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10,000 B.C.: Cryptofiction?

Posted by: Loren Coleman on January 23rd, 2008

You have got to love the mammoths!

mammothbc1

mammothbc2

And sabertoothed tigers!

sabertoothbc

What elements of narrative cryptofiction, in which these animals, as well as the hominids, are shown as surviving late into protohistorical times in 10,000 B.C. overlap with our interests?

Frankly, I always find it intriguing and instructive to see how artists, filmmakers, and scientists recreate Pleistocene animals, so as to give us a clue of what might be behind some cryptids. I look forward to this movie, therefore, for just such images.

I guess there are other things to watch in this film too, with regard to our ancestors. However, from what I’ve seen from the trailers, the humans look remarkably well-groomed – note the nicely done eyebrows on this female:

bc woman

Trailers are showing us a bit of what has been achieved for capturing these Pleistocene survivors:

Of course, there’s something vaguely familiar about 10,000 BC, in terms of images like this…

bc building

…during 10,000 B.C.’s Egyptian setting (and sound effects) in the last half of the film. See if you can view it in these trailers of an older movie of significance in science fiction history:

Coming on March 7, 2008.

bc poster

About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.


21 Responses to “10,000 B.C.: Cryptofiction?”

  1. olejason responds:

    I think the movie is somewhat of a mess in terms of historical accuracy but it seems like fun. I love seeing those mammoths!

  2. graybear responds:

    Actually, the 10,000 B.C. time frame (12,000 years ago, counting in the 2,000 years since B.C. became A.D.) is within the normally accepted existence time frame of both saber tooths and mammoths, at least in the Americas. The Egyptian-themed music and “hey, let’s all build a civilization by raising up Cecil B. DeMille’s 10 Commandments style buildings,” not so much so.

  3. PhotoExpert responds:

    Since I like the genre of this type of movie, I liked the trailer that I saw for this movie. It looks like one of those movies that you can sit back and just enjoy it based on the special effects alone. So I plan on seeing it when it is released. I am anxious to see how the animals are portrayed in this movie.

  4. kittenz responds:

    I saw the previews for this and I can hardly wait to see it. I don’t care if the movie turns out to be terrible; the special effects look to be awesome.

  5. Cryptid Hunt responds:

    10,000 BC is directed by one of my favorite directors Roland Emmerich. Since I love filmmaking I think this film will be pretty amazing like King Kong.

  6. Chris1980 responds:

    We shall see how big the similarities to Stargate will be. From the Palaeo-SETI POV, Stargate is certainly one of the most interesting scifi flicks, whereas 10.000 B.C. does not seem to go into the same direction (at least judged by the trailers). The creature effects look pretty awesome, however, so I am certainly looking forward to the European release.

  7. jayman responds:

    It looks like this movie is based on the idea, advanced by some, that the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx, at least, were not built around 2600 BC by the Egyptians, but thousands of years earlier by a “lost civilization”. Proponents usually refer to supposed evidence of water erosion – the climate was wetter in NE Africa then – as well as the advanced engineering, no evidence the Great Pyramid was ever used as a tomb, etc.

  8. MattBille responds:

    That mammoth in the poster looks to be about the size of a brachiosaurus.

  9. sschaper responds:

    Yeah, the mammoths are a good twice as high as they ought to be, just as Jackson’s laprodonts (sp?) in his reinterpretation of Tolkien were what, four times taller than they ought to be. (Tolkien plainly intended mammoths from his mammmut or mammud).

    As to the buidings, mud bricks don’t last all that long, so that is conjecture.

  10. calash responds:

    I am also looking forward to seeing this. Hopefully my stomach will have recovered by then from the jumpy video in Cloverfield.

    Not to be critical but as the Mammoths and saber tooth tigers were real animals it would be a disservice to show them on a scale much larger then they actually were. These amazing animals should be kept as true to life as possible.

  11. red_pill_junkie responds:

    jayman is absolutely right. This film is intended to follow the theories of researchers such as Graham Hancock, who think a mother civilization with a great technological advancement was destroyed by the floods that marked the end of the last Ice Age.

    After all, this movie was directed by the same guy who brought us Independence Day and The Day after Tomorrow, so we know he likes to delve in controversial ideas.

