Highly intelligent race which gained prominence approximately 300,000 years ago.

Specific evidence of the Ancients is rare, and is almost always found in the form of ruins or destruction.  Most of what is known about the Ancients has been gleaned from archeological excavations of Ancient sites: the remains of cities, bases, outposts, and settlements of the Ancients.  Scientific dating techniques have established that a "Final War" spanning a 2000-year period destroyed virtually all of the Ancients at that time.

The influence of the Ancients is broadly felt in the universe.  Humans from Terra were transported to many worlds by the Ancients; their descendants became the Vilani and the Zhodani, as well as the 46 known minor human races.  The Vargr have been shown (through genetic testing) to be descendants of genetically manipulated Terran canines (apparently, the canine stock was acquired at the same time the humans were taken from Terra).  Ancient artifacts which have been discovered show a very high tech level and an equally high degree of sophistication; such artifacts often reveal new, previously undiscovered or unexploited technologies.

The Ancients were responsible for several major features within the region now occupied by the Imperium.  Their warfare resulted in the large proportion of asteroid belts throughout explored space.  There is evidence they created the multiworld rosette at Tireen (Knaeleng 2910, in the Vargr Extents).  Scattered empty cities (most severely damaged by battle) stand as evidence of their wars; most, however, are restricted areas under investigation by the Imperium and not open to the public.  One notable exception is the world Antiquity (Corridor 0816).  The Antiquity Ancients site is open to tourists: its fascinating museum displays many wondrous and mystifying artifacts. many of which are still in working condition.

The Shionthy (2306 Spinward Marches) asteroid belt is believed to have been formed during one unusually intense battle between Ancient forces.  Reports indicate that other Ancient sites within the Regina subsector are currently being excavated, both by official expeditions and clandestinely by treasure hunters.

See also Antiquity, Droyne, Humaniti, Solomani Hypothesis, Vargr.

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