Who has controlled the Middle East over the course of history?

Further to two earlier pieces on wiping countries off maps, here’s an animated timeline of the Middle East’s many empires from 3000 to 2006 BCE at Maps of War. Among other things, it illustrates that for most of the region’s states, independence from European colonialism occurred between the 1920s and early ’60s.

Borders prevent much, from Roma’s lucky roads, to elephants’ ability to reach water, to the nomadic herders whose pictures I saw at the Royal Geographical Society last February, suddenly fenced in by the establishment of Iraq.

But everybody seems to have one these days.


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