Not My Heifer Brainstorm (Results of Alternate Indo-European Migrations)

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Bassarion Korax, Jul 19, 2018.

  1. Bassarion Korax Well-Known Member

    May 16, 2018
    Well, I definitely appreciate it. It would be fun to pursue the possibility of a larger Yeniseian presence in Central Asia, and potentially the Middle East. I'll take a look at the material and see what I can do with it.

    Don't sweat it :)

    That does sound interesting, so I will have to some more reading on it. I guess I had read about the spiritual significance of alcoholic drinks in Eastern Europe in Antiquity in the past. I'm wondering how this stuff would taste, though? I'm not really a beer kind of guy. Even the "sweet" beers still taste like moldy bread juice to me. Also, would this be applicable to more seasonal climates? Cuz you mentioned allowing the yeast to rise with natural heat, which I don't think is applicable everywhere.

    Alright, now I had read that the science was inconclusive as to how drastic the effects of pastoralism had been on the environment in the Sahara. Given that the PoD is about 3500 BCE, the Indo-Europeans will not make it into the Kur River Valley (Azerbaijan) until about 3000 BCE, and to the Iranian Plateau by about 2900-2800 BCE, it might be kind of a tall order to butterfly away what happened to Lake Megachad. Do you have a time frame for how long this environment existed? I have found some decent resources on Proto-Afroasiatic, but what worries me about connecting North Africa to Sub-Saharan Africa is the poor documentation of Sub-Saharan African languages, such as the so-called "Nilo-Saharan" family as well as the Niger-Congo, Mandé, and Songhay families. Because writing is a relatively recent phenomenon for Sub-Saharan Africa, none of these languages were recorded before the Modern Era, and because of the continued social and political instability in Africa (which I don't see improving any time soon), studying these languages and reconstructing their ancient pasts is both difficult and dangerous, which leaves very large holes in our understanding of their evolution and their interaction with each other. Apparently, "Nilo-Saharan" is not a widely accepted classification, and is therefore composed of multiple unrelated families whose internal relationships are ALSO pretty poorly understood at the moment. So, unless it's considered acceptable for me to just pull whole language families out of my ass that bear superficial similarity to OTL African languages, I am wary of touching Sub-Saharan Africa until the Modern Era.

    For my part, I had thought that the collapse of Old Egypt would look something more like the collapse of Rome, which would mean a large influx of Semitic-speaking peoples who would be linguistically and to some degree culturally assimilated to Egyptian civilization. Architecture and clothing would change somewhat, and probably the pantheon on some level, but many of the institutions would remain similar as the ruling Semites tried to impose themselves on the Native Egyptian population. We can use largely Semitic names for the dynasts however, seeing as that seems to have been common practice (the French still use a wealth of Frankish names, and their monarchs had Frankish names right up until the end of the monarchy). However, if Lake Megachad lasted longer, then your idea for pushing agricultural Afroasiatic-speaking peoples like the Egyptians and perhaps the Berbers further into Africa would definitely be interesting. Again though, I would have to essentially make up language phyla, and that feels kind of... cheap.

    I like the idea of more sedentary civilizations in Central Asia, and I was following a similar train of thought on the matter, except without the Botai horses being a factor. I would like to see a more agricultural and politically stable Afghanistan specifically. The initial Indo-European migration into the Middle East I wanted to come from crossing the Caucasus Mountains into the Kur River Valley and entering the Iranian Plateau. I wanted this specifically to push Mannaeans, Kassites, and Gutians into Upper Mesopotamia to destabilize the Semitic element in the region so that I could have a little bit of fun with writing the Gutian civilization from scratch, but also to push the Elamites eastward so that they might eventually enter India through Balukhistan after successive waves of Indo-European migration from the northwest. The second wave of Indo-European migration would come from the northeast though, as the Indo-Iranians did IOTL, and I think that would get started around 2600 BCE. So, it's certainly possible that a Botai element could survive in Central Asia long enough to have an impact on the social order. I like this idea of horse stratification - the older Botai horses for heavy labor, milking, and maybe even wool - and the newer horses for riding. On the note of getting the horses further north, maybe this is where the Yeniseians come in?

    I had no idea about that, so that is somewhat depressing. I love to add milk to my cooking, and no heavy cream? What about all the creamy desserts of Europe? I feel like I could be creating a dystopian hell...

    In terms of genetics, I had read somewhere (I think the blog that I linked) that Corded Ware peoples were somewhat darker (perhaps more along the lines of Albanians) than people in Germany today, which could be very interesting in terms of redistributing phenotypes. The Indo-European migration into the Middle East is going to be essentially on par with what it was into Europe IOTL, so it could be interesting to see lighter-skinned peoples in Anatolia, Iran, and Central Asia and somewhat darker Europeans.

    So, not ALL Indo-European migration is butterflied here. The Proto-Anatolians are still in the Balkans, and Greece, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Albania, and former Yugoslavia will be Indo-Europeanized, and probably at least Northern Italy as well. A second wave of migration will hit Europe as well starting in the 2nd millennium BCE with horse nomads from the Pontic Steppe whose particular branch of Indo-European is on an increasingly isolating trend that will result in an analytic tonal language being spoken on the Pannonian Plain by the end of the 1st millennium BCE. Of course, this language will probably be replaced by something else later, but the point of mentioning that was that I think that it's feasible for the Uralic-speaking Corded Ware people of Central Europe at least to begin living a more agricultural lifestyle at an earlier period, but they might not go on the same campaign of deforestation that was undertaken by the Indo-Europeans during the Bronze Age.

    As far as the Semites expanding across the Mediterranean, I didn't want to get rid of the Semites entirely or just butterfly them all into Arabia, so, I think it will make for a good story. I had this idea of an anti-climactic showdown between the Insular Semites and an Indo-European-speaking power, perhaps in Italy or Greece (I lean towards Greece though, with the Semites being centered on Crete) resulting in the eventual destruction of the Indo-European power through the subversion of the Semites. Think if Rome had incorporated Carthage into the socii system, and the Carthaginians had never forgotten their reduction at the hands of Rome and plotted for a century or more to bring the Republic/Empire down on itself. Just an idea, though. We'll have to see. I mentioned the idea of a Turkic Manchuria and/or Korea, but you're thinking Eastern Europe, huh? That could be fun. Turkic languages are really sexy sounding to me, but there was a lot of interaction between Turkic peoples and Eastern Europeans IOTL. You don't think that would be cliché?

    Another idea I had for East Asia was to make sure that China remains balkanized for much of its history, and to have a William the Conqueror-type figure conquering Japan, which would mean that the Japanese might have a claim to a throne somewhere in China and might try to expand their territories there as the English did in France IOTL.

