Doing the research - Iron Age life:

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I'm trying to work out how a very low tech culture works,("low-tech" being basic metalworking, agriculture, that sort of thing) and obviously there are plenty of examples. However, cursory Googling doesn't yield a lot of usable information. (Or maybe I'm rubbish at Google-fu) I'm looking for things about societies like the Native Americans and Celts, with The Roman Empire being a little on the high-tech end. I'm not so much looking for beliefs as what day-to-day life was like, and how people interacted. (The sort of stuff you would need to know if you were writing a historically-accurate sitcom)

Anyone got any suggestions? (Though please don't say, "library" without giving a title or something like that)

edited 14th Feb '11 3:49:30 PM by Yej

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2 Dec14th Feb 2011 04:24:30 PM from The Dance Floor
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I have a few suggestions, though I'm not completely sure if they'd work:

  • Look at more sites/books/whatever focusing on archeology instead of history. The day-to-day stuff is what they focus on — usually because all they get is the trash piles of some nameless person long ago.

  • Look at the technology of the time period. This one could be a bit more messy, just from the plethora of disconnected stuff, but usually a book on the subject will not only talk about the new invention, but also what it replaced and perhaps how it affected people economically.

  • Linguistics. I'm not sure how much information exists on the historical stuff, but linguistics in general is a lot of talk about how things where said, how what was said was interpreted socially, and in tern how a lot of said social interaction works. Its about culture on a person to person basis.

Hopefully one of those helps, somehow. Also, I'm not sure how this would be helpful to you personally, but I find that the libraries at colleges are loads better for this sort of stuff than the local public library. If the local library fails you, sliding into a college to check out their collection might be worth it — especially if you can access some databases while on one of their computers.

edited 14th Feb '11 8:34:29 PM by Dec

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3 LoniJay14th Feb 2011 04:28:51 PM from Australia , Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
Have you read any fictional books set in this time period? They wouldn't be a substitute for your own research, of course, but they could give you ideas and words to search for. I'm thinking of The Reindeer People by Megan Lindholm.
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Terracotta Soldier Man
A couple of references which I found on a quick search of, based on the parameters you gave us:

The European Iron Age, by John Collis.

The Bog People: Iron Age Man Preserved, by P. V. Glob.

Surviving the Iron Age, by P. L. Firstbrook. It chronicles an attempt by some modern researchers to recreate an Iron Age village. It's probably not a perfect recreation of what exactly did happen, but it would appear to give some insights into the sorts of challenges these people faced.

The Vikings, by Else Roesdahl. It's a bit outside what you gave us, but it should still be useful. It's also a good read; I actually own a copy of this one.

History, Myths, and Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees, by James Mooney. Another one that I own, although I haven't gotten that far into it.

You might want to see if your local library has these or can get them via interlibrary loan. You might also want to ask the desk clerk about any archaeological / daily life books for the cultures you have in mind.

edited 14th Feb '11 6:34:34 PM by Specialist290

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