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Ancients could not have found humans


Re-reading the OTU timeline, it suddenly occured to that the Ancients visited Earth at a time when humans, as we know them, didn´t exist yet.

What I mean is, 300,000 years ago, homo sapiens sapiens - modern man - had not evolved from its ancestors. FWIW the stone-age tribes as we "know" them - the folks who created the cave paintings - appeared more or less 40,000 year ago. I´m not even sure if, 300,000 years ago, the famous Neanderthal man already existed.

Therefore, I´m not quite sure if it is realistic - as far as realism goes in a science fiction RPG - to portray all the minor branches of humanity as variations of homo sapiens sapiens. We evolved into HSS from what was around 300,000 years ago; however I don´t think it is all that likely that several dozen other populations of the same proto-humans in different environments did the same - and evolved close enough to be able to interbreed.
The stone age HSS (the Cro Magnon man) and the Neanderthal man co-evolved in the same environment, having "split" much more recently, but they still were just barely interfertile - and from what I´ve read about fossil discoveries, the result was a kind of "neither here nor there" half-breed, though apparently able to survive, and to procreate.

To sum it up, I think realistically we ought to see much more variety among humanity, even among those that were not "modified" visibly like Luriani and Sydites.
Why do you think modern man suddenly appeared? ;)

Homo sapiens are the likely playthings of the Ancients.
Have a look at this timeline.

Perhaps the Vilani, Zhodani, and all the rest should look more like modified neaderthals
The Ancients could have produced Homo sapiens neandertalensis, and left quite a few behind when they left Earth for good.
These Ancient educated neanderthals then messed around a bit more with human DNA until they came up with homo sapiens sapiens.
These Ancient neandethals would have been like titans to the homo sapiens still around, and may have worked together at first once their masters -the Ancients - had left.
But over the centuries rivalries develop, then conflict, and then war.
The ANs breeding and modification of HS as troops and servants eventually produce HSS, who eventually revolt and overthrow their masters.
You have to remember that there are very few full skeletons of any of the early hominids - we might be seeing something in these earlier ones that we are misinterpreting. And the Ancients may have only set events in motion, so to speak, for us to evolve out to what we are today. They may have taken the successful experiments with them. Or (since we have an asteroid belt in the Sol system), this planet could have been a battle site in the Ancient's War and the hominids were reduced to almost a non-recoverable population. It would explain the lack of bones or other evidence that there was a civilisation here 300,000 years ago. Also, the later hominids: Neandertal, Gigantopithics, Cro-magnon, etc..., may be the end result of a multi-millenia long experiment that is far forgotten after the Final War.


Canon is filled with references of Neanderthals being the base stock for many branches of humaniti eg. Surreat. I always assumed that the Ancients awoke dormant genes to recreate them. My thinking is now, that the Ancients manipulated Human stock when on Earth. What is that line from AM Droyne, something to the effect that the Ancients stimulated human development by one half making them into angels and the other half into devils.

Perhaps, the basis of our mythology and our monsters are what the Ancients cast out as experiments gone wrong.
Originally posted by kafka47:

Perhaps, the basis of our mythology and our monsters are what the Ancients cast out as experiments gone wrong.
Indeed, and there might still be worlds or places undiscovered where those creatures still roam in light and dark and not just dreams and nightmares.

Worlds of Werewolves (early Vargr/Human hybrid attempts) and other lycanthropes. Worlds with demons and angels in flesh. Worlds of Elves fair and Dwarves dour. All things once lost and written off as merely myth may be discovered anew if you only journy far enough Traveller...
I try to consider the reasoning behind the selection of humanity. The logic of it. The "Why" before the "How".

What was it that made them "stand out" enough to merit transplantation to Zhodane and Vland? Especially given the primitive stage of man at the point they encountered them. Ancients could have been psionically prescient, I guess, but that is some far seeing to say the least!
MTU has a slightly different back story but the uplift of humaniti still plays a major role.

Regardless, my thought has always been that humans were more flexible as a species than the Ancients were (or had evolved to). This is even reflected in Droyne society where specialization is now required to achieve par with other species.

Humanity offered the Ancients a robust species relatively simple to alter to fit their needs. IMTU, their motives were not altruistic by any means; humans were a tool and uplifting was just another technology used to advance their species. When the Ancients as a species could no longer physically perform the tasks necessary to support their society, they looked for viable slaves to do the work for them.