    Ooooo... I have mulled over many ideas for this department. One of them would be colonization happening via the Canaries, perhaps as a Phoenician-like civilization sets up permanent settlements there, or maybe some group of exiles from the more civilized Mediterranean do. Maybe they get blown off course attempting to charter Africa or attempting to find the mouth of the Niger River or something or other (trying to get access to that West African gold) and end up establishing a relationship with the Maya. I also have entertained the idea of East Asian settlement of the West Coast, perhaps religiously motivated, idk. I have read some really, really cool ideas about getting Polynesians to the Galapagos Islands on here that included a sort of semi-domestication of seals and/or marine iguanas that I thought were awesome, but I'm not sure how to make that happen, as Polynesia is kind of remote.

    I've never heard that one before. A Vasconic-speaking Empire could be fun, although I think getting it over to the Vistula or Dniester is kind of a tall order, especially if these parts of Europe remain more heavily forested and less develop ITTL. Your post gave me an idea for a united, Vasconic-speaking state in Iberia however that might be ruled in a similar manner, though. Maybe this empire is responsible for the discovery of the Americas via the Canaries?

    EDIT: Discussion of alternate evolution of pandemic diseases (the ones that hadn’t already evolved at this point) is also welcome here. I was interested in GoT’s greyscale for example, which took me down some interesting paths for ideas for epidemics.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2018
  2. Valdemar Daae Overthinking Is What I Do Best

    Jan 29, 2018
    The Severn Sea
    No problems, I have to say that it'd be pretty extraordinary to get them as far as the Middle East. If you do, you certainly have earned my respect, for one. It can be pretty tough to find much of great use, but there's enough to fill in some references and give them some kind of role in history. They may have even had a significant historical role somewhere in OTL, but by now we simply don't know. Looking forward to what you come up with concerning that.:D

    I myself don't drink much alcohol(I know what you mean about sweet beers, sometimes the cake is a lie), but they can be useful as a social detail and focal point. In terms of taste, apparently the Sumerian beer brewed from the cakes tastes much like the rye or barley it's made from, much with a wooden quality to it and some kind of richer taste. Now, I myself can't make Sumerian beer cakes, so I don't know if that's some BS or not. Apparently dry power alcohol has been available for decades in principle and in practice. It's some kind of trade secret in the exact process- but it's pretty much what you'd expect;ethanol is surrounded and micro-encapsulated in specific oils and left sealed as liquid and preserved microscopically. If in theory you were to use olive oil or some other oil added to the beer-cakes as they ferment in water and then dry, it could probably seal the alcohol within bread. The reason why it probably needs to be slowly curing after the gentle heating to allow the yeast to rise is because otherwise the alcohol will evaporate, and you'll be left with just bread. Apparently modern dry alcohol actually tastes pretty much like how powdered milk tastes to real milk, but then again early bread and gruel tasted awful too, apparently. As for seasonality, it would basically require a prolonged period of evaporation and gentle heating while being held in water to ferment until it is completely dry. Obviously this developing in ancient Mesopotamia would lend itself to the climate, but I see no reason why it couldn't be extended to smoke-curing above a collective hearth or being kept in a dry cellar long enough.

    Manatees went extinct in Lake Chad in 1926. While overall evidence for Saharan pastoralism is inconclusive, the effects of it in the Megachad region can be felt and measured right now. Goat herding tears up the native grasses and savanna that stabilizes the soil and prevents most of the lake infiltering outwards completely and being purely seasonal(a fate it may reach during this century), and lack of defined irrigation, water management or agriculture has prevented human activities from rebalancing the damage done. The Romans encountered a lake almost twice the modern lake's size, and archaeological evidence indicates that excessive water level reduction may be an Early Modern occurrence, one that is accelerating now. Even if you have Egypt become Semitic around 2000BC, you have 4000 years in which more efficient regulation methods can be introduced. Even if it doesn't stop the lake shrinking, it may delay it substantially- depending on the effect of human climate change and direct influence IOTL upon the lake's status, it may be prevented entirely.

    If you're wanting to model the ethnic groups and linguistic status of the area, it isn't as hard as it could be. The Chadic peoples were already present in the region by 6000BC, and their languages appear to have not modified rapidly at any point. Links between the Afroasiatic and Chadic groups are relatively definable and agreed upon, and the most significant obstacle to this is simply that the Chadic lnguages are one of the oldest offshoots of one of the oldest language families known. I had in mind that the assimilation of Semitic populations into Egypt may lead to further expulsions or population movements caused by this ethnic and social upheaval. It isn't an exceptional stretch to have a migration of Archaic Egyptians, migratory Semitic or later even Semitic-Egyptians move west to Lake Megachad- that's exactly how the Chadic peoples got there in the first place. I don't know what you want to do with the Berbers, because they could and have moved west, east, south and north of their original positions throughout history, but they'd be an interesting contribution to any ethnic dynamic in the Sahara-Sahel region.

    Although a sub-Saharan African ethnographics and linguistic heritage remains ambiguous, there's often a core research community that you can tap into- or alternatively various distributed older materials you can use. The Nilo-Saharan proposed family probably doesn't exist based upon modern migration pattern and linguistic features, and it may be the product of a sprachbund continuum of language features in the past. If you can take some of the isolates and compare them, then a possible phonology could emerge. But if you could find references to key researchers, then that would be most applicable. I could do some digging myself, if that'd be appreciated. I do know slightly more about the Mande languages. They're possibly the product of a south, south-westward migration of Niger-Congo? or Proto-Mande peoples that lived upon the Sahel and adjacent Niger river valley. At least since before the ancient Kingdom Of Ghana they've been present in far Western Africa, especially the region of OTL Southern Mali and adjacent countries. The constant role they've had in the trade routes and communications of the region means language innovations(particularly intermediate grammar and vocabulary) tend to be dispersed and shared among the different Mande languages, and only later diverge. Some interesting possibilities may be that any southward migrations from the Sahel and Sahara force the Mande into the coastal rainforests, or they move down the Gambia river and opposite back out onto the Sahel. The Songhay are heavily influenced by multiple neighboring language families and whether they're their own language family or not it's best to either not have them exist substantially- given that they may be a recent arrival westwards- or to simply use Proto-Songhay rather than any other ancestral base. Either way, a change in their migration routes could easily land them in with Bantu or Pre-Bantu populations in the African Great Lakes, seeing as the best guess of their origin is the South Sudan-North Uganda region.

