Cold

Cold

Cold enough to chill my bones
It feels like I don’t know you anymore
I don’t understand why you’re so cold to me
With every breath you breathe
I see there’s something going on
I don’t understand why you’re so cold.
—“Cold” by Maroon 5 (feat. Future)

Sometime around 40,000 years before present, this Upper Paleolithic woman (Homo sapiens) is weathering the wintry cold of Pleistocene Europe. Although she has inherited most of her physical features from her African ancestors around the time they settled Europe, you may notice she has green eyes as foreshadowing for her people’s eventual evolution into modern “white” Europeans.

The image came to mind while listening to the song “Cold” by Maroon 5. Music has a strange way of inspiring artwork from me sometimes.

Offering to the Aten

Offering to the Aten

Inside a dark chapel with only a narrow aperture to let in the sunlight, the Egyptian Queen Nefertiti makes an offering to the sun god Aten.

Although the main Egyptian solar deity was Ra, another variation on the same theme was an entity known as the Aten which rose to prominence during the reign of the Pharaoh Akhenaten (Nefertiti’s hubby). Akhenaten even went as far as abolishing the traditional Egyptian religion in favor of an almost monotheistic fixation on the Aten. Not only did this not sit well with the “orthodox” Egyptian priesthood, but Akhenaten was a horrible ruler who let his people suffer and whose reign weakened Egypt’s once mighty 18th Dynasty. Nonetheless, some scholars have speculated that Akhenaten’s concept of the Aten might have inspired the modern monotheism of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (although this is not certain).

Neolithic West African Huntress

Neolithic West African HuntressThis is a character for whom I have a background and even a storyline (almost) mapped out, but I’ve yet to choose a satisfactory name for her. She lives in West Africa circa 5000 BC, in an alternate timeline where non-avian dinosaurs never went extinct. Her people have begun settling in villages and cultivating crops, which would place them at a “Neolithic” level of technology.

As for the character herself, she’s a huntress who’s fiercely protective of her younger brother to a fault, as he’s the only family she has left since both their parents died. On the other hand, her brother craves independence and a chance to prove himself as a hunter, even if it means breaking himself free from his sister’s watch. The rest I won’t spoil in detail, but suffice to say they both find themselves in very deep trouble in this savage world of dinosaurs and tribal warfare.

Aterian Woman

Aterian Woman

Here we have a fine female specimen of the Aterian culture, a Paleolithic culture which thrived in northern Africa from 145,000 to 30,000 years ago. They would have been Homo sapiens (or anatomically modern humans), and the material culture they left behind is characterized by distinctive tangs on their stone tools and the use of shell “beads” for personal ornamentation. You can see one example of a tanged Aterian point as the centerpiece of this chick’s necklace.

Matriarchs

Matriarchs

This young warrior queen is resting on the back of her tame elephant during a warm African afternoon.

With this simple piece I was trying to climb out of a recent creative slump. I hope it jump-starts me back to full productivity within the next few weeks.

Hatshepsut Mod for Civilization VI

hatshepsut_setup_smaller

Link to mod on Steam

This is a mod I made for the game Civilization VI. It adds the New Kingdom Pharaoh Hatshepsut as an alternative leader for Egypt (since the game’s default is the Ptolemaic Cleopatra VII). The mod is still a work in progress, as I’ve still yet to learn how to program things like leader gameplay bonuses and AI agendas. But she should still be basically playable.

Wrath of Sekhmet

rage-of-sekhmet

Sekhmet, the Egyptian goddess of war, has just gone through a destructive rampage. One Egyptian story claims that the sun god Ra sent Sekhmet down to punish some mortals who conspired against him, but when her rampage went out of control to the point of nearly destroying humanity, Ra had to get her drunk with beer dyed red to look like blood. As would have befitted her role, Sekhmet had as her animal totem the lioness, which would have been among the most formidable predators known to the ancient Egyptians.