Technology may be defined as the process by which the cultured races fashion tools and machines to change, manipulate, and control their environment. It is the driving force behind all major societal change and influences civilization at every level.
During the Age of Dawning, technology started when mankind first made simple tools such as stone axes and bone arrow tips. It continued with learning how to start and control fire, with the making of pottery, baskets, cloth, and simple jewelry. The discovery that copper, repeatedly hammered and put into a fire, would not crack was followed by the discovery that alloys of tin and copper produced a strong and malleable bronze that could be used for swords and sickles. The early human civilizations developed the rudiments of farming, transforming nomadic hunters into farmers between 7,000 and 4,000 BT. Two-wheeled carts were invented in the south of Ithria (what would eventually become the Kingdom of Gekron) about 3500 BT. The yoke allowed draft animals to pull plows and wagons. Reed boats, canoes, and wooden rafts made river and coastal trade possible. Information was first recorded by inscribing marks on soft clay. These cuneiform inscriptions were the first form of writing.
Effective farming and transportation allowed for a denser population, and after about 3500 BT, real cities began to grow. Mining, metalworking, and trade brought wealth to the cities and with it a change in the social structure. Armies were needed to defend and sometimes conquer new home territories. Construction of fortifications, public structures, water works, and dams led to the beginnings of engineering. Security, leisure, and social status were accorded to the few nobles, priests, scribes, teachers, physicians, and engineers while most of the population lived poorly.
Trade and wealth also stimulated means to measure weight, size and time. The transmittal of knowledge and records was aided by the invention of a paper-like material derived from the papyrus plant and later, vellum and parchment. Most of the resources of cities, however, were devoted to the military for the development of better weapons and fortifications.
Within the context of this discussion and throughout this world, technology is divided up into four levels of development: Ancient, Dark Ages, Middle Ages and Pre-Industrial (akin to Earth's renaissance period). Technological development is extremely staggered between nations. There are several reasons for this. First of all, Ithria is a large continent and truly efficient continent-wide communication and transportation have not yet been developed. Therefore, it may take weeks or months for news to travel from one kingdom to the next. Certain areas maintain strong traditions which impedes change and development. The most important aspect is magic. Many nations have some level of magical resources (individual sorcerers, wizards' guilds, magical items, magicians schools and more). To a degree, magic replaces and emulates technology. Some nations rely on their magical strength rather than pushing to develop better technology. Kalimura has taken a decidedly different path - outlawing all magic and diverting all of their resources to technological development. The following table shows a rough guideline to what a specific tech level will have developed, but it is not absolute.
|Ancient||Dark Ages||Middle Ages||Pre-Industrial|
|Equivalent Real Word Date||5000 BC to 0||0-700AD||700AD-1200AD||1200AD-1500AD|
|Armor||Leather, Furs, Padded||Splintmail
|Crafts||Simple Pottery, Clay Bricks, Potter's Wheel, Clay Tablets, Papyrus||Stone Bricks, Crude Lead Glass, Vellum||Complex glasswork, Stained glass, Paper||Advanced types of glass|
|Economy||Trade and barter||Crude coins||Advanced minted coins||Paper bills of credit|
Copper, Tin, Bronze
|Lead, pewter, Crude Iron||Iron||Crude steel alloys|
|Science, Astronomy and Mathematics||Simple Calendar
|Base 10 Measurement
Crude Steam Engine
|Religion||Nature cults||Polytheistic||Regional Monotheism||Regional Monotheism|
|Ships and Boats||Canoes, Rafts, Pentekonter, Drommond, Curragh, Barge||Longship, Drakkar, Knarr, Skiff, Keelboat||Cog, Sohar, Great Galley||Caravel|
This page last updated Wednesday, December 24, 2008. Copyright 1990-2009 David M. Roomes.