    No matter what you do, some speculative work is probably inevitable. If you take artistic license into mind as much as people do with later points of their ATLs, then nobody can blame you if used all the source material available. But if you can use that speculation to maintain realism and detail, then there you have a clear path in mind. Even in regions where records exist, you've got to make certain assumptions with a PoD this far into ancient history. But if you restrain yourself to using only when necessary, you don't need to use butterfly nets and you can fill in gaps within a detailed world. You've pretty much gotta pull stuff out of your ass just to figure out an idea of most of Old Europe, so at least we have modern material to work with in this case.:)

    I'd say that's an excellent idea, and a politically stable Afghanistan would be rather fascinating. Moving the Elamites, with their shepherding, agricultural ability and slightly more mobile nature than the Mesopotamians, is a rather ingenious touch to achieve some change in Afghanistan or India. If so, I'd probably expect any native populations(Indus valley remnants??) to merge with an Elamite culture, and diverge along the Indus river from there. Possibly them serving like the Indo-Aryans did, or them remaining in the Indus region and Baluchistan only. If they're also moving out when the Indo-Europeans arrive, they've definitely got dromedary camels from Somalia and perhaps even Iranian ostriches, and at least the former could be brought with them and quickly spread to the rest of India and Asia. If you're moving the second wave like the Indo-Iranians did, perhaps they leave the previous cultures as relicts in the Zagros mountains, moving through them southwards? An Indo-European fishing culture along the Iranian coast would be fascinating- the closest analogy I can think of is the Mauritanians. As the coasts and floodplains recede too, they could migrate westwards again along the Persian Gulf coasts, or even eastwards into Gujarat as a sole Indo-European isolate in India.

    Well, I guess that's the price you've got to pay in ATLs sometimes.;)I've seen worse than a Europe without raw milk!

    In terms of genetic phenotypes, the Motala excavation site in Sweden from around 8000 years ago yield the first evidence of modern Indo-European light skin, blue eyes and blond hair traits within several mass graves. It seems that Scandinavia, Northern Russia or somewhere near the Ural mountains may be the origin of this characteristic. However, 4500 year old remains from Russia and Eastern Europe appear to represent the Corded Ware culture, and they appear to already have been similar to modern Baltic, Slavic and Germanic populations in phenotype, possibly slightly darker. Evidence at the same time from Southern Europe and Romania indicates a much darker complexion, visually similar to modern Middle Eastern populations. If there's similar genetic admixture in your Middle Eastern Indo-European populations, then simple environmental conditions and epigenetics may result in a darker skin tone than Europeans anyway, perhaps varying from modern Middle Eastern and Iranian phenotypes to modern Southern European complexions. One critical element of the population dynamics in this situation is that the Chacolithic Middle East has immensely higher population density than Europe at the time. Any Indo-European migration is going to assimilate far more into the native dynamic rather than replace it, such as what happened IOTL with Indo-Iranian and Indo-Aryan populations. Though skin complexion is purely a visual element of rather complicated genetic factors, after the dust has settled with the Indo-European migrations ITTL, then you'll probably see slightly lighter populations in Northern Mesopotamia and Anatolia, much lighter skin colors in mountainous regions, and Eastern Europe and Scandianvia looking somewhat similar to what it does IOTL, with Western, Central and Southern Europe being darker like the Middle East. Keep in mind the practicalities of a hunter-gatherer and farming lifestyle in the Copper and Bronze Ages means that virtually everyone would have significantly more tanned or darkened skin than modern standards, due to regular heavy labor outdoors, lack of indoor spaces and less significant clothing. Lifespan is actually worse at this time for farming populations, and one less obvious obstacle to the Indo-Europeans is the incredibly poor diet, sanitary issues and close disease exposure of early sedentary civilization that was never really present in Europe or the steppes. Agricultural civilization was incredibly unhealthy even by Neolithic standards- modern hunter-gatherers forced to resettle into sedentary communities have suffered catastrophic immunity and infant mortality issues, often creating negative population growth. It wouldn't be too hard to avert this by allowing them assimilation and exposure via integration in native populations, but it does severely limit their ability to genetically replace the Middle East like the Indo-Europeans did in Europe.

    If the Proto-Anatolians are settling the Balkans and Northern Italy, I'd proabably expect that they form some kind of West Anatolian-European group from a common Protolanguage, and diverge from there. Even if they later become displaced by secondary Indo-European migrations or other migration waves, areas like the Pontine Marshes and Illyria could be home to some unusual Anatolian isolates. Your idea for a Pannonian isolate language sounds really fascinating, and if it is displaced, then a later Uralic, Turkic or "Old European" language using it as a substratum would be something to see for sure. If the Corded Ware cultures transition to agriculture more, all you require to prevent the massive land clearance is less slash-and-burn agriculture, and the use of fallow herds less fertile lands instead(much like what was practiced by previous cultures). Similar to Central and South Africa IOTL, lower populations and the preservation of much of the European Old Forest would probably lead to megafauna like the Iberian lion, tarpan, aurochs and European bison. Depending on the state of the Siberian steppes(be they sedentarily populated or just remain hunter-gatherer), I wouldn't rule out the Eurasian Steppe Bison surviving in the Sayan or Stanovoy mountains- the last mummified specimen is from 9000 years ago and various early historical references and possible subfossil remains indicate they may have survived much later into the Migration Age.

    The Semitic family has a lot of potential, and doing something interesting with them rather than simply killing them off or assimilating them seems like an excellent choice. An Indo-European presence in Greece or Anatolia as a land-based empire would be well positioned to secure growing European trade as the Bronze Age advances. If a part or all of your Semitic thalassocracy ends up being conquered or in conflict with a land-based power, it could make for some interesting political developments. If the Indo-European power is collapsed, the successor states could form city-states or move to feudalism, oligarchy or meritocracy. Come to think of it, this TL has the potential for creating new and endemic social structures and civilizations. In terms of the Turkic cultures, you could easily have Turko-Mongolic settlement of both Korea or Eastern Europe, seeing as how mobile the Eurasian Steppes act as a giant highway for population movement. Then again, I don't know exceptional amounts about other steppe-based groups that could settle said regions, and if there's any alternatives they could be applicable too. Either way, I don't think much is cliche about this TL at all. Having Turko-Mongolic peoples move into the Black Sea region, for example, is well within the bounds of plausibility. Your idea for Chinese interactions is really interesting. Whether China is united or not really depends on how lucky the Longshan peoples get. One idea I did have was to allow a steppe confederation conquer and be assimilated into the Longshan or later cultures(something maybe similar to the Erlitou), and for that to allow Chinese culture to spread northwards into Mongolia during a Climactic Optimum. China's unity and civilization size was fed by the incredibly productive Yellow and Yangtze rivers. One way to interrupt any cultural or political unity they may have is for the populations in far northern regions migrate south again as the climate cools and the land becomes less productive, and this leading to a Migration Age style event in China(though it's questionable whether Chinese terrain is divided enough to allow as marked differences as occurred in European cultures). If this occurs, maybe it could put less pressure on the Southern Yue, and allow them to merely be influenced by Chinese culture? If they survived long enough to form states, then could they align themselves geopolitically more with Southeast Asia and Indochina? Perhaps some Indic organized religion(Buddhism-style) later differentiates them from the northerly Chinese?