    I’m so gonna see this flick :-)

  12. calash responds:

    Ref: The nicely done eyebrows on this female:

    Funny you should mention this. I remember as a kid watching one of those Hercules type movies on Saturday morning. One of the actresses was escaping from something and I noticed a zipper in the side of her skirt. Didn’t know they had those in ancient Greece. LOL

    Regards

  13. dogu4 responds:

    I’m practically salivating in anticipation. My kind of fantasy. Of course it is fiction, however,I suspect that much of our interpretation of history is largely imaginative based on our preconceptions and so in some ways qualifies as inadvertant fiction as well.

    Were we to compare the public school lessons on history we absorbed as kids in books, lesson and in popular media we would, I think, be almost equally astonished.

    As a matter of fact, Charles C. Mann’s book “1491” has given me a number of “wow” moments just lately, that, ontop of the news of the 12.9KYA impact event, have shifted a number of my fondest paradigms in cultural and natural history.

  14. Ann Unknown responds:

    Are the mammoths larger than they were known to be
    – or
    could the humans featured be one of our smaller, forgotten predecessors (Homo floresiensis)?

    Any way you might choose to look at it, I can’t wait!

  15. semillama responds:

    I probably won’t be able to enjoy this film as I am an archaeologist and all the chronological mash-ups will not sit well with me.

    I think in one 30 second trailer I counted at least three inconsistencies – mammoth size, occurrence of saber-toothed cat in Europe (at least I think they didn’t occur there), giant Mesopotamian civilization, giant moa-like bird (didn’t exist in Europe), etc, etc.

    I think giving credit to Graham Hancock inspirations might be going too far – I’m willing to bet it’s just a case of throwing a bunch of prehistoric crap together for maximum cinematic effect and not a conscious nod at Hancock.

  16. DARHOP responds:

    I for one am totally stoked to see this movie. It looks like it is going to a good movie.

  17. Ann Unknown responds:

    Semillama,

    Sorry to admit that I once felt that way, as well. Fortunately, I’m much younger than that now.

    Homotherium lived in North America, Europe and Asia, at least up until 8,000 BC. Do we really know for a fact how long it survived, and what surprises may lay beneath the Mesopotamian sands? I will not venture to guess till I set the way-back machine, and go back for a little look-see. As for moa-like birds, and mammoth mammoths – Are all things in earth and heavens known? If so, it must be getting later than I was aware! – better get back to Milliway’s for the floor show! But I plan to stop and enjoy that movie, first. ;)

  18. kittenz responds:

    Semillama,

    New fossils of sabertooth cats are turning up in Europe all the time; some of the most complete fossils that have yet been found outside of Rancho La Brea come from Europe.

    Maybe you are thinking of cats of the genus Smilodon; it’s true that no Smilodon fossil have been found in Eurasia (yet ;)).

    The truth is that the fossil record is spotty. “Elephant Birds”, which were broadly similar to moas, lived in Madagascar until very recent times; it’s feasible that something of the sort may have lived in Europe … we don’t have fossils of every species that ever existed.

    Who knows what discovery lies just around the corner?

    Science fiction, and fantasy even more so, requires a temporary suspension of disbelief. You have to allow the what if? – and then give the spinner of the tale a chance to make their world believable enough to pull you in.

    Even if this movie stinks, I want to see more of those critters! The full-screen previews were spectacular.

  19. Alligator responds:

    Always go to a movie for entertainment. Suspend belief and and have fun.

    For education, go to Barnes & Noble and get a well researched, well written book. Ponder the deeper meaning in your easy chair. Then go back to B & N and get another well researched, well written book whose premise is the opposite of the one you just read. Ponder why this author has such a different interpretation than the first author.

    Unfortunately, too many Americans get their “history” only from the movie media. They see “Dances With Wolves” and think they understand the history of Native America. Now they will see this film and think they understand the Pleistocene era.

    By the way, I wonder where the cave girl gets her hair done?

  20. Mr.Charlie2012 responds:

    marginalizing the history of African people has been a longstanding policy of Europeans and especially hollywood.
    So its not unusual for them to hint at some lost civilization that was not black, had to be responsible for anything in Africa. Here we go again.
    Thats why I made these comments on my Blog.

    Mr.Charlie’s World

    Friday, January 25, 2008
    10,000 BC Racist Historical Crap

    Director Roland Emmerich should be ashamed of himself.

    When will we get it right and stop putting this racist crap on the movie screens? Any historian will tell you that Egypt ( its part of Africa not the middle East) and the Tigris/Euphrates Valley has well-developed civilizations, even 12,000 years ago. And yes African or descendants of Ham first settled both of those societies. That’s why the original settlers in Mesopotamia were called the black-headed people.