A lot of UFO theorists postulate this is the motivation of the Greys; strange but true? If you clipped a Droyne's wings, wouldn't they look a lot like a Grey?
Originally posted by Baron Saarthuran von Gushiddan:
Ancients could have been psionically prescient, I guess, but that is some far seeing to say the least!
Canon suggests that the Ancients were indeed prescient. The McGuffin in the CT Zhodani module was a device created by the Ancients that could give the user visions of the future.

That means, incidentally, that it was a time machine, since being able to gain accurate information about the future is equivalent to this information being sent backwards in time...

The Ancients were also able to create pocket universes, where large chunks of space-time were able to be isolated from the rest of the universe. Of course the relevant word here is "time".

Don't underestimate the weirdness of the Ancients.
When I was designing my Ancients supplement, I was always thinking of the Zhodani as couriers and guards. The psionic potential augmented in certain individuals to run messages throughout the Droyne Empire. Guards, because, if you look at the latter day Zhodani combat armour - does it not look like a White (for those UFO conspiracists, out there).

All these things exist in a framework that I call a racial memory. Otherwise, deeply encoded in our history there exist memes that activate and play out over time. It was the Ancients who could not only manipulate the genes of different species but the memes, as well. What the Final War did was confuse these memes resulting in great variation from what the Ancients originally planned.

I also saw a milieu filled with numerious precursor races, for the Ancients were the ones who created the hyperspatial highway system known as Jumpspace but various other races had attempted to conceur hyperspace, some failed some surpassed it. The Ancients were merely responsible for being order into the universe until they confronted: "The Enemy" (more of which will maybe emerge in another part of the board)...
Originally posted by Sigg Oddra:
Why do you think modern man suddenly appeared? ;)

Homo sapiens are the likely playthings of the Ancients.
Have a look at this timeline.

Perhaps the Vilani, Zhodani, and all the rest should look more like modified neaderthals
The picture of Homo Sapiens (single "sapiens", I mean, not our own double "sapiens") surely looks different from modern man; you´d expect species that at descended from it to run the full range of features, from Neanderthals to HSS.
But instead, most branches of humanity are almost indistinguishable visually, except those who were extensively genegeneered like the Sydites with their four arms.

The way I understand the canon, beyond the initial genetic engineering, the Ancients did very little with all those humans before they abandoned them.

@far trader:
The Vargr are, by themselves, werewolves - werewolf means "man-wolf", and I don´t think there is any difference in appearance between a Vargr and a werewolf in wolf form.

Come to think of it, a Vargr expedition scouting around on Earth could have been the basis for all the werewolf legends... ;)
Ahh, but it is my hypothesis that neanderthals were produced by the Ancients, and it would have been thes neanderthals that were taken to the stars and form the basic stock for the Zhodani, Vilani, Darrians etc.
Perhaps some samples of homo sapiens were taken for experimentation on other worlds - would that help to explain minor race diversity.
^ As I postulated on another thread, I think the diversity of humanity across Imperial space can be explained by the differences between Earth and the seeded world AND the need to geneer humans to fit that environment.

IMTU, this is not the case. Humans were developed as tools and weapons for use in ancient conflicts. But if YTU has only one ancient race, with relatively benign intentions, just seeding humans on imperfectly terraformed planets could be cause enough to result in most sub-species.
Perhaps that's why the Ancients went for homo sapiens in the first place - their adaptability.

And I agree that modification to the environment would have been necessary - but that doesn't require Ancient era tech since both the Solomani and Third Imperium have been known to biologically alter species - which would have been childs play to the Ancients.
My thoughts are the canon Ancients were working on economy of scale; terraforming a whole bunch of worlds and seeding them all, then seeing what crawls out. If their terraforming effort was less than successful, perhaps the seeded species would still survive until it adapted; if not, go on to the next planet. Terraforming to close enough is easy, to perfect is not so let biology take over from there.

Not to imply the Ancients were that cold blooded about it but ... maybe?
Well they were using homo sapiens as animal experiments ;)

Makes sense, if you are trying to perfect planetary engineering technology to have a control biosphere that you introduce and then see what the effects are.

Perhaps the Ancients valued the Earth's environment all those years ago as such a control - they wouldn't use Chirpers and their environ for such an experiment - complete with semi-sentient higher order lifeforms whose adaptability could be measured.

On recognising humanity's potential , that's when the serious bio-modification program began.
^ Maybe humans were the litmus test; if humans could survive there, an Ancient could as well. Sort of the canary in the coal mine concept.
Then why not Aslan, by that token? They are "tougher" physically, and also seem to have expansion of territory as part of thier psychological makeup. They also breed like crazy.
Too aggressive, too difficult to tame, not sufficiently adaptable to environmental changes, wouldn't stop chasing the Chirpers... ;)