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Ancients

 

History

Timeline

5-10 million years ago

The Ancients lived on Earth, in the city of Atlantis, on Antarctica. (Rising pt 1)

A plague infected much/most of the population at some point, killing any Ancients who didn't ascend or flee. (SG1: Full Circle)

Several million years ago

The Ancients left Earth, flying away in the city of Atlantis, apparently headed for the Pegasus galaxy. (Rising pt 1)

They left behind an armed outpost with an Ancient as a guardian of some sort -- probably Ayiana, but there's no definitive proof of that (the actress was the same, but no one said her name). (Rising pt 1)

This later proved vital to the defense of Earth against Anubis. Jack used the control chair to launch energy weapons against the attacking force, and defeated them soundly. (SG1: Lost City part 2)

In the Pegasus galaxy, the Ancients began seeding new (human) life on at least a thousand worlds. (Rising pt 1)

ca. 8,000 BC (10,000 years ago)

At some point, the Ancients brought a ZPM to Dagan and put it in the care of a sect of Suderian priests known as the Quindozum, asking them to keep it safe until the Lantians returned for it. (The Brotherhood)

personal note: It's possible that they did this on more than one world, but so far there's no evidence of that.

After years of war with the Wraith and eventually being beseiged on Atlantis, the Ancients realized they could never win, and evacuated all their people to Earth, sinking Atlantis to the bottom of the ocean floor before they left. (Rising parts 1 & 2, Before I Sleep)

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War with the Wraith

After watching new life that they had seeded develop civilizations on a thousand worlds, the Ancients stumbled across a 'terrible enemy' -- the Wraith -- asleep on a dark world. Confident in their ability to handle anything (and sure they were more advanced than anything else out there), they woke the Wraith, totally unprepared for what would follow. (Rising pt 1)

The Wraith swept through the galaxy, feeding on the defenseless human worlds until only Atlantis was left. (Rising pt 1)

The Wraith were stubborn, laying siege to the planet/city for years.  (Rising  part  1)

As part of Atlantis's final line of defense, the Ancients put up at least one huge weapons satellite (in a LaGrange point position). (The Defiant One)

Eventually the Ancients tried to negotiate a peace, sending a delegation protected by their most powerful warships. Instead, it turned into another battle -- which the Ancients, badly outnumbered, lost. Finally the Ancients realizeed while they could take the Wraith one on one without any problem, there were simply too many Wraith to defeat, or even hold fast against. Their only option was to flee. (Before I Sleep)

They called as many of their people home as could reach Atlantis through the blockade, then sank the city beneath the ocean (still protected by its shield) escaped through the stargate to Earth. (Rising pt 1, Before I Sleep)

Before they left, someone recorded a holographic message explaining what had happened and why, in case anyhone managed to find the city again. (Rising pt 1)

The war with the Wraith lasted roughly one hundred years -- but it's not clear if that includes the years of siege, when Atlantis was the last holdout, or not. (The Siege part 2)

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Culture

Background

The race who created the stargates. They left this part of the universe (our galaxy, the Asgards's galaxy) long ago, leaving behind their technology, their allies (Asgard, Nox, Furlings), and their knowledge (the Place of Our Legacy, The Fifth Race).

Teachers who willingly shared their knowledge.

The Ancients evolved from race of humans that lived long ago. They were wiped out by a plague that was sweeping across the galaxy many learned to ascend, and the rest died out. (SG-1: Full Circle)

Many of them have stuck around closer than was thought -- they're the Ascendants. (SG-1: Full Circle)

Left behind at least one repository of knowledge (the 'Place of Our Legacy'), to be 'downloaded' into the brain of an acceptable candidate (not a Goa'uld or Jaffa). (SG-1: Fifth Race)

When the information was downloaded into Jack, he wound up thinking and speaking in the Ancients's language (and unable to speak anything else, although he apparently still understood English spoken to him to some degree), and was capable of building complex machinery, doing complicated math in base 8, rewriting computer program source code (specifically, to add more stargates to the computer's known listing), and drawing detailed schematics of a DHD along with giving detailed instructions on how to repair one stuck in a mid-dial lockdown. (SG-1: Fifth Race)

