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Marriage habits of the Bronze Age

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Interesting - the Bronze Age farmers worked along the same lines as farmers just 2 centuries ago. The farmer as local master, with his family and a bunch of workers and servants from (more or less) landless unfree folk. (The farmers themselves may have been unfree to leave their lands, but still outranked those who just were live-in workers.)

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Hmmm, haven't finished the article but have read Old Testament stories (not sure I trust Gizmodo as a source for such topics) so ...

You were married at 12 (hubby may have been 15).  You raised 12 sons plus daughters to be productive citizens of your tribe/clan/ciry-state. And you did it without Head Start or daycare. Walmart and QuikTrip weren't around to help, so you manufactured all your family's physical necessities from scratch, supervising a giant staff of relatives and servants like a freaking boss.  You negotiate business deals both with locals and traders while hubby is busy plowing or fighting in the annual spring wars (sorta like football season but bloodier).  Your wisdom, patience and hard work made hubby and sons a success but when its time to go hubby is the one who gets his name baked on a clay tablet.  You lived your life large and in charge but modern folks who couldn't keep up with your dust wanna complain about "Patriarchy."

"Patriarchy!  Patriarchy?  I birthed, wiped and spanked Patriarchy's bare bottom then booted it out the tent flap when the 13-year-old slacker needed to man up and get a job!"

I did read the article and I appreciate you sharing it.  But it only made me shake my head at the state of modern scholarship.  Interesting genetic studies aside, there really isn't any news here.  Why is it surprising that Bronze Age Germans kept household slaves?  Every human society we know about has.  Profiting from the forced labor of others has been one of mankind's' besetting sins since forever.  Slavery exists today in the supposedly enlightened high tech 21st century.  Our tools get better but our character hasn't changed.

Edited by seneschal

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The lack of children/descendants of the high-status women is odd and potentially interesting--if these were the wives of the high-status men, you'd expect at least some of them to have sons (surely those sets of rich brothers had mothers?), or even daughters who died young. As the article points out, that could just be a sampling issue--they tested about a hundred people over a long period of time, maybe by sheer chance they missed these women's kids, or only tested childless women--but still. 

Another article on the same study: https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/10/why-are-adult-daughters-missing-ancient-german-cemeteries

It's really kind of exciting to me that they can tell which people moved around during their lives--not just the outsider women but the three guys who left the area as teenagers and came back as adults. That's impressive!

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1 hour ago, Sheliak said:

The lack of children/descendants of the high-status women is odd and potentially interesting--if these were the wives of the high-status men, you'd expect at least some of them to have sons (surely those sets of rich brothers had mothers?), or even daughters who died young.

Perhaps children were fostered out (a custom in some Iron Age societies)? Odd though, that none came back when adults.

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Yeah, that's odd. It's almost tempting to say that perhaps they weren't wives after all, but possibly high-class hostages (in the medieval sense) or perhaps priestesses or something - however these seem a bit fanciful. The simplest explanation, that they were exogamous wives, does still seem to be the most likely one.

The implication of the practice of agnatic seniority is interesting too - ie. younger brothers of the deceased having inheritance priority over the sons of the deceased. It's not exactly super-rare (iirc. it occurs in some Slavic and Gaelic cultures, as well as some Old Norse cases, albeit being subject of rivalries).

As @Joerg mentioned, the practices of a central stead with (outlying?) tenant (or unfree)-steads and some live-in servants/slaves is very reminiscent of 1800s residential patterns I'm familiar with from Scandinavia (but I'm sure it occurs in many other areas as well). To be honest, it's how I imagine a number of Orlanthi steads in my head (moreso than the pseudo-medieval village cluster of houses) but there's a certain overlap.

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2 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

it's how I imagine a number of Orlanthi steads in my head

Orlanthi steads are likely very large stone-based wooden longhouses surrounded by wooden pallisade walls; separate residences are likely limited to a limited number of specific groupings, like night-time field guardians, the airier un-pallisaded summer longhouses up in the yaylas, and where weirdo shamans or librarians (i.e. Lhankorite/Sartarite Brown Men) insist on living like hermits or because their materials are too dangerous or rare to risk fire and children.

In areas where these residences exist archaeologically and now, particularly in comparatively mild Dragon-Pass like environments, there are separate food storage buildings on stilts accessible by removable ladders away from the longhouse and a small storage area on top of the main longhouse for treasures. The food storage is separated to prevent infestation and sealed in pottery; they are accessed over time one at a time to reduce spoilage.