    It would be interesting to begin butterflying the prehistoric Native American migrations(though only if the Old World can be figured out first), and from there see what happens. Proto-Taino or Proto-Carib peoples forming a sea-based society in southern Florida is an immediate possibility that I can think of. By the age of the PoD you've gone for, it's perfectly possible to add some alternate new World domesticates- species like the Brazilian Llama aren't even extinct by this time- and see what goes from there. East Asians in the West Coast is possible- although I've always doubted the plausibility for true settlement as opposed to trade and contact, any interactions would be interesting. When establishing contact, not only Europe but also West Africa and Central Africa may have the full capacity to conduct trading expeditions to the New World themselves at any point, and colonization isn't ever a given certainty. The Polynesians arriving in the Galapagos sounds really cool, though. From what it seems, they don't even need to domesticate the native wildlife much! Although I will warn you that landing Polynesians in any place with interesting large animals had a tendency to wipe said animals out. :p

    From the PoD you're going by, the Polynesians have barely set out from past Guam, and their ancestors populate much of Taiwan. Some alternate sailing culture could also set out and colonise new islands- I'm fond of the Papuans as a candidate myelf.;) Really it's a matter of preference, though the Polynesians could easily reach Australia instead, or the Australians could reach New Zealand themselves. One possiblity is to have greater settlement upon the Sub-Antarctic Islands- IOTL there was Polynesian settlement around the 13th and 14th century in the Auckland Islands, and an Inuit-style Polynesian whaling culture would be very interesting to see. One other potential voyage that was possible IOTL was the Fuegian peoples landing in the Falkland Islands, which could in of itself be an interesting situation. Mind, these are just some rather rambling ideas, and whatever you take from them, I hope it can help.:)
  3. Bassarion Korax Well-Known Member

    May 16, 2018
    Is it so extraordinary when the Turks made it all the way there and to Europe? The Turkish homeland isn't that far away.

    Ok, I don't want to sound stupid, but I am having trouble understanding this whole process. Where did you read about it? I would love to check out any links you have on it so that I can properly understand what we're talking about here.

    Who knew? About the manatees, I mean. I didn't know that. Anyways, I didn't want to REPLACE the Egyptians, but just get enough Semitic migration into Egypt at a time before the Semites had their own illustrious civilizations to bring it down. I don't think the migration isn't feasible, but my understanding of the Chadic branch of Afroasiatic is that it is rather diverse, with three sub-branches and 150+ languages between them. Is that not correct? Likewise, I have read conflicting accounts on this matter as well. Some sources online point to a potential Arabian origin of Chadic, citing a Chadic substratum in Modern South Arabian languages, but genetic studies from the blog I cited suggest that the R1b haplogroup that is prominent among Chadic-speaking peoples might have entered via Italy during the Ice Age (the Sahara was greener at the time, and Italy and Sicily were larger), further suggesting that the Afroasiatic Urheimat would be somewhere around Lake Megachad. Either way, while I was able to catalogue a book with a number of Proto-Afroasiatic roots in it, I'm not entirely familiar with how the various branches behave grammatically. I have a rudimentary knowledge of Semitic, Berber, and Egyptian, and that's about it.

    I had thought that in terms of Western Europe, a more sedentary, agricultural culture would develop by the merger of the Corded Ware peoples and an agricultural culture in France or perhaps Central Europe, leading to the expansion of Uralic throughout the region, with the possible exception of Iberia, which might remain non-Uralic or end up non-Uralic if the Basques and their related peoples (probably the Iberians) can get their shit together and keep everyone else out. I'm actually very interested in that latter idea specifically, since @SeaCambrian brought up the idea of a "Basque Empire". In this case, we would probably see some sort of a Uralic invasion of Iberia on par with the OTL Indo-European one, but the Basques or Iberians might form a state, take control of the peninsula, and assimilate them. That would be fun. But Western Europe I think would largely be Uralic, although I suppose I can't go without pulling a couple of linguistic groups out of my ass in the process.

    Now, with regards to African languages, that's very interesting what you said, because it contradicts somewhat what I have previously read on the subject. I thought that Mandé languages were their own thing entirely, and that Songhay is somehow or other affiliated with them. I'm interested in knowing where you came by the idea that Songhay represents a recent immigration from the east... is this formulated off of Greenberg's hypothesis that it's affiliated with "Nilo-Saharan"? And don't even get me started on Niger-Congo, cuz my understanding is that the internal relationships of that family are fraught with disagreement, and that there has been next to no reconstructive work done on proto-languages. This would be the reason why I'm much more comfortable not touching Sub-Saharan Africa, and the same problem exists for much of Western China. I'm actually really into Tangut-Qiangic languages specifically, and I would really love to "wank" the fuck out of them. There's just something about the sound (I'm thinking of Rgyalrong here)... ah! I love it. But, many of the languages within "Sino-Tibetan" are still in need of more detailed cataloguing before a more convincing picture of the language family's past can be painted, and without that, like I do with Sub-Saharan African languages, I'm antsy about playing with too much with that area of the world. I know that I don't have to complete pull from my ass here, but it seems better to pull from my ass than write a cheap, half ass version of something that already exists? Idk. Maybe I'm being silly, I'll have to think more about it I guess.

    I was thinking of having them take over Northern India the way the Aryans did, just from a different route, coming from the south and moving UP the Indus as opposed to the North and moving down it. They might fail to make it south of the Narmada and Mahanadi rivers, though. I haven't given India that much thought yet. If I could get my hands on some good Munda material, then I would want at least Northeastern India to be Munda-speaking. I've looked though, and I wasn't able to turn up much. This talk of dromedaries and ostriches though - are we talking domestic ostriches? That would be something. I haven't given a whole lot of thought to alternate domesticates besides the fox, which I would like to be domesticated in Europe as a replacement for cats. I've seen it discussed on this forum before, and I actually know a fox breeder, and have had the opportunity to interact with domestic foxes. Unfortunately I live in a place where they're illegal :(

    Right, now what's interesting here, is when you start peeling through the genetics of the Jewish community. Apparently Jews, specifically Ashkenazi Jews, have remained largely genetically distinct from the peoples that surround them, despite many of them not looking entirely that different from them (and I'm thinking from Europeans here). It's possible that the more European features that many Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews exhibit are the result either of limited genetic admixture between Jews and Europeans having introduced these traits and then their being selected over time, or these traits lying dormant within the Jewish community until such a time that they were selected for, either to blend in with the surrounding population or simply because Jewish people found them to be desirable. So, the large scale admixture of Europeans with peoples in the Middle East could still result in significantly lighter phenotypes from Afghanistan to the Levant, although I think people will definitely stay dark along the Persian Gulf and in Arabia. I had also read that the northernmost Europeans looked about the way they do now, and of course everyone is going to be darker cuz they spend more time outside (there is an Amish market not far away from me ;) ). I had not read about Central and Southeastern Europe looking more Middle Eastern though. Do you have any references for that? Cuz that sounds interesting.

