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Nouveaudebutflag
History of Nouveaudébut
Antiquity
  Prehistory of Nouveaudebut
  Development of the Belleau River Valley
  City-states of the Belleau River Valley
  Ouvreur Empire
Middle ages
  Dark ages of Nouveaudebut
  Renaissance of Nouveaudebut
Modernity
  Modern history of Nouveaudebut


Evidence suggests that the Belleau River Valley has been home to human life for thousands of years, though prior to the invention of writing systems there is some difficulty in deciphering the archeological record. For this reason, much of the prehistory of the region is inferred from archeological digs.

Discord between Valley Dwellers and HighlandersEdit

There existed from the earliest times a divide between the lifestyles and cultures of the agricultural villages of the valley floor and the pastoral clans of the interior highlands.

Life in the valleyEdit

On the valley floor, evidence of permanent settlement is copious. Dwellings, granaries, and pottery have been excavated along both banks of the Belleau River. Annual floods of the Belleau brought on by springtime melt in the highlands deposited rich alluvial soils along the riverbanks and led to high yields. Technological growth was quick, but hindered by raiding and encroachment from the more bellicose Highlanders, as well as by lack of exploitable military resources.

Highlanderskeleton

Skeletal remains of a Highlander in modern Montagnes de l'Est.

Life in the mountainsEdit

In the highlands, unlike the valley floor, there is little evidence of permanent settlements or the excess food yields that led to specialization in the lowland villages. The Highlanders of the Belleau River Valley relied primarily upon herds of hardy mountain goats which they bred for meat and milk. Skeletal evidence suggests that the Highlander diet was dangerously low on vitamin rich vegetables and fruits, and life expectancy was significantly shorter in the uplands than on the valley floor.

Though conflict with the Valley Dwellers existed, the Highlanders relied upon raids of their counterparts to survive in times of scarcity. Through these raids, the Highlanders were able to absorb some technological gains, though native interest in technological advancement was minute.

Conflict and Highlander dominationEdit

Around roughly 5,000 BCE, copper weaponry began to be utilized. Though the technology is believed to have been developed by the Valley Dwellers, it was the Highlanders, during a period of relative prosperity, who undertook its production en masse. The availability of copper in the mountains was high, and its strength changed the dynamic of the relationship between Valley Dweller and Highlanders.

During the period between 5,000 and 4,000 BCE, Highlander raids on the river settlements intensified, fueled by copper weaponry. Mass graves from this time period are found plentifully in the valley bottom, and skeletal evidence suggests that the Valley Dwellers suffered gravely at the point of copper spears.

ValleyDwellerMassGrave

Mass grave of Valley Dwellers in northern Vallée des Pommes.

Though the evidence is tenuous at best, it is believed that Highlander raiders had completely subjugated the valley bottom to their rule by 3,000 BCE. Though Highlander martial domination was complete, it appears that Valley Dweller culture won out in the end. Evidence of pastoralism declined from this period forward and evidence of agriculture and technological growth continued, especially in the valley bottom, leading to the conclusion that Highlanders essentially became the people they had conquered.

Post-conflict societyEdit

After the completion of unification, life continued in a relatively peaceful manner. The development of writing, which had already begun by the completion of the Highlander domination, gained ground in the new found prosperity. It was with the development of writing that wealth first began to accumulate.

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