Upon the Waters: The History of Borealamerica and Beyond

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Alexander Helios, Sep 29, 2019.

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What Should I Cover First?

Poll closed Oct 6, 2019.
  1. The Domestication of Wild Rice

    27 vote(s)
    48.2%
  2. The Proto-Algonquian Migration East

    29 vote(s)
    51.8%
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  1. Threadmarks: Author's Note: A Brief Explanation

    Alexander Helios Pre-Columbian Satan

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2017
    Location:
    America's Penis
    Upon the Waters:
    The History of Borealamerica and Beyond

    Written by Alexander Helios

    [​IMG]
    [1]

    Author's Note: A Brief Explanation
    Welcome everyone!

    Now I know what you must be thinking: another timeline about advanced natives? Wow, very original.

    But before you click out of this thread, bear with me.

    This idea has greatly changed over time inside my mind, and I can't quite tell you exactly how it evolved into this concept, but the first seed that eventually sprouted this timeline essentially amounted to this: "what if there were Mayan style pyramids in upstate New York?"

    Since then, the premise has changed greatly as I've learned much more (one could even say I've fallen too deep into the rabbit hole) about pre-Columbian history, leading up to this point.

    This timeline will explore the ramifications of a brand new agricultural package developing in the Great Lakes, starting with the domestication of wild rice. From there, we'll explore everything from cuisine to warfare, architecture to governments, trade to metallurgy, but most importantly, the people.

    We will use subjects like anthropology, linguistics, history, mythology, and much more in the process of examining how society in the Americas develops in this timeline. If that sounds boring to you, don't fret! I'll include some narrative pieces, as well as in universe articles. In addition, I plan to dive into more philosophical questions from time to time, like "what really makes a culture advanced?" and "what are the causes for the fall of civilizations?" as well.

    I understand this isn't a very commonly well known period of history, so I'll make sure to leave footnotes where I explain the OTL context and background for the events happening.

    It's a bit ambitious, but I'm really excited to work on this project, as it's my first actual timeline (no, that cringey Aaron Burr timeline I abandoned two years ago doesn't count). If nothing at all, I hope that this thread provides a good starting off point for further timelines about pre-Columbian America.

    I'd like to thank everyone who contributed to the planning thread, as it has made planning this timeline much more enjoyable than it would have been otherwise. I'm still open to suggestions, so if you have any ideas feel free to post them here or there and I'll see what I can do.

    In addition, I want to thank the "civilization builders" on this board, whose countless posts and threads have set a great precedent, as they have shown it's possible to write a timeline on such a grand scale. I hope I can follow in those footsteps.

    And last, but in no way least, I'd like to thank the Native Americans themselves. Their resilience, even when facing the worst circumstances is truly inspiring, and I hope that I can honor them and their culture in the best way possible.

    So with that in mind, and updates soon to follow, let's get started!

    [1] Image source: Ohio History Connection, Education Collection, Education; E 508. The painting represents an Adena society in Hocking Valley, Ohio, but for the context of TTL, I'd say that it could be an excellent representation of a small-scale ceremonial center along the Wabash River during the Middle Formative Period [1800 BCE to 1310 BCE]. And if you have no idea as to what that means, don't worry, since I'll cover all of this in the next several updates.

     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2019
  2. jocay Ambiguously Brown

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    New York
    Well you have my attention.
     
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  3. marcduarte Member

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    Jun 17, 2019
    You got my attention
     
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  4. Alexander Helios Pre-Columbian Satan

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2017
    Location:
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    I'm glad you're intrigued. Hope you enjoy the timeline!
     
  5. LunazimHawk Your Friendly Neighborhood Bengal Sultan

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2018
    Can’t wait for the first release. It’s been a while since we had a new Native American TL.
     
  6. Stretch The One Who Has Seen Too Much

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    Perth, Western Australia
    Yay! It's finally starting! Good luck mate!
     
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  7. WiLMS7111992 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2019
    Once upon a time, in the waters of the great lakes, once upon the waters, I see what you did there, your title references the rise of a great lakes civilization, very clever ;), already off to a great start!

    I'm excitingly looking forward to this timeline, I can't wait to see the maps and articles we get to see, and the countries and cultures you've come up with.
     
