Then
400

Why Reinvent the Wheel?

It may be an all-around symbol of human progress, but we still aren’t sure who actually invented it—Mesopotamians or Europeans? We don’t know for sure what the first ones were used for. We don’t know why so many people were so slow to adopt it. (How did such a simple invention cause so much controversy?)
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400

The Silent Silk Road Rendezvous of Konye Urgench

Abandoned for more than 300 years following its eclipse by competing cities, the remnants of a once-flourishing capital of a once-powerful Silk Roads realm remind us of centuries of craftsmanship and scholarship in one of Central Asia’s most intact historical sites.
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400

FirstLook: Galata Bridge, circa 1890

“Constantinople: Kara-Keui et vue de Péra” reads the caption for this skillfully colorized view of late-Ottoman Istanbul, a city connecting East and West and driven by global commerce and trade, at a time when the advances of the Industrial Revolution in fields including photographic processes were connecting people as never before.
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  • Creatives
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400

I of the Storm

“You have marveled at me since beyond memory, at once dreading the flash of my blinding light and eager for my return. My brilliance was recorded and sung about; my rumbles of warnings, in pithy Latin on a North African stone inscribed—’FVLGVR CONDITV’--‘Lightening was buried here.’”
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  • Creatives
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400

America’s Zouaves

As tensions escalated and the nation moved toward the outbreak of the US Civil War in 1861, a law student in Chicago formed the first American company inspired by a North African light infantry known as Zouaves that had won distinction in both Algeria and Crimea. Soon dozens of Zouave regiments mustered up and, from 1859 to the end of the war in 1865, Zouave soldiers were wildly popular in both the North and the South—mostly for their courage and elite training, but also for their fashionably colorful Algerian-style pantaloons, waistcoats and headgear.
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400

The Islamic Roots of the Modern Hospital

By the mid-ninth century, more than 30 bimaristans—centers for treating illness and injury—were working from the Arab Middle East to Persia in the east and Al-Andalus in the west. Dedicated to the empirical pursuit of wellness, their design, organization and goals were much the same as those of hospitals today.
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