    So, "Anatolian" languages will be called "Balkan" languages for now (the Balkan Peninsula is awaiting a new name), and it will definitely be divided into Southern and Western groups. The Southern Balkan group will look more stereotypically Indo-European, and may at times remind readers of Greek here and there because I won't be using the same extremely strange orthography that has been used for Hittite and Luwian, and most of the Hattic and Hurrian vocabulary will be entirely absent. The Western group will be characterized by widespread syncope of unaccented vowels and then simplification of the resulting consonant clusters, and different substrata that have more and more influence on the language as one goes west until you get to Italy, where I think a mixed language will develop and become the lingua franca of the Po River Valley in the 2nd millennium BCE. I have a good amount of material on hand on Proto-Anatolian, including an etymological dictionary of Hittite, so I think I'm comfortable here. I'm happy with my idea of an analytical, tonal Indo-European language, but I'm not entirely sure how I want to make that work yet, nor what I want to replace it with on the Pannonian Basin, if anything. But... what if a Yeniseian language makes it all the way over there? That would be utterly mad, and fun. I want to clarify though that I wasn't thinking about turning Europe into a technological backwater here, so I'm interested in what you're getting at. Is that what you're thinking, that without the migration of Indo-Europeans, Europe never quite "takes off" the way it did IOTL? Or are you just saying that the Indo-Europeans did a number on the environment through their slash-and-burn agricultural methods, and thus by preventing their migration into the region we could see less environmental degradation? Cuz if we can have less environmental degradation, but still complex urban civilizations, I think that would be fun. I definitely wanted to keep lions around in Europe for some time, and I had also thought about the idea of introducing elephants to Sicily and Iberia. I know that IOTL there was a population of elephants on Sicily during the Roman period that had been introduced by the Carthaginians, but whether or not it was stable or substantial isn't something I've been able to turn up. Probably not, when I think about it. The population was probably composed entirely of male elephants, but if someone gets it in their mind to actually breed their own elephants for warfare in Iberia on Sicily, I think that would be pretty cool. Elephants stopped being used in warfare in the Mediterranean in Antiquity, but remained relevant in the Middle East and India until the Early Modern Era, if I'm not mistaken.

    Like I said, I really like the sound of Turkic languages, but the Turks already migrated westward IOTL, and I also DON'T like the sound of Korean (no offense to Korean people), and so I kind of wanted to Turkify Korea really badly. Moving Mongols, Yeniseians, or Tungusic peoples westward would be more fun in my mind, and I like the sound of Mongolic languages as well, so that could work out. I've also read that the Rouran seem to have spoken a language that has escaped widespread documentation that was probably unrelated to the other "Altaic" languages. I know that Northern China though is definitely going to be affected to a great degree by the more intense Indo-Europeanization of the Tarim Basin, Qinghai, and the Hexi Corridor. I've also never really understood why people on this forum say that China's geography predisposes it to greater unity, and I know that that's right out of the mouth of Jared Diamond, and I think a lot of people not only on this forum but in academia in general have taken his theory, way, way too seriously. What China lacks in waterways dividing it, it makes up for in the incredibly rugged nature of its land and its varied biomes. Much of the entire place isn't even inhabitable for agriculturalists, as the land isn't arable, and there are large tracts of arable land that are relatively isolated from others. Even where the mountains are lower in China, the country is still really, really rugged. I recommend that you go over to Google Maps and turn on the terrain feature and then zoom in on the Ordos Loop for example, Sichuan also comes to mind. Sichuan literally looks like god took a cookie cutter to a section of the mountains, and it's surrounded on all sides by high mountains. In a sense, it's like Tolkien's Gondolin on steroids. So, I don't see any real reason why China has to end up relatively united as it did IOTL, and I think the fact that it is a testament to the success of Chinese culture, really. China is also very linguistically divided even today, but the logographic writing system helps to facilitate communication across languages that are otherwise entirely unintelligible. What gets called "Mandarin" in the West isn't a single language, but a collection of languages more closely related to each other than they are to the other branches of Sinitic (Wu, Gan, Xiang, Min, Hakka, etc.). So, if China were to be introduced to alphabetical or even syllabic writing at an earlier date, the unity of Han Chinese culture could be seriously upset, because the writing in the West I would argue is one of the things that has kept Europeans apart (the Latin alphabet literally describes sounds, and without knowing what the sounds mean, you can't understand the text, and this isn't the case in Chinese). Now, how the Indo-Europeanization of these areas would affect China is another matter, but I'm fairly sure that "Chinese" will not look the same at all ITTL, and I want to foster a more free-thinking, individualist culture here, and the languages to end up sounding more like Rgyalrong and for the end result to be an agglutinating family of languages by the Early Modern Era (kind of like the process Northwest Caucasian seems to have gone through).

    The Yue I haven't given a second thought, honestly. I've read about them before, and my understanding was that the most current understanding is that Southern China was pretty linguistically diverse in the past, and that a combination of Austroasiatic and Tai-Kadai languages were spoken inland, with Austronesian languages spoken on the coast. I think it would be pretty cool personally to have an Austronesian-speaking kingdom in South China. I know that @Practical Lobster had Tai-speaking kingdoms there, but I'm not sure if he was ever able to dig up much in terms of reconstructions of the Tai-Kadai sub-branches to help him in that department. I find Austronesian to be a lot of fun to play with though :)

    I want to get people interacting with the Americas earlier, and if we go the route of Canarian trade with Central America, then the Caribs, who didn't begin their migration into the Caribbean until the Late Medieval Period, are probably butterflied away. The Canarians would set up a commercial relationship with the warring Mayan city-states, possibly trading African and European slaves for gold and setting up shop on Cuba or Hispaniola, until they themselves are conquered and interaction with the New World shuts down for a period of time. The Canarians might also set up trading posts along the Western Gulf Coast of Mexico before they are cut off from their home country, and the introduction of new technologies (advanced metallurgy and animal husbandry) could completely alter the linguistic makeup of at least part of North America from there. An expansion of horse-riding, sword-wielding Uto-Aztecans from Coahuila onto the American Great Plains is an idea I've played with, and this may be workable with religiously motivated East Asian settlement of the Pacific Northwest, which would also change migration patterns considerably. But, all of that would be coming after extinction of certain megafauna from the Americas. Oh well :(

