here. It is also the title of Part Three of Poul Anderson's The Shield Of Time (New York, 1991). Part Three is set in the Time Patrol Academy in 31,275,389 BC. Thus, the title conveys the idea of a beginning before our earliest beginning - a very long time ago.
SM Stirling's King Bjarni Ironrede describes the Native Americans as:
"'...the First People who came here when the Ice withdrew and worshipped the Gods before the Gods.'"
-SM Stirling, The King Of Montival (New York, 2009), Chapter Nine, p. 166.
The Shield Of Time, Part Four, "Beringia," shows the ancestors of the Native Americans crossing Beringia from Asia into North America.
After being proclaimed king, Bjarni spends a night on the roof of his father's howe where he dreams conversations with the dead. Poul Anderson's characters converse with their dead here.
"'...the lord and the land and the folk are one.'" (Chapter Eight, p. 162) -
- and symbolizes this by wearing a belt that resembles the world-encircling serpent. Thus, Bjarni's waist is the equator!
In George R Stewart's post-apocalypse novel, Earth Abides, an imaginative child says that coins show the faces of the gods before our gods. He explains that our gods made the buildings, roads and bridges whereas the gods before them made the sun, sky and sea...