As of late seventh season, it's clear they they left more than one face-grabbing database behind -- SG-2 discovered a colonnade on P3X-439 that contained another. Jack downloaded that one into his brain as well, this time deliberately. (SG-1: Lost City, part 1)

Daniel believed that they might be the 'teachers of roads' -- the 'ancient ones' from whom early Romans first learned how to build roads, and who created the 'road' system of stargates. (SG-1: Fifth Race)

They designed the stargate address system to be pronouncable in their own language  -- each symbol has a corresponding sound, so each address can be spoken as words. (SG-1: Lost City, part 2)

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Worlds

Milky Way Galaxy

At one point, on one colony world, there was a catastrophe/cataclysm of some sort, and the Ancients tried to create a time-travel device to circumvent it. They failed: it caused a short-term continuous loop. In the end, they gave up, shut it down, and let the end come. They left behind the equivalent of 400 pages of text on the walls surrounding an altar near the stargate, including a planetary history and description of the device. The translation revealed that P4X-639 was once a colony of the Ancients. (SG-1: Window of Opportunity)

The plague that wiped most of the race out began in the city of Vis Uban ('Place of Great Power'). It was going to be the crown jewel of the entire Ancient domain, except the plague broke out while it was still under construction, and it had to be abandoned. (SG-1: Fallen)

The ruins of the city were covered in extensive writings, all in the oldest dialect of the Ancients (not sure why, if this was their newest city). (SG-1: Fallen)

Praclarush Taonas was another of their worlds, where they left information leading to the Lost City. By the time SG-1 arrived there by ship to check it out, the sun was a red giant, and the planet was covered with hardened lava flows. There was one anomaly -- a perfect half-sphere of raised lava, as though a forcefield had protected something beneath it when the lava flowed. (SG-1: Lost City, part 2)

The Ancients knew what had happened to the planet before they Ascended -- the knowledge Jack gained from the second database led him to pack hazmat suits for the trip, and the planet's name itself means 'lost in fire' . (SG-1: Lost City, part 2)

When SG-1 went in to land on the surface, there were still live lava eruptions and flows all over the place. (SG-1: Lost City, part 2)

The dome contained a chair on a dais.  The chair had gel-like controls in the armrest (at the point where a hand would lie) for atmosphere and a holographic map, leading to the actual Lost City -- Atlantis. It pointed SG-1 to under the ice of Antarctica. (SG-1: Lost City, part 2)

The dais the chair rested on also contained a working power source, which Jack took. (SG-1: Lost City, part 2)

See Ascendants for more details.

Pegasus Galaxy

Atlantica

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Biology

Original

Originally human, more or less -- the Ancients evolved from an ancient race of humans. (SG-1: Full Circle)

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Current

'Biology' currently isn't really applicable: those Ancients that survived a deadly plague learned to ascend to a higher plane of existence, living as pure energy/spirit, and are now the Ascendants. (SG-1: Full Circle)

This seems to have happened in both galaxies, not just the Milky Way.

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Language

Their language has similarities to Latin.

Atlantus:

Atlantis, the Lost City (SG-1: Lost City, part 2)

aveo amacuse:

goodbye (SG-1: Lost City, part 2)

cruvas:

wrong ('There is nothing cruvas with me.' -- SG-1: The Fifth Race)

cozars: /

legs ('You've got to bend your cozars.' -- SG-1: The Fifth Race)

derentis:

insane, crazy (SG-1: Lost City, part 1)

domavatus vestul motabilium:

master of the uncertain past (SG-1: Window of Opportunity)

dormata:

sleep (SG-1: Lost City, part 2)

(nb: the spelling could be totally wrong -- closed-captioning oh-so-helpfully said [speaks Ancient] for this, so I guessed. I'll try to remember to check the DVD subtitles when I get it.)

eetium:

yes or understood. ('Understood?' 'Eetium, Sir.' -- SG-1: The Fifth Race)

egoo:

I (SG-1: The Fifth Race)

Egoo deserdi asordo. Comdo asorda.

no direct translation (Jack requesting help from the Asgard -- SG-1: The Fifth Race)

Egoo indeeo navo lochus:

'I need a new location.' (SG-1: The Fifth Race)

euge:

good (SG-1: The Fifth Race)

fallatus:

ability ('Apparently I have lost the fallatus to speak properly.' -- SG-1: The Fifth Race)

farit:

finished, done ('No, not yet! I'm not farit!' -- SG-1: The Fifth Race)

fron:

mind, brain ('I'm just looking at it and the words pop right into my fron.' -- SG-1: The Fifth Race)

'head' is possibly the more general translation (Jack said he had 'a little fron-ache' -- SG-1: Lost City, part 2)

glaciuse:

ice, the ice (SG-1: Lost City, part 2)

hic qua videeum:

The Place of our Legacy (SG-1: The Fifth Race)

indeeo:

need (SG-1: The Fifth Race)

lochus:

location (SG-1: The Fifth Race)

navo:

new (SG-1: The Fifth Race)

Noo ani anqueetus:

'We are the Ancients' (The Fifth Race)

Peren lumi et tempo eterni

'Fathers of light of the everlasting temple' (Hide and Seek)

This is the opening of a prayer to the 'Ancestors' as spoken by Halling of the Athosians. (Hide and Seek)

Praclarush Taonas:

'lost in fire' -- the name of a planet Daniel believed to hold the Lost City, although in reality it simply held clues to it. (SG-1: Lost City, part 2)

subo:

under (SG-1: Lost City, part 2)

subo glaciuse:

'under the ice' (SG-1: Lost City, part 2)

Terre:

Terra, Earth (SG-1: Lost City, part 2)

Vis Uban

'Place of Great Power' (SG-1: Fallen)

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Technology

Certain technology, including weaponry and the puddle-jumpers, required a specific Ancient gene to be able to use. (Rising pt 1, multiple eps)

Other technology simply needs to be initialized -- once activated by someone with the gene, they can be used by anyone. (Hide and Seek)

This includes things like the consoles in the stargate's control room. (Hide and Seek)

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'Bug zapper'

A device that permits one to see into other dimensions existing within and around ours. Touching the device causes a shift in a person's electrical field, allowing them to see into a parallel dimension. The charge can be passed from person to person by touch. Activated, the device attracts beings (in this case, bugs and such) from the parallel dimension to itself, presumably to make them easier to study. To turn off the ability to see these creatures, the crystals powering the device have to be re-arranged into a specific pattern. (SG-1: Sight Unseen)

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Healing device

On Earth, this became known in legend as the Fountain of Youth. So powerful that its direct effects on humans (even those being used as hosts by Goa'uld symbiotes) were devastating -- it could only be used from a distance, and with limited exposure. The Goa'uld sarcophagus was eventually developed from it, after Telchak found it and began experimenting with it to make it more accessible. The original device was hidden in one of Telchak's temples on Earth (in southern Honduras, where the Mayans knew him as Chac, the rain god), near a waterfall. The legend surrounding the 'Fountain of Youth' said that all water flows towards it. Daniel and Dr. Lee eventually recovered it. (SG-1: Evolution, part 1)

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Life-sign detector

A small, handheld device, roughly the size of a mass-market paperback book, that tracks life-signs in the vicinity and shows them as dots on a screen, so you can see where people are moving. (Rising pt 2)

It can't detect hibernating Wraith. (The Defiant One)

It can't sense hibernating Wraith, only those that are awake.  (Rising pt 2)

The Terrans on Atlantis first discovered these when Sheppard was flying the puddlejumper for the first time and was trying to figure out how he'd find Sumner and the others. The puddlejumper opened a hidden storage compartment to expose a detector for him.  (Rising pt 2)

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Puddlejumpers

Small spaceworthy craft, designed specifically to fit neatly through a stargate, able to hold a handful of people (4 or so) comfortably and probably triple or quadruple that crammed in. (Rising, multiple eps)