Longhouse dwellings are par for the course in clan cultures. Food is communally prepared by specialists, not by individuals. Layouts and social structures are largely similar from Indonesia to Armenia to the Haudenosaunee of North America because these communities face similar issues of social and work organisation.

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Two photos of Hemshin Armenian architecture. The Hemshin, due to the terrain, did not have build the same kind of longhouses typical of lowland areas; they made large houses instead. They were scattered due to the nearly vertical nature of the agricultural areas and a lack of enemies; they could build small farmhouses and not get murdered.

The Hemshin survived the Armenian Genocide because nobody realised they were Armenians: they are Muslims and their language is quite distinct from other kinds of Armenian. Today they produce tremendous amounts of tea (and drink like 10 cups a day!) and no longer try to grow large amounts of food.

The first picture is a traditional house; image that, but loooong. The second is a Yayla (pasturage) near Rize. You can see that in the modern day, traditional tents - again, no need for a longhouse here - have been replaced by houses.

  

image.png.59d072523ce2950a2fec28d8be5f181e.png

Screen Shot 2019-10-12 at 20.41.29.png

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I am not at all sure about the long houses. The second photo of the large square houses I believe will be closer the Heortling ideal of a shape pleasing to Ernalda (ruler of the hearth with her sisters). Jeff has already said this is so for Pavis which based it’s style on the heortling tradition. A look at Clearwine shows many square buudlings with only a few longhouses.  Now if the animals share the abode the square would have to give way to a longhouse.

Cheers

Edited by Bill the barbarian

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image.thumb.png.8400f3f1b2131e1353086d78ea746ed5.png

2 hours ago, Bill the barbarian said:

I am not at all sure about the long houses. The second photo of the large square houses I believe will be closer the Heortling ideal of a shape pleasing to Ernalda (ruler of the hearth with her sisters). Jeff has already said this is so for Pavis which based it’s style on the heortling tradition. A look at Clearwine shows many square buudlings with only a few longhouses.  Now if the animals share the abode the square would have to give way to a longhouse.

Cheers

I continue to find it implausible that the most feasible plan for clan housing would not be used. The large main hearth area would still be square! Individual housing is direly labor-intensive and materials-intensive and practical only in intensely-settled places like cities, where clan is broken up.

The entire structure of Orlanthi life is around clan on top of the history of how archaeology tells us people lived. The pre-modern Hemshin only didn't make longhouses because of the extreme peculiarity of their geography, it was one of the most notable things about them.

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7 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

Individual housing is direly labor-intensive and materials-intensive and practical only in intensely-settled places like cities, where clan is broken up.

Square houses does not imply individual housing, just a square form built around a center courtyard of clan activity.

For good examples of these, see @M Helsdon house drawings in this old thread, particularly pages 3 and 5.

 

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Round Houses would be good for Solar types, or Darkness types. maybe the style of the roof decoration indicates whether they follow Fire/Sky, Light, Heat or Darkness.

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Personally, for "darkness" house I used Pictish brorch, both impressive and impervious to light!!

 

 

4146f415157e5a5a1caafb20debf5d83.jpg

broch-cutaway-drawing1.jpg

Edited by Minlister
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19 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

image.thumb.png.8400f3f1b2131e1353086d78ea746ed5.png

I continue to find it implausible that the most feasible plan for clan housing would not be used. The large main hearth area would still be square! Individual housing is direly labor-intensive and materials-intensive and practical only in intensely-settled places like cities, where clan is broken up.

The entire structure of Orlanthi life is around clan on top of the history of how archaeology tells us people lived. The pre-modern Hemshin only didn't make longhouses because of the extreme peculiarity of their geography, it was one of the most notable things about them.

I would be onboard with longhouses, but Chaosium seems to currently be going in a slightly different, more Mediterranean direction.

My interpretation of multiple sub-dwellings of semi-free dependant tenant farmers (ooph, a mouthful) is based on the idea that the (idealized) distinction between free and semi-free is the ability to maintain a full oxen plow-team. This, imho, implies separate fields to plow, because if they had all been living in the same household, I am somewhat uncertain why they would divide the plots into different properties and divide access to the plow-team. A main dwelling of the free farmer, with multiple sub-dwellings of semi-free dependants makes more sense in this regard. The same also goes for the idea that another term used (in-universe) for semi-free Heortling farmers is "sheep-men", which for one, again refers to the lack of a complete oxen plow-team (to the best of my knowledge) but imho also to that they do still possess their own flocks of sheep which their graze on their own grazing ranges (the existence of commons will have to be discussion for another day). Lastly, there is also the term "cottar", which I am aware is being phased out as inaccurate, but if it still carries any weight, it does literally refer to a cottager or crofter, ie. a tenant farmer living on an outlying plot.

