[Obsolete] Earth's History in the ChoM uni/multiverse

Moderator: Somes J

Post Reply
User avatar
Somes J
Posts: 377
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 4:04 am
Location: Berkeley, California

[Obsolete] Earth's History in the ChoM uni/multiverse

Post by Somes J » Sun Feb 22, 2009 6:13 am

Edit: this timeline has been revised. For revision, see [Revised] thread.

To understand Children of Man, we should also understand the world of the Masters. Here is its history. It's the result of my attempt to create an Atlantis-style prehistoric civilization without totally raping historical plausibility, which I've since merged with ChoM-verse.

-----------

THE AGE OF EMERGENCE

2 MYA – Homo Erectus evolves.

1 MYA – Homo Heidelberginis/Antecessor evolves, begins to move out of Africa. The European branch will eventually become Neanderthals, while the African branch will become Homo Sapiens. A small population will also eventually penetrate East Asia and evolve into a third species, Homo Asiaticus, lost to the fossil record until the twenty-first century. This last species will eventually become the Masters.

400-200 KYA: Neanderthalis/Asiaticus/Sapiens divergence.

130-105 KYA: Eemian Interglacial. Last period of sustained warm, wet conditions on Earth before the Age of Man.

105-75 KYA: Fluctuating Climate Scheme. Fluctuating climate generally cooler and drier than present. Homo Sapiens begins moving out of Africa.

75-58 KYA: First Glacial Maximum of the Wurm. Sustained dry, cold conditions on Earth.

58-22 KYA: Fluctuating Climate Scheme. Fluctuating climate generally cooler and drier than present.


THE AGE OF THE MASTERS

39 KYA: Mild interglacial phase, civilization of Homo Asiaticus begins to arise in the area that is now off the coast of China.

37 KYA: Masters’ (Homo Asiaticus) civilization begins to develop technology. Industrialization in the East/South China Sea region.

37-36 KYA: The Golden Age of the Masters. Master technological civilization thrives, though it is rather insular and never colonizes much beyond the coast of China. The Masters enslave other hominids and modify them using genetic engineering, creating a rather brutal caste society.

36 KYA: Masters discover the Gateway beneath the Sahara Desert. It is a device, built by unknown hands, that allows travel between universes.

36 KYA: Masters’ civilization is destroyed in a massive war. Most of the Homo Asiaticus species is wiped out, along with most of their slaves. A small faction of them use the Gateway to flee to a parallel universe Earth. Unfortunately for them, the handful of slaves they take with them rebel, kill most of them, trash their equipment, and fleet into the wilderness.


THE RISE OF MAN

36-20 KYA: The last of Homo Asiaticus gradually dies out, along with their various modified slave races. The future does not belong to them, but to the runty, skinny hominids that will one day call themselves Homo Sapiens. On the alternate world (ChoM World) the descendants of the Masters’ slaves experience an evolutionary radiation instead. The Masters there meet a similar fate.

20-15 KYA: The Neanderthals die out. The last serious competitor to Homo Sapiens has disappeared.

22-14 KYA: Last Glacial Maximum. Sustained dry, cold conditions on Earth.

14 KYA: End of Last Glacial Maximum. Warm, wet conditions prevail. Homo Sapiens begins to develop agriculture.

10.8 KYA: The Younger Dryas Cold Snap. Dry, cold conditions briefly return.

10 KYA: The Younger Dryas ends. Beginning of present warm period. Sea levels rise and the ruins of the Masters’ civilization disappear beneath the Pacific Ocean.


THE AGE OF MAN

Homo Florensis dies out. Homo Sapiens is now the only hominid on Earth.

On Earth, the timeline is the same as real life history from this point on. On ChoM World, humans and Cave People begin to develop agriculture several thousand years before present.

--------

NOTES:

For the sake of brevity, dates are expressed in Megayears Ago and Kiloyears Ago.

Estimate for movement of Homo Heidelberginis/Antecessor out of Africa is based on the presence of Homo Antecessor remains in Gran Dolina, Spain, 780 KYA. As far as I know there is no evidence that they ever got as far as Asia, but Homo Erectus managed it, so the idea of Homo Asiaticus doesn’t seem wildly implausible. The fossil record is, after all, very sketchy by nature and could easily exclude entire species, especially relatively rare ones. Indeed, it’s probably a good rule of thumb that the fossil record will give you an underestimate of a species’ lifespan, and I fudge the disappearances of the various hominids accordingly.

I have chosen the coast of China as the site of my prehistoric lost civilization as it represents a large plain that was flooded at the end of the Ice Age, so it’s pretty much perfect for a site of a believable “lost civilization”. Another option might be the area that is now the Java Sea.

I realize that having the Gateway be built by “unknown hands” seems like a horrible cliché but really, anybody who could build something like that should not need slaves. Of course, arguably the same can be said for anybody who can do sophisticated genetic engineering, but that’s not quite as horribly schizophrenic as a slavocratic regime run by people who can play with spacetime. I haven't decided who built the Gateway yet, but I'm thinking maybe another Heidelberginis-descended species in yet another parallel universe, who developed an advanced civilization hundreds of thousands of years ago.

