Sunday, September 28, 2008

10,000 BC

I watched the movie 10,000 B.C. not expecting much from it. Knowing that the director of it also did Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow; I was expecting a lack of logic, lack of common sense, and many historic inaccuracies. It was as expected. I had heard about the great action and stunning CGI though. The action wasn't great, the CGI was not as good as it was hyped to be, the acting was very poor, and the plot was not very good.

I was basically thinking that it would be somewhat similar to Robert E. Howard's works without the Lovecraftian influence. If you know of his works, most famous being Conan the Barbarian, you'd know that he often fabricates antediluvian civilizations like Stygia (his version of a pre-Egypt, Egypt). In which they were technologically and magically advanced but things happened resulting in the fall of those civilizations (most of which were the remains of even older civilizations that had collapsed) surrounded by more primitive peoples. It was in part like that, in that there were many anachronism's like metal work, paper, and other such technologies around that wouldn't be invented for thousands of years. It even had a mortal god which is speculated in the film to have came from either space or another civilization that got destroyed (Atlantis). It was no where near as good as Robert E. Howards books though, the acting, action (fight scenes were not that great - the documentary I watched the day before had superior fight scenes to this film), and lack of logic really took away from it (freeing a Saber-tooth cat and expecting it to not kill you for example).

I will now discuss some of the inaccuracies for no reason other than using it as an excuse to talk about early humans and prehistoric animals.

-Horses were not domesticated until around 4500 BC
-Woolly Mammoths like elephants were not led by the bull (male) Woolly Mammoths. Instead they were lead by an old female like modern Asian elephants are. Elephants are matriarchal.
-Ice age hunters did not generally live in such large groups.
-Hunter Gather societies would be on the move often following the animals and during winter would have gone to warmer places.
-There were permanent structures and cities dating back to farther than 10,000 BC though. If you look up Göbekli Tepe. You'll find mention of an ancient city dating to around 11,000 BC. Temporary buildings and dwellings were likely built even earlier. Part of the reason so little is known about ancient technology is only things made from stone would really last. Things made from wood or other bio-degradable material would not have been preserved as easily.
-People of that time did hunt Woolly Mammoths and bury the left overs.
-People even before the advent of cities did do some domesticating of the land. Many hunter-gatherers cut or burned undesirable plants while encouraging desirable ones, some even going to the extent of slash-and-burn to create habitat for game animals.
-The usage of nets was widespread at that time but mostly used for fishing. Using a net to hunt Woolly Mammoth would not be very effective. The hunt as shown in the movie would not work very well in real life
-No place on Earth resembles the geographical location shown. There is no place were you can walk from snowy mountains, to jungles, then to dessert in a few weeks time.
-Since there are Pyramids shown it is guessed that this is located in Egypt. Had it been Egypt there would be no Sabertooth tigers and Terror birds. Those were species of the Americas (was some Terror Birds in Australia as well).
- Sabertoothed cats did exist but Smilodons were a species native to the Americas. There were other Sabertoothed cats but they had died out in Europe/Africa around 30,000 years ago. There were terror birds in that area as well but they had died out much much earlier more than 40,000,000 years earlier.
-12,000 years ago, aka 10000 BC, the Nile river was much stronger and the area near it was not a desert, was a savanna. It became smaller and area around it became more desert like around 10,000 years ago when drought came and the desert grew.
-The use of Bronze, Copper, and Iron did not occur until much later. I'd give a date but depending on where in the world your going by it varies since not every place figured it out at the same time or had access to metal deposits. Having said that the oldest known use of Bronze is dated at around 3,300 BC in the Near East (which includes Egypt). Different places developed metal workings at different times - some areas like in the Americas pretty much stayed with using stones, others like South Africa skipped the bronze age and went straight to using Iron after stone. As for copper it was used in some places like south asia as early as 7000 BC but still not as far back as 10,000 BC.
- Woolly Mammoths did not live in the Egypt area. Woolly Mammoths could not live in a desert environment. Woolly Mammoths were never tamed by humans and had nothing to do with Pyramid building. Though Egyptians did know of the existence of Woolly Mammoths. In 1994, a wall painting of a waist-sized mammoth was found in a pharaoh's tomb.
-Woolly Mammoths are shown galloping similar to horses. This isn't possible. Elephants and Mammoths can/could not gallop because leg structure makes it impossible.
-The size of the Saber-toothed cat and the Woolly Mammoth were larger than what they were in real life.
-The Pyramids are not that old the oldest ones date to around 3000 BC.
-The Pyramids were not built by slaves. They were built by paid skilled works.
-The oldest known ships to have existed in Egypt are only 4000 years old (rotted remains found in caves). Though the building of ships is much older than that. Rafts were used by humans to get to Australia over 50000 years ago. Boat building is even thought by some to be even older than that. Homo Erectus may have built boats. The evidence for this is - Stone tools dating over 840,000 years ago were found on Flores which is an island and was an island separated from the main land even a million years ago. Having said that ships with sails did not appear for many millennium closer to modern time than 10,000 BC.
-The seeds given at the end of the movie were corn and beans. Corn is a plant of the Americas and was not grown in Europe/Africa until many, many millennium later (After Columbus's voyage). The plants shown growing were not corn or beans. Though people from the Old World (I.E. Asia, Africa, Europe) did travel to the Americas prior to Columbus - Vikings did it 500 years before he did and there is some evidence that the Phoenician people, a maritime culture which lived from 1550 BC to 300 BC, managed to get to the Americas. These people had little arable land so they mainly were traders. They had made extensive sea voyages. If Herodotus of Halicarnassus, a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC, is to believed they also circumnavigated Africa. Some of the ships used in the Americas resemble their ships and the Atlantic currents do run straight at South America from the coast of Africa so it would have been possible for a lost ship to travel there, and the return voyage would be made easier by following the oceanic currents north then back east across the ocean.
-Deserts are very cold at night, people would wear a lot more clothes while sleeping/traveling at night.

I can go on but I figure I wrote enough for now.

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