10,000 things wrong with 10,000 BC
*Warning this post contains movie spoilers*
I love movies. I love watching them and I love critiquing them. From an archaeological/historical standpoint 10,000 BC is just asking for it. It is a horrible inaccurate movie. Suppressing my inner archaeologist, the movie still sucks. My personal scale of movie watching ranges from ‘sell your friend’s, non vital, organs to see this movie’ [see ‘Iron Man’ trailer] to ‘ignore this movies existences, perhaps employ damnatio memoria (removing all traces of a person or event- I believe the Egyptians first used it, but I only remember the Roman equivalent) [DON’T see ‘One Million Years BC’]. 10,000BC falls towards the later perhaps in the ‘download illegally’ category, I don’t advocacy video piracy but this movie is so bad and has already made enough money to warrant not giving them anymore.
A favorite website of mine is the International Movie Database (www.imdb.com) and they were oh so nice enough to compile a list of historical goofs. Here is just a few.
1) Where the hell is this sole white tribe from? They are near the snowy ‘mountains’; a week’s walk away a rain forest and a short trek to the desert surrounding Egypt. What is this the land of mother natures menopause? The only mountains I know that are South of Egypt are in ancient ‘Nubia’, and we all know they are know for their abundance of white people. Seriously, why is there one group of honkies surrounded by all black tribes? What are they the ancestors of the ‘White trash clan’? I don’t think they would be sexually racist considering the size of their clan. I have never seen a comparably large pile of mammoth crap until I saw paintings of Aryan Jesus, it looked like he stepped off the cross and into Hitler’s mental image of a super race. Jesus was not white! He was a dark skinned! Get used to it!
2) Where did THIS come from? Here white travelers, enjoy some hot peppers and corn, oh and watch out for those ‘terror birds’. It is a real shame that all of these things were originally from Central/South America. Peppers and corn didn’t make their way to the ‘old world’ until the 16th Century. Is the lone white tribe secretly time traveling Portuguese/Spanish traders who suffer from amnesia?
3) What the TIME is it? The technical term is ‘anachronism’ which is something from a different period time placed in a historical setting. Classic movie reference/anachronism- the digital watch on the wrist of an extra in Ben-Hur. There are at least six of these ‘chrono-boo boos’ (including the chili peppers and corns).
Bad guy- “I have an idea. Lets get take slaves using our horses. Transport our slaves, in metal shackles, via sailboats up the Nile to our evil den. Why do this? So they can help out the mammoths who are building the pyramids.”
Wow, where to begin. Lets just say apart from slavery, sadly, existing and people having stupid ideas none of that is historically accurate. The innovation of metal work, sailing and animal domestication coupled with the building of the pyramids all happened at a much later date. How far are off is the movie (all dates rounded)? Metal working- 5,500BC, sailing- 4,000 BC, animal domestication- horses 6,000 and mammoths NEVER and building of the pyramids 2,630 BC. It also needs to be said that there is no archaeological evidence for slaves being employed to build the pyramids. Thats right, the book of Exodus is full of it. (Mark Lehner 2003- http://harvardmagazine.com/2003/07/who-built-the-pyramids.html )
Sexism, as well as historical ignorance, rears its ugly head too. While mammoths were never domesticated as pack animals and are now extinct, we can compare them to their closest surviving ancestor the elephant. Sometime during the movie one of the characters states “that one is the lead bull”. Ops, turns out elephants, and by association mammoths, are matriarchal, that’s right, big momma is in charge of the herd. Your sexism makes fictitious ‘Aryan-Jesus’ cry!
This rant could go on and on but anger clouds the mind and makes people stupid. If I keep ranting, I might actually become so dumb that just before my brain shuts down I will reverse my opinion about this movie. Instead, I will talk about why I hate movies like this.
Why does this movie invoke hatred in my soul? It is part jealousy and part being witness to the corruption of everything I know to be true. I say jealousy because Hollywood can shape, and potentially educate, the public in a way archaeologists never will. As if being confused with a paleontologist on a daily basis wasn’t enough, now, I will have people asking me about the domesticated mammoth. As for the corruption, I will never look at the Sphinx, or domesticated crops the same way. In the movie the Sphinx is actually a saber-toothed tiger and the hero is given a bag of seeds (with corn kernels) to take back to ‘white mountain’ with the directions ‘plant these, they will feed your [honky, likely inbred] clan’. I have tried my hand at growing crops and its not easy, apart from making farmers look like lazy bastards, the film makes the social transition from hunter-gather to agricultural look like it happened over night. Well it didn’t; it took at least 500 years and the change was not a totally beneficial.
Perhaps what angers me the most is that I love movies and its crap films like this that push me away from that which I love.
For more information of the inaccuracies of the film, go to; http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0443649/goofs .