You are transported through time to prehistory...

The destination can be wherever you want- as long as it’s before recorded history, and there are humans present who use language and tools. Let’s put the time period at around 10,000 - 5000 BC, anywhere you want to go. Once you get there, you can do anything you want. Of course, the “natives” might object, if you do something they don’t like.

You can bring whatever you want that fits into a duffel bag (standard sports gym bag).

Where would you choose to go? What would you bring? How would you proceed?

What I’m most interested in is how someone might attempt to relate to the “natives” of the time period. Once you make sure they don’t just kill you out of hand, language is obviously a problem- even if you speak Latin or Ancient Greek or Sanskrit, there’s still probably no one around who will understand you. So how will you communicate? Once you do figure out communication, what is your goal? Do you try to rule? If so, how? Do you try to educate? If so, how?

Well, a weapon or two seems like a good idea. Because I might be there for a while, it sounds like I might want a gun for which I can manufacture ammo, so maybe something other than the latest assault weapons would be in order. A decently made bow for which I can manufacture my own arrows from local materials might be nice, and would be a match for whatever they had. A well-made sword would probably come in handy, either for combat, hunting, or just being a menacing weapon to “discourage” the natives from bothering you, assuming that they understand what it is.

I’m almost positive they would kill you immediately upon seeing you, although approaching naked might help. I would want to take a LOT of Bic lighters, and light one as they approach to kill me. A weapon would be good but they would outnumber you and throw spears or rocks at you. I would probably opt to stay hidden until I could befriend just one of them, and that one would get me in with the rest.

My main goal, being realistic about my own abilities, would mostly be basic medical stuff. Wash your dang hands, were you born in a cave? Oh, right. Treating wounds. Oh, and depending on my chosen time, maybe I could invent the wheel. Grow stuff, irrigation. Maybe a few Beatles songs. Be nice to your dogs. There is no invisible man in the sky. Omelets. And so on.

I think a modern firearm would be enough to cow them. Even if they charge and get ready to start throwing spears, I think a shot fired into the air would send them scattering. They’ve probably never heard something that loud in their lives.

Weapons? I’d rather convince them that I’m a god by bringing some really impressive technology. Like a plasma TV.

Imagine you’re going to the middle of the Amazon rainforest to meet with tribesmen who have almost no contact with the outside world.

Seems to me the scenario is pretty much the same.

What exactly do you expect to teach these people?

Yeah, but once you have scared them with the gun, it will take forever to get them to trust you. I just don’t think it would go well for you once you have cowed them. They know fire, but how on earth did you create it out of air and hold it in your hand? Cowing, but with something familiar and less noise, I guess.

I’d bring steel armor with me, a sword and a spear, a modern bow, and some time of handy firearm or two.

Some basic survival kit stuff too: flint and steel, basic first aid kit.

Either way, without modern medicine my days are likely numbered.

I’d either get hurt in a fight and die from infection/bleeding or from just being weaker and an easier target, or hell a tooth infection or food poisoning might take me.

Also, hopefully I won’t have something like the flu when I go 'cause then I’ll probably end up killing anyone who comes near me.

In fact, avoiding the locals entirely would probably be my best bet. Maybe befriend disenfranchised members of local tribes instead.

I’d definitely want to work the ‘make them believe I’m a god’ angle, through some combination of weaponry and advances in agriculture. I’d take seed corn and wheat as they existed in the 19th century, rather than monocultural, fertilizer-dependent contemporary grains, but stuff that would probably well outclass their more primitive grains. They’d fear me due to my guns, and they’d be grateful for my benevolence as they ate better food.

I didn’t think of that. Perhaps I could bring a few dozen (fertilized) chicken eggs too- modern chickens probably produce a lot more eggs than ancient chickens. I’d bring some piglets too, but they need a mama pig to nurse, and I can’t fit mama in a duffle bag :slight_smile:

I’d bring some steel tools and plenty of cheap but gawdy looking jewelry, some real gold and silver, and some antibiotics. I’d want to set down somewhere that coal and iron ore are readily available and try to teach them to make coke and steel. I’m not so sure you’d face instant death if you could be seen as a knowledgeable trader from a distant land. I don’t think it would be that hard to work out communication using signing. I’m not that musical, but I’d try to bring some kind of instrument that didn’t look too magical that I could play a little, and see if someone else could master it.

I’d have to give it more thought but my first thought is a really good knife and lots of duct tape. Maybe a few thousand asprin and penicillin. The modern seeds idea is a good one.

