Jared's second longest timeline. Focuses on creatively trying to answer one of the biggest riddles in known human history : Why did pre-European Australians never develop agriculture - and with it, a more complex civilization - like the natives of all other continents?
Inspired many agricultural timelines named “Land[s] of X and Y”.
The timeline features a heavily alternate Australia, where, unlike in OTL, native agriculture is born and flourishes. This is all thanks to an accidental (but plausible) mutation of an edible Australian tuber plant (consumed by Aborigines already in OTL), creating a new plant species that becomes the first “founder crop” of Australia. It stimulates the gradual rise of agriculture and the domestication of other plant and animal species, eventually leading to a completely new local civilization. And after the native Australian civilizations achieve contact with other human cultures during the early modern era, the world will never be the same again…
The background was introduced in two preview threads, For Want of Yam and Walking Through Dreams (the latter being an older working title, before Lands of Red and Gold was chosen as the definitive one).
Since then, the scenario has been published in a regular timeline format - first in this thread, containing the Prologue and Act I, and then continued in this thread (opened recently), which contains Act II.
You can also download a regularly updated version of the TL in text format from Jared's website (see the Lands of Red and Gold subsection). A chapter guide is available below. The TL also has a TvTropes page. An artwork showcase thread is here.
Due to the increasing lenghth of the timeline, we've created a separate page to list all of its chapters and other related updates concerning the timeline's narrative.
Besides various images and data appearing in the main chapters, here's some additional interesting stuff provided by members of the board. Be warned, these are all potentially spoiler-ish overviews.
Domesticated Crops and Animals - The keys to this unusual story about an alternate Australia.
Maps - Maps of the alternate political geography of this timeline. Includes a nice glossary of place names.
Nations - Nations, ethnicities, countries and states appearing in this timeline.
Religions - The alternate religious faiths of this timeline, mostly native Australian in origin.
Dramatis Personae - Historical characters of the timeline, both real and fictional.
Glossary - Alternate terminology and vocabulary seen in this timeline.
Artworks and illustrations - Visual media other than maps that offer glimpses into the intriguing world of this timeline.
Over the years, the timeline has won several Turtledove Awards, in the following categories: