A History of the World in Maps

Shocking really, what you can find on the Internet. I found this incredible video on one of the blogs that I follow. It charts world civilization, displaying political entities year-by-year. Utterly fascinating. (BTW, it displays much better on a laptop than on an iPhone.)

I am sure that plenty of historians will quibble. One criticism that I can imagine is that its focus on settled societies misses nomadic peoples. Well, as I argue in class, civilization is about order. Nomadic peoples possess cultures, but not civilizations. Another will be that it focuses on political/administrative at the expense of the race/class/gender trinity. As if those things could be so effectively mapped and as if any one learning object can address every concern.

I would love to see someone use this technology to chart the spread of genetic haplogroups across time and space. I have been doing some reading this past week on linguistics, the persistence of place names and migration patterns at the end of the Neolithic. In some cases, all that we have left of the language of submerged or eliminated peoples are the names that they gave places that were then taken over into the successor people’s place-names.


About George Vascik, Historian

A 1988 graduate of the University of Michigan, I have taught history at Miami University since 1992. I maintain blogs on teaching Western Civilization and on Great War. My research focuses on anti-Semitism and rural politics in northwest Germany. I am completing a monograph for Bloomsbury Press, Anti-Semitism and Rural Politics. You can follow my project at http://peasantsandjews.org. Along with Mark Sadler, I have published a book of primary documents on the Stab-in-the-Back Myth (Dolchstoßlegende). http://www.dolchstosslegende.com. I also invite you to visit my profession web page at http://georgevascik.org.
This entry was posted in Digital History, HST 121, HST 122, HST197, Teaching, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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