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Captcha
10-23-2011, 08:14 PM
I'm writing a Fantasy story in which evil burbles from the ground at certain preselected spots all over the globe. These spots would have been pretty static for millennia, although I think there is a probably a tendency for the wells to be more productive in areas of higher human population (more snacks!).

Anyway, the idea is that the people living immediately adjacent to these spots sort of adapted to them and developed secret abilities/teams to fight the monsters that appear. But obviously there have been some pretty drastic disruptions to the human populations of the world, so there have been times that the guardian communities around the wells have been lost.

So what I'm trying to research is:

Examples of huge, sweeping, almost complete shifts in populations. Times when a stable community that REALLY wants to stay where they are (in order to continue in their monster-fighting role) would have been destroyed or banished. And, yes, I think there would be times when some of the communities would have just packed up and left the conquerors to be eaten by monsters - if anyone has examples of historic events that would fit that model (ie. conquered fled, conquerors died or abandoned the site shortly after - and maybe even conquered returned) that'd be great.

In more general terms, as a Canadian the most obvious example of a large-scale population shift for me is the European/First Nations situation. But I'm not as good on Native history as I should be. Can anyone suggest a North American group that lived in one place (non-nomadic) and that was destroyed? (at least culturally, if not biologically). Bonus points if the location is somewhere that has traditionally been sparsely populated but is now facing greater development. I was thinking about something in the Alberta Tar Sands area, but I think the First Nations there are Chipewyan, and I think Chipewyans were at least semi-nomadic...

Does any of this make any sense?

Chris P
10-23-2011, 08:21 PM
I don't know of any Canadian situations, but I think the Anasazi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Pueblo_Peoples), the Pueblo builders of the Southwest, might be good candidates. If I recall my history correctly, the area was largely abandoned when the Spanish arrived, although other native peoples lived nearby.

Another would be Cahokia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cahokia)near St. Louis. It is much more recent than the pueblo settlements, being abandoned probably around 1400 AD.

In South America there were the Incas, and of course the peoples of Mexico in Central America. The book 1491 by Charles C Mann gives a good overview of the major population centers in the New World prior to European arrival.

thothguard51
10-23-2011, 08:30 PM
Reasons for population shifts...

Plagues, famine, natural disasters like hurricanes, earth quakes, etc. And lets not forget, wars...

There could also be population shifts for abandoning an area if the services once provided go long periods without being needed. Lets say, villages around the guardian population stop paying tithes to the guardians because there has not been an evil eruption in hundreds of years. Eventually, the guardians die out, or move other locations where their services are needed, or where they can make a living.

There are any number of reasons a population can disappear...

GradyHendrix
10-24-2011, 05:52 PM
The Maya abandoned their cities and moved en masse in about 900 AD:
http://sites.google.com/site/medievalwarmperiod/Home/drought-and-the-collapse-of-mayan-civilisation

There's also the somewhat starnge Toahuanaco civilization:
http://www.thule.org/tiahuanaco.html

You could also make use of the controversial Yonaguni Monument off the coast of Japan:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yonaguni_Monument

And don't forget Roanoke! CROATOAN! CROATOAN!

Dave Hardy
10-24-2011, 07:57 PM
Indian Removal comes to mind. In the 1830s first state & then the federal government forced the bulk of the Eastern Indian population to move west of the Mississippi. the Supreme Court ruled for the Indians, but Pres. Jackson ignored them ("The Supreme Court has made it's ruling, now let them enforce it!")

There was a varied response. Most tribes knew they had little chance in a war and went quietly. Many Creeks & Cherokee had adapted to Southern culture & a few owned plantations & slaves. There were Choctaw politicians serving in the Mississippi legislature.

The Cherokee were mostly rounded up by the army & sent on the Trail of Tears. The Sac & Fox made a fighting retreat from Illinois into Iowa. The Delaware found themselves on the fringe of the Plains Tribes territory & ended up in a prolonged battle with the Pawnee, Cheyenne & others. The Cherokee ended up in a sort of prolonged feud/civil war between pro- & anti-treaty factions. The Kickapoo spread out and became renowned for their fierce independence. Some became mercenaries for Mexico (along w/ the Lipan & Black Seminoles). A number of tribes settled in Texas only to get caught up in Texan-Mexican rivalries & got forced out again.