As always, this is just my personal interpretation, and I should probably add that I have a feeling that Chaosium might also not be going in this direction. And I do like the longhouse, and also the mediterranean square courtyard-house so I'm not super-upset whatever solution works out.

We should probably also keep in mind that it's not like any of these residential patterns necessarily exclude each other. There are bigger and smaller longhouses (and even an outlying semi-free family can still number enough to construct and maintain their own mini-longhouse, if we go by what I've read about Norwegian archaeology, although I don't know how it looks like in say, precolombian longhouse cultures or the Caucasus), and the shape and construction of dwellings is going to vary greatly on climate, access to building materials, surrounding dangers, and in Glorantha, construction myths.

EDIT: Had a look through the linked article about Heortling housing from 2016, and clearly this topic is something that has been discussed at length several times. :P

Edited by Sir_Godspeed
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10 hours ago, Minlister said:

Personally, for "darkness" house I used Pictish brorch, both impressive and impervious to light!!

 

 

4146f415157e5a5a1caafb20debf5d83.jpg

broch-cutaway-drawing1.jpg

I suggested those as possible building-styles for the Yggites, due to their relative lack of need for large amounts of lumber, protection against winds, and high degree of defensibility in a (presumably) pretty violent Vadrudian society - but you make a compelling case here as well. :)

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1 hour ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

precolombian longhouse cultures or the Caucasus

i focused on the Armenians because where they live have many similarities to Dragon Pass. Most areas are actually classified as Mediterranean climates or are mountainous areas so they are just a hair too cool to be Mediterranean (so they get actual snow in winter). The Viking one I picked only because I wanted to show the actual size that longhouses can get.

Also, the Longhouse Cultures of the Northeast of North America wasn't just *pre-*Columbian; it lasted a long time after. Longhouse politics affected early American political thought and social life - the word caucus is an Algonkian word and it was no accident that the first woman's suffrage movement happened at Seneca Falls.

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1 hour ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

I suggested those as possible building-styles for the Yggites, due to their relative lack of need for large amounts of lumber, protection against winds, and high degree of defensibility in a (presumably) pretty violent Vadrudian society - but you make a compelling case here as well. :)

According to the map on the Ban in the Guide (p.201) neither Erontree nor Winterwood were affected by the Ban. Neither were Ygg's Isles.

Adding ancient logging rights of the Yggites to this, I am not sure that the Yggites had a scarcit of lumber. Their islands are within sight of the mainland, making the sea voyage free of fear of the Closing.

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We did base the Vingkotling houses in Six Ages on american northeast longhouses, to some extent. Of course they're arranged into spiral-shaped Arkaim-like walled towns, and have painted roofs for flying people. So not exactly the same.

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To derail the thread even further from marriage practices, here a picture I use for a sector of the Big Rubble, it is a reconstruction by archaeologists of the Roman forum in the Middle Ages.

foro-di-Nerva-X-secolo.jpg

aert.jpg

Campo Marzio X-XI sec.jpg

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9 hours ago, Joerg said:

According to the map on the Ban in the Guide (p.201) neither Erontree nor Winterwood were affected by the Ban. Neither were Ygg's Isles.

Adding ancient logging rights of the Yggites to this, I am not sure that the Yggites had a scarcit of lumber. Their islands are within sight of the mainland, making the sea voyage free of fear of the Closing.

We've been over this before, but didn't the Ban cut off their access to Erontree? They were reportedly eating their own children after all.

Additionally, we don't really know what "logging rights" entail, specifically. Quotas, purpose, earmarking, etc.

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10 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

i focused on the Armenians because where they live have many similarities to Dragon Pass. Most areas are actually classified as Mediterranean climates or are mountainous areas so they are just a hair too cool to be Mediterranean (so they get actual snow in winter). The Viking one I picked only because I wanted to show the actual size that longhouses can get.

Also, the Longhouse Cultures of the Northeast of North America wasn't just *pre-*Columbian; it lasted a long time after. Longhouse politics affected early American political thought and social life - the word caucus is an Algonkian word and it was no accident that the first woman's suffrage movement happened at Seneca Falls.

Never implied they were "just" pre-Colombian, but they *originated* prior to European colonization. Unlike, for example, the equestrian prairie cultures.

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