    Yes, but how to get the effects of the POD to extend that far that early is the question. Playing with the development of Eurasia is easy, but how do we get the effects to be felt out in Polynesia?
  4. Bassarion Korax Well-Known Member

    May 16, 2018
    Are you back from holiday yet, my friend?
  5. Salvador79 Well-Known Member

    Mar 18, 2015
    Hi, yes, but the earliest I can write is Monday. I'll promise to focus on Europe, the Middle East and South Asia mostly. And I'll split my "inspirations" or wishlists up into two Segments: one concerning early consequences following from your PoD (before 2500 BCE), the other one as possible (or I think at least cool) consequences of that. That is always a bit of a problem because B is only interesting if A is, too. I'll trx to Balance that with answering to some of the topics already mentioned by you, although I'm afraid that's going to be mostly affirmative.
  6. Salvador79 Well-Known Member

    Mar 18, 2015
    OK, so here are my two cent:
    I still love this whole idea, and I'm at the edge of the seat with anticipation. Just as an overall comment.
    As promised, here are my musings on more direct consequences of Indo-European migrations being diverted mostly into the Middle East after 3500 BCE:
    In Europe, this is after the first waves of horse-rearing people from the steppe causing or contributing to the collapse of Danubian civilization and the first movements of non-"old European" people up the Danube and far West into Europe. This first wave has created a checkerboard of cultures, presumably a culturally highly diverse environment, where very different groups live side by side and interact in many different ways. If we go with your theory of Uralic Corded Ware guys, then this stays the same. I still think Corded Ware people spoke Indo-European varieties. If that is true, then they'd be butterflied by your OP definition, and in the absence of the Corded Ware intrusion and homogeneisation, Europe might stay a lot more diverse. If it goes into another unifying direction, then I'd love to read something about alt-megalithic cultures. I know they were diverse, but clearly there's also a bundle of often recurring traits, and I'd love to see what you make of that. SOme of the megalith guys are evidently speaking languages related to Basque, but others aren't (just touching on the idea of the Basque empire).
    Also, what is your opinion on the proliferation of the wheel into Europe? It's most likely after 3500 BCE IOTL, so the way it happened IOTL may not happen ITTL. Would the wheel arrive later in your Europe - along with all the changes it brought, from smaller settlements to easier "centralisation" (well, relative for the time), which might possibly have felt like a veritable "atomisation of society" to the folk at the time -, and if so, how much later? (OTOH, if you stay with the Corded Ware guys, then they're probably bringing it on time.)
    As for the Middle East: Mesopotamia is full of people and can easily absorb newcomers, which doesn't mean it won't bring the boiling pot to overflow or erupt into chaos, imperialism or whatever, just that linguistic or religious Indo-Europeanisation of Mesopotamia is not a given even if immigration is massive. At this point in time, Mesopotamia is looking so attractive that it will assimilate outsiders extremely fast. A different beast is the land we call Iran. Around the PoD, it hosted sophisticated civilizations of its own, which are in an ecologically much feebler environment, though - so here, you can do anything, from an early Indo-Europeanised conquering empire to total collapse of Mesopotamian-Indus contacts, or all of the above.
    As for India: Which theory about the pre-Indo-Aryan linguistic makeup of the subcontinent do you adhere to? I've noticed interest in Munda here, but personally I believe that for Munda and other lingustic groups not to be replaced like OTL with some sort of Dravidian language (or whatever the Indus Valley guys spoke) before alt-Indo-Aryans arrive, you need the alt-Indo-Aryans to arrive fast.
    As for China: While I personally love the idea of the Yangze-based civilizations doing better than IOTL, I believe your PoD is almost inevitably strengthening the Yellow River even more than IOTL because it's going to be here that new impulses (and threats) are going to arrive first.

    I'll limit myself to that.

    One more observations on what you have proposed or discussed so far:
    - Gutians, Kassites etc., whoever they were, were already streaming in like the Semites, too. Mesopotamia was a magnet attracting people from all directions. Driving yet more people from the Iranian highlands into Mesopotamia is possible, but it soon hits upper limits because of the low carrying capacity of the dry Iranian highlands (prior to qanat-digging).

    I generally love the idea. Thing is, a Gutian "win" around 2350 BCE would likely be a Sargon-like episode, i.e. one linked to socio-economic structures and collapses in an otherwise still functioning environment, while any major change at around 2000 BCE and then another one at around 1920 BCE are all plausible, but what is missing here is the middle of the 22nd century as a threshold date, which is when the consequences of the 4.2 kiloyear event hit Mesopotamia hardest and caused widespread starvation.
  7. Salvador79 Well-Known Member

    Mar 18, 2015
    Also, a Sumerian congress possibly has OTL antecedents (a real core to the mythical Anunna)....!
  8. Bassarion Korax Well-Known Member

    May 16, 2018
    So, I’m replying from my phone, so the replies for now will be less clean. Anyways...

    To my knowledge the wheel had already been in Europe for some time, but given that and the contemporary spread of the Corded Ware peoples, Europe is already on a unifying trend of sorts. Still, because of the lack of prevalence of agriculture and the more limited use of horses, Europe outside of the Mediterranean is set to stay fairly isolated for much of the Bronze Age, I think. This could very well have the opposite effect in terms of the diversity of the continent, though. Keep in mind that the many branches of Indo-European started breaking up in the Bronze Age, and in the scenario ITTL, it could be that a culture develops somewhere in Western or Central Europe (likely Uralic-speaking or speakers of a mixed language) that expand across Europe rapidly at the end of the Bronze Age, more recently than the Bell Beakers did IOTL, making for a younger diversification. Anyways, I’m not much worried about the diversity of Europe though, cuz it’s already a very diverse place, despite being primarily Indo-European.

    Now, in terms of India, I was kind of thinking about funneling the Elamites and affiliated peoples over there. I am confused however about why everyone keeps commenting about Indo-Europeans being “absorbed” into Middle Eastern populations. The Middle East has gone through serious revamps of its ethnic makeup several times in recorded history, the first one that comes to mind is the Semiticization of Mesopotamia, the Iranianization of the Iranian Plateau, the Aramaean Invasion of Mesopotamia, which saw Aramaic being the primary language from Bahrain to Palestine by its completion, the Arabization of Mesopotamia and the Levant, and the Turkification of Central Asia and Anatolia.

    What is this kilo year event you speak of, though?
  9. Salvador79 Well-Known Member

    Mar 18, 2015
    @Bassarion Korax regarding Mesopotamian cultural changes: except for Akkadianisation, all these were late, at times when the lands surrounding Mesopotamia bore higher Levels of population, too, and when Mesopotamia's technological and cultural edge was lost. Akkadianisation was only partial, more of a Fusion really, and Semitic influx was really high.