Ooh! My favourite “Maastricht shows up in an Ayla novel” fantasy.
I’d bring books. Basic books on pottery, making a pully, a spindle, ( I was always surprised Ayla didn’t invent that one, too). Books on making very efficient snares, and knots. Books on basic diseases and how to treat them, (so basically this book) books on preparing and using herbal medicine.

Metal knives and needles, and a hand-axe. Rope. Firestones. Beads & mirrors. Antibiotics. A flute. Maybe an music player on solar energy.

I’d dress like an Cro-Magnon, too. Do I need to pack those clothes or do I get to wear them as I step into the time machine?

I like the modern seed idea, too. Although I don’t think Cro-magnons did much in the way of agriculture.

Toilet paper.

Tablet or laptop computer (determined primarily by power consumption requirements) and some sort of hand crank/solar battery charger. DVDs of all the encyclopedias and technical manuals I can think of that would possibly help me with constructing things, as well as cookbooks and books detailing how to prepare wild game for human consumption, relevant botanical texts, agriculture/horticulture information, and so forth. Compound bow. Stainless steel sword. Modern body armor designed to protect against stabbing, knives, etc (not the type designed to protect against bullets). Plenty of very durable rope. Seeds of various different types of major crops. Compass and other tools for navigation of both land and sea. Highly durable plastic magnifying glass. Similarly durable binoculars.

And most of all, at least three pairs of really good, durable boots, each with no less than three pairs of socks stuffed in them.

Polaroid SX-70 and a lot of film packs (batts in the film pack)

“I got your soul! I got your soul!”

Someplace nice and warm year-round and day-round so I don’t have to worry much about clothes or blankets. Near a big cave, so I don’t have to worry about shelter. Near a source of fresh water so I don’t have to worry about dehydration. Away from predatory or venomous wild animals so I don’t have to worry about being killed (prey animals like bunnies and squirrels and birds and deer, etc, are OK). Optimally, I’d choose a place where there were very few or no poisonous berries or plants in range. Lots of orange and lemon/lime trees and coconut/banana trees would be great. Also lots of coca and marijuana plants, for obvious reasons.

I would make sure to take a good amount of paper and writing utensils (pencils and sharpeners, since pens and ink can dry up) so I could write and draw and keep from getting too bored. And a few huge anthologies to read and keep myself entertained (the complete works of Shakespeare, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, HHGTTG, others). I’d take great pains to hide my things, not to avoid disrupting the natural order, but because I don’t want them getting stolen or damaged. I’d also take a few flint and steel firestarters, iodine to purify water and treat wounds, and enough one-a-day complete multivitamins to get me through a couple of years. Beyond that point, I’ll hopefully have learned to hunt small animals well enough to keep myself from starving or being nutritionally-deficient, and how to treat my wounds using local greenery/palm frond bandages/etc. If not, then I deserve to die. A pair of sturdy, broken-in boots designed for my feet specifically would go a long way toward preventing cuts, so that’d be a good thing to have.

I’d start out near a large camp of peaceful hunter-gatherers because your hypo demands it, but nothing says I have to *stay *there. I’d strike out on my own ASAP. Man is a predatory animal, and I’d rather keep my distance. If I were to contract a horrible disease (an infected abscess I couldn’t treat), I’d try to get stoned out of my gourd on natural MJ and coca leaves until I died.

Before I died, though, I would try really hard to arrange a message to the future on the beach. So when someone stumbles across the site in modern times and finds the message, they’ll freak right the fuck out. Some words that are large and visible from a low-flying plane, optimally.

Probably Mesopotamia or somewhere nearby.

How about a Kindle? You can fit all your books on there and spend a LOT less time crankin’ that crank.

And you don’t think modern weapons would do it? :confused: But, yeah, other things could work too. The flashier the better (eg a flare gun).

Definitely a gun and as much ammo as I could carry, some knives of various kinds, lighters, and some basic medical supplies. Flashlights, the kind you crank by hand so batteries don’t matter. Plenty of sunscreen and/or cold weather gear. At least one bottle of booze to get through at least a few nights realizing that I’m probably screwed over.

Hmm - how big is this duffle bag -

I would either try to interact w/“the natives” as little as possible (mountain man kinda thing) or come right out in a blaze of whatever to convince them I’m a god and live the good life. Lotta virgin wenches etc. And I’d probably opt for a nice friendly Indian/Native American/whatever the PC term is now tribe or territory.