Technology level 0

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Technology level 0 is the first of the Technology level classifications. The defining characteristics of a society having reached TL–0 is the initial use of tools utilizing material found in the environment including wood and other plant materials, stone of different types, and animal parts.

The second characteristic is the development of agriculture. For creatures who are herbivores and omnivores, the development of a consistent and available food supply enables easier construction of a society. For carnivores the development of animal husbandry to do the same and ensure their food supply.

In terms of classification TL–0 is the Technological Period of Foundational Period, the initial planetary bound cycle of development. It also occurs within the Technological Epoch know as the Tool Making Epoch.

Theoretical Technologies[edit]

Physical Science
Astronomy - The construction of large stone circles, and the adaptation of natural features, to track the seasons.
Animistic explanations - The beliefs that all material phenomena have agency and events in the world are driven by the different part of the world taking action to make event happen.
Material Science / Manufacturing
Worked raw materials - The adaptation of naturally occurring materials for use as tools. This would include wood, flint-knapped stone spearpoints and blades, bricks made of baked clays, and materials derived from beasts including bone, hide, sinews, bladders, and fur.
Material processing - Making of wool and string, weaving to make clothing, nets, and other useful items.
Biological Science
Domestication - The initial domestication of beasts who are easily trainable, such as the sheep, dog, and horse.
Herbology - Understating the effects of consumption of plants and animal parts as poisonous or medically helpful.
Cultural Science
Tribal gatherings - Band Society, Groups of sophonts gathering together to address broader needs of the individual.
Settlements - Fixed locations for living including the basis for laws.
Simple art - Carved wood and stone with painted symbology and decoration.
Barter - Materials and tools are traded between groups.
Priests - The beginnings of religions with rituals and priests.

Quality of Life Technologies[edit]

Fire - Basic combustion of plant materials as open fires for cooking and warmth.
Domesticated animals - Train animals to provide additional carrying capacity and simple agricultural work assistance.
Memorization - Facts and information are memorized by individual members.
Story telling - Details about the world are transmitted to others through stories.
Numbers - Simple arithmetic and written numbers for accounting.
Language - The initial development languages for communication abstract concepts and needs.
Medicine / Life sciences
Herbology - Use of basic plant materials to treat some common aliments and injuries.
Basic diagnostics - The earliest understandings of physiology.
Structures - Ability to construct simple structures of stone, earth, or wood.
Agriculture - Beginning of agriculture and animal husbandry to ensure a food supply.

Transportation Technologies[edit]

Land transportation
Domesticated animals - used for transportation as riding beasts.
Simple roads - The construction of cleared paths and marked trails for transport of domesticated animals.
Simple boats - Ability to construct simple boats or rafts from one or a few pieces of wood.

Military Technologies[edit]

Warfare is disorganized at best, and limited to poorly organized groups gathered for a single specific task. Weapons are made exclusively by hand, using only naturally occurring materials such as stone, plant fibers, or animal parts such as leather, bone, teeth or connective tissue. [1]

Weapons Technology
Simple weapons - Lengths of wood as clubs or sharpened into spears. Attached stone to construct axes.
Bows - Construction of weapons to launch projectiles for hunting and attacking others.
Defenses - Use of wood, leather, or fur as armor. Construction of simple shields of wood.


Proto-Sophont is a transitory stage of evolution between a sentient creature and a full Sophont. The term "Proto-sophont" is mostly applied historically to describe the period between when the physical evolution of the creature, with the brain capacity, manipulators, and other physical changes would allow the use of tools and when the ecological or other environmental changes force a species to use the increasing number of tools and language to adapt to their new environments.

It is known that many non-sophont creatures are capable of using tools, including use of tools to create tools and construction of structures and shelters (e.g. Beaver Lodge). And most have some form of communication using a combination of sounds, body posture, and gestures.

The current process is to assign a status of either Sophont or not based upon a survey of members of a race with a Neural Activity Sensor. The standard is the species having the neural complexity and flexibility to evolve their tool and language use without further genetic evolution or changes.

Like the term Technological Age, the length of the proto-sophont period varies with specific race under discussion. The span can be anywhere from a few decades for some uplifted races to hundreds of thousands or millions of years.

See Also[edit]

Technology levels[edit]

References & Contributors[edit]

This list of sources was used by the Traveller Wiki Editorial Team and individual contributors to compose this article. Copyrighted material is used under license from Far Future Enterprises or by permission of the author. The page history lists all of the contributions.