Dates for ice age climate events are based on this excellent site: http://www.esd.ornl.gov/projects/qen/nerc.html

The choice of the 39-36 KYA mild glacial was pretty arbitrary on my part. I chose it because it was the period that I had the most information for which seemed relatively clement but featured substantially lower sea levels. Actually, I’d kind of prefer a longer mild glacial if anyone knows of one; 3000 years is a bit of a crunch for going from Stone Age to modern+, even if your civilization gets a lot of lucky breaks.

The estimate for the first human movements out of Africa is taken from William James Burroughs’s Climate Change In Prehistory: The End of the Reign of Chaos, which is available on Google Books.
Participate in my hard SF worldbuilding project: The Known Galaxy. Come to our message board and experience my unique brand of terribleness!

"One is respected and judged only as a human being. It is an appalling experience."
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness.

"Open your mind and hear what your heart wants to deny."
Samuel Anders, nBSG, Daybreak, Part 2.

User avatar
Somes J
Posts: 377
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 4:04 am
Location: Berkeley, California

Revised Timeline

Post by Somes J » Mon Feb 23, 2009 12:14 am

I've decided to make some revisions to this timeline. I really feel like events like humans moving out of Africa thematically belong better in the Rise of Man, which means the Masters' civilization should be much older. I've decided to situate it during first Weichselian glacial period, 90,000 years ago, when sea levels were 60 meters lower than present.

I must admit this is a bit of a problem with me - I tend to write something down, then come back the next day and decide I don't like it. I'll try not to make a habit of it. :)


THE AGE OF EMERGENCE

2 MYA – Homo Erectus evolves.

1.2 MYA – Homo Heidelberginis/Antecessor evolves, begins to move out of Africa. The European branch will eventually become Neanderthals, while the African branch will become Homo Sapiens. A small population will also eventually penetrate East Asia and evolve into a third species, Homo Asiaticus, lost to the fossil record until the twenty-first century. This last species will eventually become the Masters.

400-200 KYA: Neanderthalis/Asiaticus/Sapiens divergence.

130-105 KYA: Eemian Interglacial. Last period of sustained warm, wet conditions on Earth before the Age of Man.

105-75 KYA: Fluctuating Climate Scheme. Fluctuating climate generally cooler and drier than present. Homo Sapiens begins moving out of Africa.


THE AGE OF THE MASTERS

100-90 KYA: Homo Asiaticus civilization begins to develop in the area that is now coastal China.

90 KYA: First major glacial period of the Weichselian. Sea levels 60 meters below those of present day. Masters’ (Homo Asiaticus) civilization begins to develop technology. Industrialization in the East/South China Sea region.

The Golden Age of the Masters. Master technological civilization thrives, though it is rather insular and never colonizes much beyond the coast of China. The Masters enslave other hominids and modify them using genetic engineering, creating a rather brutal caste society.

Masters discover the Gateway beneath the Sahara Desert. It is a device, built by unknown hands, that allows travel between universes.

Masters’ civilization is destroyed in a massive war. Most of the Homo Asiaticus species is wiped out, along with most of their slaves. A small faction of them use the Gateway to flee to a parallel universe Earth. Unfortunately for them, the handful of slaves they take with them rebel, kill most of them, trash their equipment, and fleet into the wilderness.


THE RISE OF MAN

90-50 KYA: The last of Homo Asiaticus gradually dies out, along with their various modified slave races. The future does not belong to them, but to the runty, skinny hominids that will one day call themselves Homo Sapiens. On the alternate world (ChoM World) the descendants of the Masters’ slaves experience an evolutionary radiation instead. The Masters there meet a similar fate.

75-58 KYA: First Glacial Maximum of the Wurm. Sustained dry, cold conditions on Earth.

58-22 KYA: Fluctuating Climate Scheme. Fluctuating climate generally cooler and drier than present.

50-30 KYA: Homo Erectus dies out.

22-14 KYA: Last Glacial Maximum. Sustained dry, cold conditions on Earth.

20-15 KYA: The Neanderthals die out. The last serious competitor to Homo Sapiens has disappeared.

14 KYA: End of Last Glacial Maximum. Warm, wet conditions prevail. Homo Sapiens begins to develop agriculture.

10.8 KYA: The Younger Dryas Cold Snap. Dry, cold conditions briefly return.

10 KYA: The Younger Dryas ends. Beginning of present warm period. Sea levels rise and the ruins of the Masters’ civilization disappear beneath the Pacific Ocean.


THE AGE OF MAN

Homo Florensis dies out. Homo Sapiens is now the only hominid on Earth.

On Earth, the timeline is the same as real life history from this point on. On ChoM World, humans and Cave People begin to develop agriculture several thousand years before present.


NOTES

Description of the climate 90,000 years ago from this PDF.

