form of government existed alongside the typical hegemonic networks of states and vassal states we know so well. Granted, I think it's a bit dubious to believe they had the may cycles and calendrical governments like in the Postclassic, but it's an interesting theory nonetheless and I kinda wish the idea about there being 13 or so Tzuk'ob is true because that would make things so much easier for me. And of course it would provide a good framework for a more united Maya if that were even possible.
     
  4. Alexpira Well-Known Member

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    POD in South America

    An very interesting POD for a pre-columbian South America would be a further and sooner spread of the Incan Empire across the continent, especially in OTL Brazilian territory (the Incans had trade links called peabirus to the Guarani tribes of Southerneast Brazil)...I imagine how would the Portuguese and Spanish react finding not the somewhat primitive Guarani but a strong Incan empire in the Atlantic seaboard of Southern America....
     
  5. Alex Richards Member of the Tepid Water Party Donor

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    Perhaps a surviving Mississippi mound culture, or one which manages to recieve a few influences from Mesoamerica which then due its geographic situation manages to create a few more heavily centralised states in North America
     
  6. Riain Well-Known Member

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    I`d like to see trade between the Olmecs and the civilisations of Peru, something akin to a silk road. In particular I`d like to see how Meso-american civilisation would develop if they had Llama from 1000BC.
     
  7. wietze Figment of my own Imagination

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    no clovis catastrophe/ no extinction of megafauna in north-america
     
  8. 9 Fanged Hummingbird Some Random Guy

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    Eh, I don't think the Olmec were nearly large or developed enough to create a trade network that reached Peru, I'm not even sure what the situation in Peru was like. What is more likely is a Collapse-less Maya having some trade contacts with them in Central America or even northern South America, but that'd be taking place more around 1000 AD, not BC.
     
  9. EMT Well-Known Member

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    Seeing this would be rather hard though. If I recall correctly, the Inca looked down on traders, valuing their system of organized labor more.
     
  10. 8Deer Well-Known Member

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    Interesting I've never heard of this. Do you have any sources?
     
  11. 9 Fanged Hummingbird Some Random Guy

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    Also I think logistics would've been a problem. Granted, being able to get messages across their empire across the Andes so quickly is no small feat, but it would've been a bit different to do so through the Amazon, let alone establishing cities or even forts on the Atlantic coast.
     
  12. Alexpira Well-Known Member

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    Maybe the Incas reaching OTL Southeastern Brazil is a bit too far but IMHO reaching the pampas from OTL Northern Argentina could be possible if the Incas had more time before the European arrival.....the pampas are a open and free environment inhabited by much more primitive tribes than the Incas and I guess that the Incas could easliy conquer the region.....
     
  13. 9 Fanged Hummingbird Some Random Guy

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    Hmm, this seems plausible. As you said though, they need time. OTL the Inca were still a relatively new and fresh nation, newer even than the Aztecs. But have them or another Andean civilization create an empire much earlier, and I could see that happening. And another interesting pre-Columbian PoD would be involving contact between the Peruvians and Mesoamericans. If you could somehow not only have them both be able to meet each other and have extended contact, perhaps an enterprising Peruvian could pick up writing and bring it back. Trouble is the kind of writing. The Maya had a logo-syllabic form of writing, like Chinese but more complicated. It's hard to adapt in other kinds of languages, because languages could have different syllables and many glyphs have specific cultural meanings not shared among other peoples. One problem is that I think every Andean language has 'r' sounds, something they do not have in common with Mayan languages save for one very obscure one. Perhaps though Mexican-style pictographs would be easier to adapt and still highly useful.

    Personally, my dream scenario/TL that would be far too complicated and beyond my expertise to create would be to have a series of changes prevent the Mesoamerican Collapse. This means the Maya cities are not abandoned, and continue on advancing and growing, while Teotihuacan and other large Mexican cities also survive and thrive, though perhaps Teotihuacan falls from power as they can't last forever. While these people all start to centralize to some degree, trade is expanded to the point where they develop trade posts down Central America and can reach Panama. Meanwhile, in South America, the Moche or some other cool Peruvian culture create a multi-ethnic empire analogous to the Inca and similar in many ways. They go on to develop trade posts up the coast and even have traders reaching Panama. They meet with Mesoamericans and borrow some form of writing, which is further developed over the centuries in the homeland but still very similar.