Anthropology for Fantasy Fiction

Anthropology studies histories of humans past and present - you can predict, but not study futures. It incorporates many subjects, but I focus on history alone, before diving, delving, deeper, into the hotpot of habits. As well as human history, this helps deciding where your settlements are, and which towns are, allied, neutral, or at war.

Evolutionary theory is an accepted fact amongst scientists. Every year they find more proof. You may not believe this. That’s your prerogative.

Life evolved via natural selection processes. We all have common ancestors, tailing back to the life’s beginnings, squelching around in the primordial ooze.

Before Neanderthals, they were Rhodesiensis, then Astecessor then Ergaster. All species have evolutionary chains, connecting offspring to parents, back to single celled organisms. We are all connected.

There was a crossover in history when Homo sapiens and Neanderthals coexisted. However, Neanderthals only lived in Europe, while Homo sapiens, better existed to their environment, thrived, spreading across the world.

Springing into action via a process called abiogenesis; life arose from chemical compounds containing carbon. We now have all manner of organisms today.

Most Earth species derived from the equator. Life is likely to sprout from the warmest part of your planet, spreading outwards. You can decide on your world’s plant, animal and human, evolutionary path throughout history.

This list describes settlement size definitions.

1.    Dwelling - 100 citizens
2.    Hamlet - 1,000
3.    Village - 10,000
4.    Town - 100,000
5.    City - 1,000,000
6.    Metropolis - 10,000,000
7.    Megalopolis - 100,000,000
8.    Gigapolis - 1,000,000,000
9.    Terapolis - 10,000,000,000

It is useful deciding maximum world populations, and concluding potential global megalopolises amount. Megalopolis size will likely be the furthest your fantasy race can grow per settlement, but you may want to make billion citizen settlements or more.

Gigapolis and Terapolis are not real terms, at least, not to my knowledge. I made them using Greek. Polis means city. Giga means giant. Tera means monster.

Using the terms in computing is normal, so repeating their use was logical. I needed the terms for my stories but feel free to use them yourselves, or create your own.

Ten billion citizen cities, terapolis, will be the largest you need. This is because of geological, and geographical, factors. The largest possible human life-supporting planet could at most support forty-billion. They could have three different types of terapolis. You could not have four from forty billion, as you need more than ten billion to qualify.

A planet like earth could have one terapolis, but only if there was just one land mass. Due to earth’s plates and continents, this makes it impossible, with a likelihood of six, gigapolis maximum. There are seven continents, but who wants to live in Antarctica? Scientists do, that’s who.

Depending on how advanced your culture is, will correlate to how big settlements are. Less advanced cultures stay in small bands or tribes, whereas advanced cultures will likely cluster, forming large communities.

Geology and geography affect racial biology and history. This is why we have differences in humans. Cultures come to define continents.

With diplomacy, decide what towns have histories with each other and why. Giving depth to your histories makes them magical.

Town histories can be rooted into characters psyche. If loyal to their birth-town, characters may follow the established rivalry along with others. They don’t have to follow trends though.

Two or more towns may join forces in alliance. They can then attack and defend from common enemies.

You can add conquered towns to countries, and countries into empires. They may, or may not, retain their cultural identity. Time is a factor. Leaders achieve this through warfare, with elimination, or surrender, the only options for the unfortunate belligerent.

A town is stronger with alliances than alone. Having allies to draw on during tough times means prosperity is likely, as is treachery and treason of the highest degree.

Use this checklist for the formation of your town’s alliances. They can be begrudging friendships. Most cultures throughout history had to fight, to protect or gain, new land to inhabit, cultivate or destroy.

1.    County - Counties have large capitals and smaller settlements.
2.    Countries - Countries have numerous states of varying sizes.
3.    Continents - Continents separations will follow tectonic plates.
4.    Empire - A large empire may encompass more than one continent. One empire could conquer the whole globe.

More Information: Culture, Technology, Time, Measurement, History

Happy Creations!

Jim M