    We have used the image of white people in furs, i.e. cavemen and women, as the image of early man so much that its hard to contemplate that African and Asian people were never cave people and yet their lineage is much older than Caucasians.

    We have an ongoing series about caveman where they boast of giving man the wheel and fire as they none of these things happened before whites appeared. Bull

    Our information about the history of man was put together during the early part of this century when white anthropologist were convinced that Africa and African people were insignificant. Even in this picture there does not appear to be any Black people other than faces in the crowd.

    The movie says that this was the first hero and implies that this was the beginning of man’s rise to civilization. Then it leads to pyramids and still no Black or brown faces.

    Caucasians had nothing to do with pyramids and nor were their any proof of any Caucasian presence in the early history of anywhere pyramids can be found.

    I don’t care about the Saber tooth tigers but I am tired of this racist twisting of history that refuses to acknowledge that Europe was actually the last continent to get civilization in 50 BC when Julius Caesar and the Romans invaded. Most of the Roman army was North Africans and blacker than I am because most of the original Roman territory was North Africa. Remember Hannibal a Black General of Carthage. The barbarians were originally the white tribes of Europe.

    Every scientist will tell you that man was in Africa first and was Black. Yet we still use the old anthropology scales that show the rise of man from ape to Homo sapiens and the Homo sapiens is always a white man in furs. My kids are very confused when I show them the truth.

    Why is all they can say? Why?

  21. Mnynames responds:

    Personally, I find that “civilization” can be a dirty word. Coming from a background that includes the last pagan vestiges in Europe (Ireland and Sweden), “uncivilized” is a term frequently bandied about in terms of my ancestry, even into modern times.

    Personally, I find the Celts and other “savage” European tribes to have been far more “civil” people than the bloodthirsty Romans, although I admit there may be something of a matter of perspective involved in that. The same certainly holds true of native Americans and Africans as well, as the exact same disparaging epithets were used against them (As well as the reinforcement of racist biblical interpretations that my ancestors were spared). Now, no civilization is perfect, and one man’s utopia is another man’s hell (Especially if their utopia involves punishing outsiders for their “savage” ways, or their idea of fun involves the words “head” and “pike” in some combination), but any way you look at it, “civilization” in the conventional sense has always been accompanied by both an increased capacity for, and practice of, bloodshed and murder, which is not so “civil” if you ask me…then again, I’m with Douglas Adams in thinking that we never should have climbed down out of the trees in the first place. We CERTAINLY should never have thought that spending our lives in harsh deserts was a good use of our time…

    With regards to the cavemen, this is the clearest representation of nascent colonial racism, especially in films like “Clan Of The Cave Bear”, where the smart Homo sapiens girl is probably the blondest, whitest woman on the face of the Earth, whereas her Neanderthal friends are all swarthy dark-haired chaps, or meant to appear so. The reality is that it was the Neanderthals who were pale-skinned, having long ago adapted to northern climes, whereas the expansion of H. sapiens out of Africa occurred so rapidly that just about any who first met their boreal cousins were very dark-skinned. Now, mind you, I think H. neanderthalensis get a bad rap, and they must have been doing something interesting with those bigger brains of theirs, but in narrative terms, the stories depicted in modern cinema would certainly have to be inverted.

    As for Egypt, there’s been some debate about this, but the overall consensus is that they saw themselves as being distinct from their much darker-skinned neighbours to the south, the Nubians. Most likely, they were of middle eastern stock, not too different from the Sumerians and Babylonians. That still makes them far from “white” by 19th century racist standards, and the amount of trade between Egypt and Nubia as well as other parts of the world I think would ensure that any typical “crowd scene” would represent quite a broad section of diverse ethnicities, most of whose skin would be very much on the darker side. And then of course, there the fact that the Nubians conquered Egypt at one point, and ruled it for some time.

    All these criticisms of cinema are well-founded, but I try to see it this way- There was a time when every character, of whatever ethnicity (And even gender), would have been played by a white guy, and often not very convincingly (One is reminded of the American penchant for “blackface” makeup, as seen in “The Jazz Singer”). While not an excuse, at least you have to admit that there’s been some progress.

    Lastly, in terms of (pre)historical accuracy, at least they’re not being attacked by Dinosaurs this time around…



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