They divide into two sections -- a front control room, and a rear cargo/passenger area. An  automatic hatch between the two seals them off from each other. (Rising pt 2)

Entry onto the ship is through the rear -- the back wall is slanted inward when closed, and descends out and down to form a (shallow-grade) ramp into the ship when open. (Rising pt 2)

'Drive pods' on either side of the ship extend during flight, then retract seamlessly into the ship for entry through a stargate. If they fail to retract, the jumpers don't fit through the gate -- and can be stuck halfway through. (Thirty-Eight Minutes)

There's a control to manually retract them in the cockpit, on the left. (Thirty-Eight Minutes)

They sit in a bay directly above the gateroom, with a floor that retracts like an iris. To launch through the Atlantis gate, a person inside the puddlejumper uses the onboard gate-dialling panel (on a console between the two front seats -- flat and angular, not round) to activate the gate, then the puddlejumper descends through the floor and flies out through the gate. (Rising pt 2)

The ceiling also retracts like an iris, giving access to the rest of the world.  (Suspicion)

They respond to mental commands from people with the Ancient gene -- the stronger the gene (and the person's control of it), the smoother and faster the response. (Rising pt 2)

They can stop nearly on a dime -- on his first mission in one, Sheppard brought his puddlejumper back to Atlantis through the stargate way too fast, but the jumper pulled itself to a complete stop just yards away from the Atlantis gate on the other side. (Rising pt 2)

In the atmosphere, their inertial dampeners counteract the effect of Gs strong enough to liquefy humans' internal organs. (Suspicion)

The inertial dampeners can be manually adjusted to increase a puddlejumper's weight, stabilizing it. (The Eye)

Equipped with:

Cloaking mechanisms. (Rising pt 2)

Life-sign detector -- at least one, possibly more. (Rising pt 2)

Weapons on either side of the ship -- drones (energy squids) that respond to the wishes of whoever's controlling them to aim directly at enemies, saving the pilot from having to worry about manual targeting. (Rising pt 2)

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Shields

Atlantis city shields

The city's shields, at full power, are sufficient to protect it both from the extreme weather conditions on Antarctica and from the immense pressure at the bottom of an ocean. (Rising pts 1 & 2)

Unfortunately, the ZPMs that powered the shields were all depleted by the time the city rose back up to the surface, leaving the shields powerless. (Rising pt 2)

McKay (working with Zelenka on the idea) got them functional briefly during a massive storm, by disabling the city's four grounding stations and redirecting the energy from hundreds of lightning rods into the shield generator. It worked. (The Storm, The Eye)

The city suffered no structural damage, thanks to the shields. (Hot Zone)

Personal shields

A small device (roughly the size of a deck of cards, or slightly bigger) that's attached to one's person. (Hide and Seek)

The user needs to have the ATA gene (either naturally or through gene therapy) to activate a personal shield. (Hide and Seek)

Once activated, it's keyed to that specific user. (Hide and Seek)

It allowed the wearer to touch things and didn't interfere with normal movement in any way (so it allowed for friction against the floor), but anything that was reaching in rather than reaching out got stopped, including the wearer himself -- McKay couldn't reach past the shield to physically remove the device from his chest.. This also completely inhibited eating or drinking -- water and food would slide off the shield's surface. (Hide and Seek)

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Stasis

Metablolic stasis chambers, where a person can be placed so that his/her metabolic rate slows tremendously -- the aging process continues, but at roughly 1/200th to 1/250th normal speed (e.g., Elizabeth Weir was put in one for 10,000 years, and aged to roughly 100 years). (Before I Sleep)

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Stargates

See Stargates

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Time-looping device

Apparently meant as a way of going back in time to stave off a catastrophe, but the technology never worked properly, instead trapping people in an ever-repeating time loop. (SG-1: Window of Opportunity)

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Transporters

Small rooms, almost like elevators, with doors that close and a panel on the back wall that lights up when someone walks in, offering them a sort of map of the city. They function either as a transporter or as a simple elevator, depending on what the occupant needs. (Hide and Seek)