Date for extinction of Homo Erectus based on the discovery of Homo Erectus fossils in Java dating back to around 50,000 years ago.
Participate in my hard SF worldbuilding project: The Known Galaxy. Come to our message board and experience my unique brand of terribleness!

"One is respected and judged only as a human being. It is an appalling experience."
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness.

"Open your mind and hear what your heart wants to deny."
Samuel Anders, nBSG, Daybreak, Part 2.

User avatar
Somes J
Posts: 377
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 4:04 am
Location: Berkeley, California

Re: Earth's History in the ChoM uni/multiverse

Post by Somes J » Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:00 am

Update:

Date for first migration of Homo Heidelberginis/Antecessor out of Africa moved back to 1.2 mya, as an Antecessor jawbone 1.2 million years old was found in Spain. Damn, should have researched more thoroughly.

Reference.
Participate in my hard SF worldbuilding project: The Known Galaxy. Come to our message board and experience my unique brand of terribleness!

"One is respected and judged only as a human being. It is an appalling experience."
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness.

"Open your mind and hear what your heart wants to deny."
Samuel Anders, nBSG, Daybreak, Part 2.

User avatar
Somes J
Posts: 377
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 4:04 am
Location: Berkeley, California

Re: Earth's History in the ChoM uni/multiverse

Post by Somes J » Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:08 am

Another revision: I've decided to move the Age of the Masters to the Eemian Warm Optimum. I kind of like the idea of the last two interglacials as "summers" in which civilization thrives, seperated by a long "winter" of the Ice Age.

---------

THE AGE OF EMERGENCE

2 MYA – Homo Erectus evolves.

1 MYA – Homo Heidelberginis/Antecessor evolves, begins to move out of Africa. The European branch will eventually become Neanderthals, while the African branch will become Homo Sapiens. A small population will also eventually penetrate East Asia and evolve into a third species, Homo Asiaticus, lost to the fossil record until the twenty-first century. This last species will eventually become the Masters.

400-200 KYA: Neanderthalis/Asiaticus/Sapiens divergence.

130-105 KYA: Eemian Interglacial. Last period of sustained warm, wet conditions on Earth before the Age of Man.


THE AGE OF THE MASTERS

130-125 KYA: Eemian Warm Optimum. Homo Asiaticus civilization begins to develop in the area that is now coastal China.

125 KYA: Masters’ (Homo Asiaticus) civilization begins to develop technology. Industrialization in the East/South China Sea region.

The Golden Age of the Masters. Master technological civilization thrives, though it is rather insular and never colonizes much beyond the coast of China. The Masters enslave other hominids and modify them using genetic engineering, creating a rather brutal caste society.

Masters discover the Gateway. It is a device, built by unknown hands, that allows travel between universes.

Masters’ civilization is destroyed in a massive war. Most of the Homo Asiaticus species is wiped out, along with most of their slaves. A small faction of them use the Gateway to flee to a parallel universe Earth. Unfortunately for them, the handful of slaves they take with them rebel, kill most of them, trash their equipment, and fleet into the wilderness.


THE LONG WINTER

125-90 KYA: The last of Homo Asiaticus gradually dies out, along with their various modified slave races. The future does not belong to them, but to the runty, skinny hominids that will one day call themselves Homo Sapiens. On the alternate world (ChoM World) the descendants of the Masters’ slaves experience an evolutionary radiation instead. The Masters there meet a similar fate.

105 KYA: Eemian Interglacial ends. The last Ice Age begins.

105-75 KYA: Fluctuating Climate Scheme. Fluctuating climate generally cooler and drier than present. Homo Sapiens begins moving out of Africa.

75-58 KYA: First Glacial Maximum of the Wurm. Sustained dry, cold conditions on Earth.

58-22 KYA: Fluctuating Climate Scheme. Fluctuating climate generally cooler and drier than present.

50-30 KYA: Homo Erectus dies out.

22-14 KYA: Last Glacial Maximum. Sustained dry, cold conditions on Earth.

20-15 KYA: The Neanderthals die out. The last serious competitor to Homo Sapiens has disappeared.


THE RISE OF MAN

14 KYA: End of Last Glacial Maximum. Warm, wet conditions prevail. Homo Sapiens begins to develop agriculture.

10.8 KYA: The Younger Dryas Cold Snap. Dry, cold conditions briefly return.

10 KYA: The Younger Dryas ends. Beginning of present warm period.


THE AGE OF MAN

Homo Florensis dies out. Homo Sapiens is now the only hominid on Earth.

On Earth, the timeline is the same as real life history from this point on. On ChoM World, humans and Cave People begin to develop agriculture several thousand years before present.
Participate in my hard SF worldbuilding project: The Known Galaxy. Come to our message board and experience my unique brand of terribleness!

"One is respected and judged only as a human being. It is an appalling experience."
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness.

"Open your mind and hear what your heart wants to deny."
Samuel Anders, nBSG, Daybreak, Part 2.

Post Reply