[Runequest] Literate Neolithics?

lev at rpgreview.net lev at rpgreview.net
Thu Aug 30 14:25:04 EST 2012


Hi Loz,

> Lev, might be a good idea to read the Scholar profession description on
> page 46. It says:
>
> 'Neither are they dependent on literacy to learn; some scholars memorise
> and hand down their knowledge orally.'

Yes, I know this, I have read it. It is an optional professional skill. I
was going to leave issues of the paleolithic* division of labour aside,
but since you've brought it up, how about some evidence for the claim that
there were professional "scholars" among hunter-gatherers?

(* To be fair it, it is during the neolithic period - with their settled
communities and agriculture - that writing first originates, leading to
what can be considered the axial age of civilizations. The neolithic
period is, in Morgan's anthropology, a period of "barbarism".)

I may also raise the matter of Primitive Sailors as well... There is
*some* evidence of boat use in this time (e.g.,
http://www.ascsa.edu.gr/index.php/news/newsDetails/plakias-survey-finds-stone-age-tools-on-crete/),
but I haven't discerned evidence of a "Sailor" profession.

> Literacy, page 72, also says 'Literacy does not necessarily imply writing;
> there are an infinite number of ways to convey information'.

Yes, I read that as well. As mentioned this can refer to proto-writing on
a variety of instruments (e.g., a tharunka). However it is a stretch to
really consider this literacy. If it is to use the same skill, it should
most certainly be capped, probably at 25% as per the Linguistic Fluency
table on p71.

Regards,


Lev




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