In Florida, the Seminole had a long-standing connection with runaway slaves from the states. The Black Seminole were free, albeit of a slightly lesser status, than the Indians. A large part of the Seminole violently rejected deportation, the Black Seminole feared they would be re-enslaved. A seven year war of attrition ensued, complete with massacres, slave revolts, battles in hellish malarial swamps. In the end a substantial part of the Seminoles remained although other groups were scattered from Oklahoma to Mexico.

Indian Removal may not be the model you are looking for, but it's a hell of a story.

Drachen Jager
10-24-2011, 08:26 PM
Yeah, many more American examples than Canadian. The Mohicans have already been chronicled of course, but there are dozens of similar tribes that were wiped out or nearly wiped out by settlement and the army. Most of the plains tribes were dislocated by farmers for example.

There were parts of Africa decimated by the slave trade, and the Zulu nation was nearly wiped out by the British.

Easter Island could fit into the picture as well, though in a different way. There used to be a flourishing culture there, but they destroyed their ecosystem and were only a generation or two away from extinction when Europeans arrived.

OnlyStones
10-25-2011, 12:12 AM
The Plains Indians not only dealt with a prolonged military offensive during the later part of the 19th century, but they also suffered through a smallpox outbreak in the early 30's and a devastating cholera outbreak in 1849.

LJD
10-25-2011, 05:17 AM
The Beothuk, maybe? But they were semi-nomadic, although I believe confined to Newfoundland.

You might check out Jared Diamond's Collapse. It may give you some ideas.

Buffysquirrel
10-25-2011, 03:52 PM
According to this book I'm labouring under at the moment (1493), the new Qing dynasty in China emptied the eastern coast of China (from Guangdong to Shandong) in the C17th and forced the population to move inland. This of course had a knock-on effect on the people living in the areas the displaced peoples moved into. The coastline was emptied for up to fifty miles inland.

Of course, that meant there wouldn't have been any new people for the monsters to eat.

Captcha
10-26-2011, 12:23 AM
Wow, they actually EMPTIED the land? Was there a reason for it, or just ... nasty?

Buffysquirrel
10-26-2011, 01:48 AM
According to the book, it was done to deny resources to the remnants of the Ming dynasty, whom the Qing had ousted, and to the woukou, quasi pirates who traded with outsiders and did other illegal things.

Xelebes
10-26-2011, 02:50 AM
In more general terms, as a Canadian the most obvious example of a large-scale population shift for me is the European/First Nations situation. But I'm not as good on Native history as I should be. Can anyone suggest a North American group that lived in one place (non-nomadic) and that was destroyed? (at least culturally, if not biologically). Bonus points if the location is somewhere that has traditionally been sparsely populated but is now facing greater development. I was thinking about something in the Alberta Tar Sands area, but I think the First Nations there are Chipewyan, and I think Chipewyans were at least semi-nomadic...

Does any of this make any sense?

Thule and Dorset civilisation collapses - collapsed due to invasions. Thule collapsed due to the Dorset invasions and the Dorset collapsed when the Inuit invaded.

Cluny City (southern Alberta) collapse - died due to starvation after attempting to start up agriculture in around the 13th or 14th century.

The Cree invaded several territories in the 18th and 19th century with the aid of weapons from the Hudson Bay Company. The last war was with the Blackfoot in the 1870s until Treaty No. 8 was signed. There were several tribal collapses in the Reindeer Lake and Lake Winnipeg Regions. The Blackfoot once had territory going as far north as Edmonton while the Assinaboine once had all of the Lake Winnipeg Region. The Athabascan once had the whole Athabasca-Slave Region (Chipewyan, Slavey, etc.)

The Beothuk completely fell in the 19th century due to European diseases.