P.L. Parker

P.L. Parker

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Step Back 40,000 Years - Could You Survive


Ever wonder if modern man could survive the trials and hardships of the last great Ice Age? I've always been interested in ancient history, the farther back the better. Most of my stories have some basis in fact, a snippet of the unusual in the pages of time.

After a particularly engrossing chapter of the Discovery Channel about the discovery of the Oetzi, the frozen mummified body in the Alps, http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2008/08/22/oetzi-iceman.html, the idea for my time travel novel, Riley’s Journey, came into being. I was captivated by the trials and tribulations this ancient man must have endured before his eventual death. Why was he in that place, frozen for all time?

The Iceman was shot with an arrow--the head of which remained lodged in his shoulder -- that fatally severed his left subclavian artery. He also suffered a traumatic cerebral lesion, the consequence of a trauma from a blow or a fall onto the rocks.

My creative juices flowed. How would modern man measure up under the same circumstances? Would he fare better? Worse? Without modern conveniences, would he even survive? My personal opinion was…perhaps. But it would have to be an individual skilled in living off the land, comfortable with crafting and using ancient weaponry, and the daring to go forth and multiply. A lone person might survive (Nathan in Riley’s Journey), but without human society, would he have the will to continue? Okay, so perhaps a band of time travelers, each with skills essential to begin life in a prehistoric setting would be a better fit under the circumstances.

The parameters of my manuscript were set. In the beginning, I contemplated the story taking place at about the same time period as the Oetzi mummy. Ultimately, I went back even farther, to 40,000 years ago during the last great Ice Age when Cro-Magnon and Neanderthals both inhabited the earth. http://www.valdostamuseum.org/hamsmith/iceciv.html#geminga35k

I now I had my time period. I needed to set up the location where the time travelers would ultimately end. Early man is thought to have migrated from Africa and spread out. See, for example, The Real Eve, Modern Man’s Journey Out of Africa by Stephen Oppenheimer. Research into the nearby land masses led me to decide on an area of the Far East, in what would eventually be the southern areas of China. This area’s climatology 40,000 years ago would support the basic needs of life in primordial Earth. (Id.)

Early humans were hunter/gatherers. What animals existed in that time and place and which were predators and which were prey? In Riley’s Journey, the protagonists were the aggressive Cro-Magnon and their influx into the primitive Neanderthals’ territory. In the sequel to Riley’s Journey, Into the Savage Dawn, soon to be released by Willow Moon Publishing, the protagonist is still the Cro-Magnon but with the added twist of a giant cave bear who stalks Geena and Seth (hero and heroine) after they involuntarily intrude on his territory.

Research into primordial Earth is fascinating. Cave bears, saber-toothed cats and giant sloths were just a few of the many creatures who have suffered from the effects of evolution along with the giant megaloceros (elk), the wooly mammoths and the wooly rhinoceros.

For more information, the following sites are good reading for all ages:

http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/mammals/Iceagemammals.shtml

http://www.prehistory.com/

http://www.kidzworld.com/article/7309-animals-of-the-ice-age

Riley’s Journey by P. L. Parker

Into the Savage Dawn by P. L. Parker

Coming in the future- soon I hope - the third in the series (no name yet)

5 comments:

Mary Ricksen said...

As you know I love time travel and I also love the early caveman period. You made them come alive and become human for me! Loved them both!!

Mary Ricksen said...

Oh, by the way I'd be dead before you'd notice I was missing!

P.L. Parker said...

I doubt it! LOL! I'd be the coward crouched behind you- I'd notice of my savior was missing!

Beth Trissel said...

This is absolutely fascinating. I have got to read this. I am also engrossed in anything historic including ancient. But haven't done all your research. Wow.

P.L. Parker said...

Thanks Beth for stopping by. I actually love the research part, sometimes I have to remember I'm writing and not just researching.