    The 4.2kiloyear event was probably a long period of reduced solar activity at around 2200 BCE, resulting in global cooling, bad droughts in many places, catastrophic floods in China etc. It may have played an important part in the collapse of Egypt's Middle Kingdom, of the Akkadian Empire, in upheavals in the levante, collapse along the Yangze and a lot more. I've written more on it in my Holy Mountain TL.
    Orisha91 likes this.
  10. tus3 Well-Known Member

    Jun 6, 2016
    Belgium (AKA the Burgundian government in exile)
    Mmmh, just a random idea (no idea whether it's plausible); what about a Caucasus based maritime culture to emerge and plant colonies around the Black Sea, then use the Danube and Dnieper to travel inland where they switch over to the Vistula and Daugava, so you end up with Kartvelians in the Baltic.
    Maybe they later could pull a viking and start raiding Scandinavia.
  11. Bassarion Korax Well-Known Member

    May 16, 2018
    This is a very interesting idea. I had thought that some displaced Proto-Circassian-speakers from the Maykop Culture would settle in Crimea. But I hadn’t thought of what to do with them after that. It could be very interesting to have them sail up the Dnieper, but probably at a later date.
  12. tus3 Well-Known Member

    Jun 6, 2016
    Belgium (AKA the Burgundian government in exile)
    Excuses for being late with my idea for a culture with a parallel inheritance system (where normally only daughters inherit from their mothers and only sons from their fathers), but I failed to connect with this Sunday, and it kept up becoming a lot larger then expected. (Though the latter might be a good thing, as ancient history isn't really my thing so probably atleast one thing will not be implausible/anachronistic.)

    It basically ended up becoming a Mediterranean civilization founded after some local culture took over the institutions etc, from foreign city states springing up close. At first they were only known for their large amount of ruling queens (as it happened nearly just as much that a king's daughter ended up inheriting his realm when he had no sons then the other way around, and then well her daughters would receive priority in inheritance). Relatively soon several groups of cities (more like towns back then) ended up semi-united thanks to a series of dynastic marriages and political between their aristocracies. Those 'centres' then cooperated with other centres to vassalize the surrounding territories, who then ended up in a situation where they paid tribute to and received protection from two or three overlords. (Very slightly comparable to what I heard from the Southeast-Asian mandala system.)

    Warfare between the centres tends to rare thanks to a combination of; fear it might lead to their tributaries abandoning them for their other overlords, fear of being cut off from holy places in the other's territory and again dynastic marriages. They would instead cooperate by launching slave raids on neighbouring peoples or by Mediterranean piracy. This later grew into a system of organized expansion were in order to conquer new lands for their non-inheriting second sons and daughters, the aristocracies of sometimes even the entire culture combined the surplus children of the landholding classes into one big army to invade new lands and subjugate the local population. The new lands quickly centralized, by a combination of intrigue, diplomacy, violence and loads of marriage, into one or more centres, indebted to the rest of the civilization.
    Also some storytellers of neighbouring civilizations didn't really care about that when these expansions also included surplus daughters of the landholding classes, they nearly always ended up as camp followers or skirmishers instead of fighting at the front, as they really wanted legends of Amazonian warriors. The same storytellers also ignored that it was just as rare for these invading women to force some men of the subjugated to marry them, as a way to make sure they end up wearing the trousers.

    Foreign historians didn't really understand this decentralized system and described it as some sort of 'federal aristocratic republic' or sometimes even as 'two different monarchies whose rulers just happened to be married and share their vassals'.

    The civilization's rulers also had a tendency to take on a 'familiar mask' when dealing with other cultures, this also included referring to themselves with a name taken from whomever they are negotiating with in foreign communications. Leading to the strange situation that of some of their most powerful and well-known leaders, not even the name they were referred to by their own people was known. This habit combined with most of their administration being written in the language of whatever people they copied their bureaucracy from and their priests disdain for writing down their knowledge, leads to precious few being known about their language.

    The culture would find its end when it ended up expanding to much for its political system of aristocratic city-states loosely united by marriages and shared overlordship, also combined with it's religious unity being lost by several of its centres taking over foreign religions (and thus no longer caring for the holy sites located in other centres). They first suffered from a series of damaging internal wars, after being weakened by this their outer territories were lost to migrating peoples and their coast was taken over by foreign states using a divide and rule strategy. Though some holdouts managed to survive for another few centuries in its core and some easily defended regions.

    Feel free to ignore all of this, or only pick some things out of it, if you think it wouldn't fit.
    Salvador79 likes this.
  13. Bassarion Korax Well-Known Member

    May 16, 2018
    So, I like some of this idea, but other parts I'm a little squeamish about. For one, there is no way, no how, that an army with an overwhelmingly female element is going to be evenly matched on an ancient battlefield with a regular male army. Sexual dimorphism in our species, though reduced compared to some of our ancestors, is still present, and relevant here. Furthermore, especially before the days of birth control and in a time of relatively high infant mortality (baby gets the flu, a cold, a virus, food poisoning, wolves sneak into the tent, etc.), women are highly valuable as vectors of reproduction. I know that feminists don't like to hear that, but the way I normally explain this is by thinking of a tiny hunter-gatherer band, and proposing that in one scenario it lost the majority of its men, and in the other the majority of its women, and then asking how quickly the person I'm conversing with thinks that the band can bounce back in terms of its numbers if most of the women die? There's a reason female warriors were relatively rare historically, and that's because women are highly, highly value to the population integrity of your group. Even if she is a capable warrior, you don't just lose her when she dies, you lose all of the children she could have born or all of the children she could have cared for (assuming she's post-menopausal). The front lines of a battlefield are just... in general... a bad place to be placing women. Today things are kind of different, but the population integrity aspect hasn't changed at all, just more women's role in a society where it is much easier to engage in sex without falling pregnant.

    Now, that said, I hadn't considered a mandala-like system for the development of the Mediterranean, and it is very interesting. However, there are certain factors that make it a little less likely to develop there as opposed to Southeast Asia, namely that the Mediterranean is right next to the Fertile Crescent, the birthplace of West Eurasian agriculture and also home to her foundational domesticates, and coupled with being right next to the birthplace of Eurasian metallurgy (the Caucasus, probably, or somewhere around there), I think it was, from the start of the development of complex civilization in the area, destined to be the center of a relatively high level of social development that would lead to greater communication infrastructure (roads, naval technology, etc.) then what was seen in Southeast Asia in the past. Does that make sense? The highly decentralized system of the mandala seems to me (and I am happy to be wrong) to be a sort of power structure that develops in the absence of infrastructure that allows city states like Rome or Athens to move large armies across large expanses with relative ease. Perhaps something like the mandala could develop in OTL Greece in the Bronze Age as the "Anatolians" make their way there, and it might last awhile indeed, but with development of infrastructure I think is going to come increased centralization of power, although... maybe I'm wrong.

