x asks:

Was Coalossal created for the industrial revolution, after the revolution, or did it inspire the revolution? Actually, did the revolution happen at all?

Well, the Pokémon world resembles the modern world in enough important ways that I think there has to have been an industrial revolution; like… they have mechanised agriculture, they have coal power, they have mass-produced textiles, they have modern urbanisation.  Maybe those things didn’t happen all at once and in the same place, the way they did in 18th and 19th century Britain, though?  I don’t believe that anyone at Game Freak – or indeed anywhere in Pokémon’s corporate structure – has a detailed idea of what the history of the Pokémon world looks like, outside of the explicit lore of each region (and even then, I’m not altogether convinced they care much about fitting the history of different regions into a single overarching narrative); maybe they used to, because a lot of early stuff suggested that the Pokémon world has the same history and geography as the real one, but much of that is overwritten or contradicted by later media.

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Anonymous asks:

What do you think of claims of pre-Colombian contact between East Asian and Indigenous American peoples?

Not something I really know a whole lot about.  It doesn’t strike me as wildly implausible – we know there was probably occasional contact at some point between Polynesian and South American peoples, because (among other things) New Zealand and other Polynesian islands had potatoes before European colonisation, and the Pacific Ocean is not naturally a tenable habitat for a potato.  I’m not aware of any hard evidence for, say, Imperial Chinese missions to the Americas pre-15th century, though.

Anime Time: Episode 72

The Ancient Puzzle of Pokémopolis

What happens when you get an actual real-live archaeologist to write a commentary on the episode of the Pokémon anime where they discover a bunch of artefacts from an ancient city?   Let’s find out.

The artefact known as the 'Unearthly Urn.'
The artefact known as the ‘Unearthly Urn.’

At the beginning of this episode, Ash and Brock are having a training battle out in the wilderness when a couple of stray attacks blow a hole in a hillside, revealing a buried shrine.  Brock finds a mottled orange dumbbell-shaped object lying on an altar, which is immediately snatched away from him by a young, blue-haired and inexplicably French archaeologist named Eve, who has a whole team of khaki-clad excavators with her.  Eve immediately presents the mysterious object to a senior professor in her group, excited because it apparently confirms an extremely important hypothesis of hers.  Once Eve’s initial bubbling enthusiasm has subsided, she brings the kids to her dig team’s camp and shows them some of her recent finds.  She claims that these artefacts – particularly the dumbbell that the kids just found, and a spoon made of the same orange material – are the first archaeological evidence of the location of an ancient city called Pokémopolis, where humans worshipped Pokémon as symbols of the power of nature.  Eve, despite her young age, is apparently the world’s foremost expert on this lost civilisation.  Her doting professor tells the kids that she had earned her PhD by the time she was eight years old, and published a best-selling book on Pokémopolis a year later.  At the moment, Eve is trying to figure out what to make of a stone tablet with a cryptic and ominous inscription: “Beware the two great powers of destruction.  The shadow of the Dark Device will grapple with the prisoner of the Unearthly Urn.  The sacred city will be no more as day is swallowed up by night.  Darker still for you when they return to lay waste the world, but no human knows the secret to soothe the powers and guide them back to the shadow world.”

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