Life imitating Larry Niven again?

Be thankful it wasn’t the organ bank thing.

So there’s some evidence that we may have to revise our theories on when North America was first settled again:

At the height of the last ice age, [Smithsonian Institute anthropologist Dennis] Stanford says, mysterious Stone Age European people known as the Solutreans paddled along an ice cap jutting into the North Atlantic. They lived like Inuits, harvesting seals and seabirds.

The Solutreans eventually spread across North America, Stanford says, hauling their distinctive blades with them and giving birth to the later Clovis culture, which emerged some 13,000 years ago.

Glenn Reynolds semi-reasonably asks in response, “So what happened to them?”  I say ‘semi-reasonably’ because I know that Glenn has read a Larry Niven book or two in his time: clearly, what happened was the magic went away.

Well, maybe not, but that was a darn good fantasy series.  Basic premise: magic existed.  It was powered by mana.  And mana was a non-renewable resource.  Now fast-forward along that timeline until you reach a point suitable for adventure, which is (as SM Stirling more or less put it once) somebody else in deep sh*t, a long way away.

Moe Lane


  • Darin H says:

    … runs out and signs up for every “Native American” government handout…


    Nah, I’m a conservative – Instead, I just had (a lot) of fun with it.

  • Rob Crawford says:

    I loved how “The Burning City” was Los Angeles shortly after the end of the magic age. Still had its riots and got burnt down, though…
    The sad thing is, the story of the human population of the “New World” gets short shrift in the modern US. There are laws that enforce the native legends, blocking any research. The linked story shows how hard it is to even get an alternative theory heard — and still omits the genetic evidence for other pre-Columbian populations.

  • MikeCG says:

    Just wait until they finally discover those tunnels in the Southwest that the Hopi Indians used to climb up from the Third World and into ours. That’ll really makes some waves!

  • Murgatroyd says:

    “So what happened to them?”

    What happened to them was that pacifistic people from Eastern Asia migrated via Beringia into North America. And in the spirit of kindness, equality, and living in harmony with nature that typified Amerind cultures, the newcomers murdered every last one of them. Juat ask Kennewick Man.

    Oh, and they killed off the North American megafauna while they were at it, too.

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