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Worldology Blog by Casey Fisher - Creator of Worldology.com

September 16, 2009

Interactive map of the entire history of Iraq/Mesopotamia is now complete.

Interactive number two is now complete as well. Obviously, the "Iraq History" Interactive Map is highly current and relevant. I went back to the beginning, in order to show the thorough progression of the region, to show how Iraq became "Iraq", and to illustrate why it has been a lightning rod for conflict throughout most of its history, culminating in the current Iraq War.

Even by rapidly clicking from the first time period (Ancient Mesopotamia) to the Iraq War, it is clear to see that the region is geopolitically positioned at the crossroads of the Eurasian landmass, a veritable highway for powerful forces from all sides. It resides at the juncture near the convergence of Europe, Asia, Africa, Arabia and the Persian Gulf (providing easy access to the Indian Ocean). As a result, any powerful army or navy from any direction are presented with unfettered access to the floodplain between the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers, which is the epicenter of the modern and historical nation of Iraq.

Early in its history, the harsh desert to the south and west, along with the rugged mountain range to the east isolated the fertile Euphrates-Tigris floodplain from the rest of the developed world, giving rise to world's most advanced ancient civilizations. However, as early technological advances in military and transportation were pioneered, the deserts essentially served as a paved pathway into the region.

Early in history, this geography enabled Mesopotamian empires such as the Assyrians and Babylonians to project their power outward. But since the 6th century BC, the geography has served as the proverbial red carpet for invading armies.

Iraq would endure under the rule of the Persians, Greeks, Romans, Muslim Arabs, Mongols, Turks and British. After finally escaping foreign rule, Iraq became a sovereign nation in the 20th century, after WWI, fueled by the massive oil reservoirs discovered beneath its soil.

But its geopolitical reality remained unchanged, while its oil wealth made it an even more enticing target. The floodplain at the heart of Iraq is conducive to dense, yet fragmented populations. With threats on all fronts, along with sectarian divisions within, a dictatorial regime was a natural consequence, which was manifested in the form of Saddam Hussein. This combination was unsurprisingly unsustainable, opening the region up to yet another irresistible force: the U.S. With unprecedented naval strength, the Americans easily exploited the Persian Gulf (and coastal territories inside friendly Kuwait) as the launching point for its 2003 invasion.

Even with the Iraq War finally winding down, the region will almost certainly suffer continued strife and warfare, as the geopolitical challenges and sectarian tensions cannot be eradicated. The current calm within the storm is characterized by an uneasy peace, which will eventually erupt again.

By spending even just a matter of minutes exploring the Iraq History Interactive Map, your understanding of the historical trends of Iraq (that dictate its current realities) will be greatly deepened.

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July 23, 2009

Interactive map of the entire history of Europe is now complete.

The Worldology.com website has officially launched with the introduction of the Europe History Interactive Map. I think it is safe to proclaim that there is not another resource quite like it. This tool allows you to visually navigate the entire anthropological history of Europe, from initial human settlement to the European Union.

With the interactive map, you can quickly toggle back and forth through each time period, hovering your cursor over the mouseover buttons for more detail about important events, peoples and political entities.

Now, you can easily gain a comprehensive understanding of European history without reading an endless list of textbooks and articles. The graphical perspective also enables you to visually see how the Europe developed over time.

One of the greatest benefits of the interactive map is that you can see how events affected the region as a whole, while also being able to compare concurrent events from around Europe.

Go to European History Interactive Map

Detailed European History Timeline: Significant events throughout European history, laid out in chronological order. Includes several maps.

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