  8. Alexander Helios Pre-Columbian Satan

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    Thank you, I'll definitely need it.

    Ah, so you've noticed. It's also loosely inspired by a line from an Ojibwe story about the origin of wild rice, some variation of "lying upon the waters", though I tweaked it a bit to be a bit more broad.

    Thank you! Hopefully you'll enjoy my timeline.

    On the topic of maps, I'm not very good at making them, so if anyone is interested in becoming this TL's official mapmaker, feel free to PM me. I don't need anything right away, but just putting it out there in advance.
     
  9. SwampTiger Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2016
    One request, please enlarge the font. My eyes were never very good. Time has not helped them. Looking forward to your story!
     
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  10. Eparkhos_Ton_Trapezous Dux Theodoros ton Khaldeia

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    Trapezous, Duxate ton Khaldeia
    The Helios-Man cometh....
     
  11. Alexander Helios Pre-Columbian Satan

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    Sure thing! I originally had it at size 4, but for some reason it looks bigger to me than the default font. Probably not a big deal. I've changed it back though, so you should be able to see it better.

    Broadway pun, right? :p

    By the way, good to see you here, hope you like my TL!
     
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  12. Eparkhos_Ton_Trapezous Dux Theodoros ton Khaldeia

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    Et Tu, Alexandrus.
     
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  13. IncongruousGoat Armchair Rocket Scientist

    Joined:
    May 27, 2018
    Location:
    Seattle
    A timeline that acknowledges the existence of upstate NY? I'm sold already. Very interested to see where you go with this.
     
  14. Xenophonte Quod natura non dat, Salmantica non præstat.

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    Interesting, I'll be looking forward with interest.
     
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  15. King of the Uzbeks Charles Curtis is my Baby Daddy

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    This should be good
     
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  16. SenatorErnesto Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2017
    It's here!! And as another Up-stater very happy to see the area get some love, however always had a soft spot for the Iroquois/Haudenosaunee. Looking forward to the first installment.
     
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  17. UpontheHill Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2018
    Do you happen to have a bibliography, or at least a reading list, of what material you've read through while researching this?

    The ancient Woodlands cultures are *fascinating* but I don't have virtually anything to read about them.

    Very, very interested in this!
     
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  18. Alexander Helios Pre-Columbian Satan

    Joined:
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    America's Penis
    Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your puns.

    When I was little, I was convinced that upstate New York didn't exist and was some sort of inside joke my family was playing on me. To this day, I'm still a bit skeptical it's an actual place. :p

    In all seriousness, I find it ironic that an often neglected place in OTL could be considered a "cradle of civilization" in another timeline. Same goes for the rest of the Great Lakes region.

    Hope you like it!

    Thanks! I've seen a lot of your posts in threads about Native Americans, so I'm looking forward to hear what you think of it.

    As for the Northern Iroquoians, they'll have an interesting fate for lack of a better word, depending on your perspective.

    No one has dare tread into the Lovecraftian abyss some call my PDF folder, and come back sane to tell the story, coming back out to find that they can only communicate in scholarly dissertations, incoherent screams, and reconstructed Native American proto-languages, all while being slowly consumed by pre-Columbian academic Satan himself...

    All jokes aside, that's a very broad subject, so do you want to know about anything in specific? In my experience it's best to start small, slowly working your way up to a good overall understanding. Though personally I haven't gotten my hands on them, but if you can find any of the volumes of "The Handbook of North American Indians" (Volume 15 is the one about the Northeast if I'm not mistaken) I'd highly recommend you read it, as the books provides a detailed outline of just about everything.
     
  19. Unknown Member

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    Location:
    Corpus Christi, TX
    When does it start?
     
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  20. SenatorErnesto Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2017
    @Alexander Helios I too have a soft spot for Pre-Columbian cultures and peoples, dreamed of doing a timeline but later post discovery is where I like the most.

    Took a couple of Mesoamerican classes in college though, and just enjoy reading on the subject in general whenever I can get.

    The planning thread is filled with great stuff so can’t wait for a post.

    And a final plug for Upstate, you might have heard of the Great Lakes, but the Finger Lakes are where it’s at.
     
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