By touching a section of the map, the occupant triggers the transporter mechanism. (Hide and Seek)

Either the contents of the room (people, equipment, etc.) gets transported to the transporter room nearest the spot that was touched, or the room itself changes places with the other room -- it's not completely clear which. (Hide and Seek)

The fact that people who are in the room see no beams and feel nothing at all until they walk out in the other area makes the whole-room-transfer thing seem at least somewhat likely. (Hide and Seek)

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Weapons

Drones (energy squids)

'Drones' is the name that the scientists went with, but energy squids is what they look like when activated: a stream made up of thousands of small, gold energy squids, directed by a person sitting in a chair to attack specific targets while leaving others alone. Highly effective -- they targeted kull warriors, al-kesh, death gliders, and hataks, destroying them all, under Jack's guidance. (SG-1: Lost City, part 2)

They can also function individually, working basically as a missile. (Rising)

The puddlejumpers are equipped with some of these for defense. (Rising pt 2)

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ZPM:

Zero Point Module. A power source that draws its energy from subspace. (Rising pt 1)

It's the only thing powerful enough to activate the Ancient defense weapons on Earth. (SG-1: Zero Hour)

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Known Ancients

Janus

A doctor/healer, possibly -- he healed Weir's injuries. (Before I Sleep)

He was also an inventor, with an explorer's spirit. He invented and built the time machine (a puddlejumper with a time-travel device wired into it) that Sheppard, Weir, and Zelenka escaped the flooding Atlantis in, 10,000 years later. (Before I Sleep)

He built it after agreeing to abide by the Council's wishes that he do no such thing. (Before I Sleep)

He was very full of himself and his abilities, especially after Weir's arrival proved to him that his experiments would work, and that they would prove that the Atlantians's attempt to protect the city against their hoped-for future return would also work. (Before I Sleep)

He tried to talk the female Councilor into helping Weir return home,   but she steadfastly refused. When Weir asked if there was no other way she could help, she suggested blocking the stargate when they sank the city, so it could never be used again -- that would save the expedition's lives. Janus's instant response was 'if they can't come, the city may never be found!' -- he was bizarrely focused on the notion of distant descendants physically locating the city. (Before I Sleep)

When it was clear that the Council wouldn't do what he wanted, Janus came up with another idea -- he reconfigured the city's ZPMs to work in sequence, rather than in parallel, so that the most possible power could be wrung out of each one, hoping to extend the power long enough for the city's shields to hold when the expedition came through. Then he rigged a fail-safe, set to break the city loose of the ocean floor in the event the shields failed and it started to flood -- just in case Weir didn't survive the stasis process. Once everything was set, he put Weir into stasis, set to wake her up every 3.3 thousand years so she could rotate the ZPMs sequentially, to keep the power going. (Before I Sleep)

He blocked all addresses to the stargate except Earth, to keep Weir safe. (Before I Sleep)

After he set up everything with Weir, he packed to go to Earth -- including all the reesarch the Council had insisted he destroy. He was hoping to build another time machine. (Before I Sleep)

He thanked her for 'giving me the hope that Atlantis will survive for another 10,000 years after you discover it' -- again, with the bizzare focus on the city itself, instead of on people or culture or any other living thing. (Before I Sleep)

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Moros

One of the Councilors in Atlantis. (Before I Sleep)

He was appalled at the 'lightness' with which time-travel was being treated, specifically by Janus. He believed that causality was too important to play around with. When it became clear that Janus had indeed gone against Council orders and created a time machine (the proof came in the form of Weir, who wound up in Atlantis 10,000 years before her own time), he ordered Janus to destroy the equipment and any materials connected with it. (Before I Sleep)

Despite his anger at Janus and the situation, he (along with at least one other Council member) sincerely offered Weir a place among them as they returned to Earth. He simply wouldn't countenance her returning to her own time, not wanting to contaminate the timestream any more than it already was. (Before I Sleep)

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