4,000 years of history in 1 chart – superb visualization

(Cross-post from my other blog, Nonprofit Update.)

Think you could map out the history of the world over the last 4,000 years, showing the relative power of all the major governments and people groups, and then put all that info into one chart?

John B. Sparks did just that back in 1931. His five-foot-long chart can be seen at Slate – The Entire History of the World – Really, All of It – Distilled Into a Single Gorgeous Chart.

Very cool to look at the ebb and flow of the people groups discussed in the Old and New Testament – the Egyptians giving way to the Babylonians and Assyrians. Then the Persians and Greeks and Romans. Then the Ottoman Turks, then British & other European powers. The map stops in 1931, at the start of the Great Depression and between the two world wars.

Looking at the details, you can trace the major religions.

There are hundreds of events charted.

The David Rumsey Map Collection has a zoomable copy here.

Looks like there is copyright protection. I would otherwise be thrilled to include a copy here.

Would be fun to extend it, to see the huge expansion in U.S. and Soviet Union influence in the post-war era. Of course the best treat for some of us would be to see the rapid narrowing of the influence for the U.S.S.R. starting in 1989.

Check it out for a superb creative visualization.

(Hat tip: John Bredehoft on Facebook.)

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