    I'm intrigued by this secrecy of language, though. The only place I have read about keeping your language secret on this scale is in The Lord of the Rings with Khuzdûl. Do we have a real world example of this having happened? I think this could be very interesting to pursue.

    I don't want to entirely shoot your idea down though (if you feel like I'm missing something, feel free to explain in more depth or point out what I'm missing), and I have indeed given consideration to matrilineal/matriarchal societies being more successful for the purposes of the timeline. One idea I had I was thinking I wanted to apply to the Guti, since we know next to nothing about them (there are some very vague genetic indications that they might have been Indo-European, or included an Indo-European component, but we will be scrapping these for the purposes of the timeline), was to give them a system in which clan chiefs are appointed by what are called "clan mothers", who are popularly elected from within the ranks of the tribe who pass spiritual tests given by tribal shamans. Women would have to be of a certain age (middle-aged to elderly), and a certain level of moral/spiritual purity, say, not having ever violated any culture-specific taboos to anyone's knowledge. So, the shaman and later the priestly class give a pool of women from which the people can elect a clan mother, and the elected clan mother usually appoints her son or some other close male relative to the office of chief. As the Gutian population expands within a unified Sumerian state, a council of clan mothers is formed that appoints a king from among the respective chiefs of the different clans.

    What could either coexist with this system or be a part of a separate system (in Europe, perhaps) is a matrilineal, avunculocal culture in which men are not responsible for the children they sire with their romantic partners, but rather the children sired by their sisters or closest female relatives (barring their mothers, obviously). This would result in a system in which the sexuality of men, rather than that of women, is very strictly controlled, as a family's suitors are their best asset, forging bonds with other families by functioning as "breeding stallions", in a sense (hell, maybe that analogy could even be drawn inside the culture itself). I don't see this model as a tenable long term, because it a) creates a very high potential for sexual polygamy, thus marginalizing less desirable men from the sexual market and b) because multiple males to one female isn't as efficient a long term breeding strategy as multiple females to one male, but... it certainly has some potential to last a little while.

    On another note though, I have recently become very interested in the development of cupro-manganese alloys as an alternative to bronze, which fits nicely with your idea of Proto-Circassian Maykopians on the Dnieper, as it would seem that manganese deposits are particularly abundant there, and it already fits with my development of a subset of the Maykopians re-founding their civilization in Crimea. There also seem to be significant deposits in Kazakhstan, which could be an initial motivation for a large-scale, pre-Abashevo migration of Indo-Europeans into the region, perhaps displacing some of the pre-Proto-Tocharian-speaking Afanasievans and putting them on a migration further south.
    Max Sinister, tus3 and Salvador79 like this.
  14. Salvador79 Well-Known Member

    Mar 18, 2015
    Just a short comment on female warriors: throughout history, times of restricted elite warrior warfare and times of mass warfare have alternated in different regions. What you say about females on the battlefield and reproduction rates makes sense in times of mass warfare (Greco-Roman antiquity comes to mind, much of China's history, or industrial warfare of the first half of the 20th century). In times of restricted elite warfare (the golden age of the European knights, much of Japan's history, and a lot of Bronze Age states would fit in that category, too, I think), the reproduction damage caused by female warriors fallen on the battlefield is neglectable. Massive population dents are caused, in those ages, too, by warfare which targets the civilian population (a differentiation which your hunter-gatherer analogy cannot encompass, of course), and then it didn't matter if your harvest and houses were burned by male or female soldiers.
  15. phx1138 Bocagiste troll

    Jun 20, 2009
    Charlie Townsend's guest house
    Two things cross my mind: who are they displacing (if anybody), & who gets an opportunity to move in where they migrated to OTL? That has implications for OTL linguistic & cultural developments... Clearly, some cultural groups may never arise at all, & some may expand, when they shrank, or even vanished, OTL
  16. tus3 Well-Known Member

    Jun 6, 2016
    Belgium (AKA the Burgundian government in exile)
    Well, actually I meant to say their armies included only a small female element, my fault I should have made that more clear (and then thinking I originally literally mentioned that if such an invasion included women they were most likely to end up as glorified camp followers, only to remove it to save space).
    Well, actually my idea wasn't that they tried to keep their own language secret, but merely assumed that only using the other's language in diplomacy would give them an advantage because it would make them appear less foreign. Though a whole civilization trying to keep its own tongue secret is such a combination of crazy and 'out of the box thinking', that I'd like to see anyone try, even if it ends up failing.

    Looks interesting and is probably more plausible and original then what I came up with.

    On your maybe separate system:
    Maybe that could be solved by allowing the 'less desirable men' to raid neighbours for women or get rich and buy slave concubines? Though then it might not stay matrilineal for long, thus collapsing the system.

    Ah, interesting, I don't think I have even heard of a such a thing being used in a timeline.
  17. Bassarion Korax Well-Known Member

    May 16, 2018
    I’m replying on my phone here, so forgive the irregular format. Anyways, these are all good ideas for further consideration. The language thing reminds me a lot about Jewish folks and also the way the Irish Traveler People use Shelta.

    Now, another thing I was interested in discussing was alternate and potentially less destructive methods of agriculture that might develop in the Middle East. My next update is going to be on Ancient Sumer, and we won’t be changing much there agriculturally speaking for a little while, but long term I would like to make some changes. I have already mentioned that the Indo-Europeans in Sírkana (Azerbaijan) are practicing terracing as they learned it from the Maykop Culture, and building artificial mounds in flatter areas for this very purpose. They’re doing this a) because this is how they learned to farm, b) because they’ve noticed that it decreases the amount of erosion in comparison to the crops of the Kura-Araxes farmers, whose fields eroded pretty quickly, and c) because it works with their hill forts both artificial and natural, as their settlement in the region was characterized by a long term conflict with the natives. I’m interested in whatever out-of-the-box ideas you guys might have as far as methodology and potentially even alternate crops are concerned... maybe even new domesticates, and that includes animals. I really like the idea of domesticating foxes, even if it’s abandoned later because cats are found to be better verminators.
  18. AltFuture Incurable Germanophile

    Aug 17, 2016
    @Bassarion Korax
    Maybe I'm late, but I'll really appreciate Mongols, Uralians or Tungusians moving to the Pontic Steppe. Would be interesting.
  19. Bassarion Korax Well-Known Member

    May 16, 2018
    This is a brainstorming thread, and this timeline is ongoing, so you’re never too late ;)
    AltFuture likes this.
  20. Max Sinister Retired Myriad Club Member Banned

    Jan 15, 2004
    The Chaos TL
    Well, this is how the modern printing press came to be.