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Anything short of that will always leave traces.
Roadways and pathways are visible for thousands of years (even covered up by other things).
If an advanced civilization from the stars landed here and formed a colony some 100,000 years ago, it'd be blindingly obvious from the mining of mineral resources around the globe to terraformed areas (traces of farms (there's a change in the soils), to genetically manipulated animals and animals (huge changes in short periods of time all occurring during the same 1,000 year time frame) to full buildings or more built very durably (nobody wants a house that will collapse into dirt in 4 years... and once you have a house, even if the original inhabitant dies, other generations might want to live there.)
Originally posted by Byrd
People live in packs. I couldn't weave cloth to save my life, but I know people who know how to gather fur and weave it into cloth and I know people who sew. I can't make anything out of metal, but I know 2-3 blacksmiths. I can't work on cars, but my brother-in-law is one of millions who can scratch build and fabricate parts for cars. I can't garden and have no clue how to raise and slaughter a cow or chickens, but I know people who have this skill. I do know how to make paper, however, and I know about wild foods that are safe to eat (so someone else could cultivate them.) I know a little bit about smelting metal, and I know how to find and identify metal ores.
Originally posted by Indigo_Child
Fair point, except there is one snag. In the example you gave you know these people and have a means of communication with them. In a post apolcalyptic society, these communication networks would be destroyed. The people that survive, who may be experts in various fields, would not likely have the communication with other people with the skillsets in order to make technology possible. In fact, their basic aim would be survival. The future generations therefore would not gain their skills, but instead learn how to survive.
Therefore it is feasible that in the event of a major cataclysm that we would lose our technology and resort to primitive hunter-gatherer type lifestyles, thereby starting the evolution of civilisation all over again.
[edit on 12-1-2010 by Indigo_Child]