Some of the most impressive buildings and cities ever made by humans can be found in Africa: the ruined city of Great Zimbabwe, Mapungubwe in South Africa, Kenya’s Gedi Ruins and Meroe in Sudan. Perhaps the most awe-inspiring of these are the last remaining of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Great Pyramid of Giza, in Egypt.
Egyptologists, writers, scholars, and others, have argued the race of the ancient Egyptians since at least the 1970’s. Some today believe they were Sub-Saharan Africans. We can see this interpretation portrayed in Michael Jackson’s 1991 music video for “Remember the Time,” from his Dangerous album. The video, a 10 minute mini-film, includes performances by Eddie Murphy and Magic Johnson.
Every Passover, Jews retell the story about the Hebrews’ flight from slavery in Egypt and their miraculous escape across the Red Sea, giving birth to the nation of Israel. The colorful story has also been retold by Hollywood time and again, shaping the modern generation’s understanding of the Israelite bondage in Egypt. But if ancient Egypt had slaves from the region known today as Israel, were they really “Israelites”? There is no direct evidence that people worshipping Yahweh sojourned in ancient Egypt, let alone during the time the Exodus is believed to have happened. There is indirect evidence that at…
It was once the largest and wealthiest city in Europe, and a series of stunning postcard images now reveals what life was like on its streets. The ancient architecture of Constantinople, in Turkey, is shown in the pictures, taken in the last years before the fall of the Ottoman Empire, and carefully restored to add colour. Constantinople, before it was renamed Istanbul in 1930, was the Turkish capital and a crucial international trade route, integral to the empire.
If challenged to name ten philosophers in ten seconds, some of us might make it to ten. Most of us could possibly hit seven. Of those, the majority are likely to be ancient Greek figures with the remainder more modern, western ones. If a non-western name is to be offered it is likely to be one of the extremely famous thinkers of Asia, such as Confucius, the Buddha, Lao Tzu, or Sun Tzu. How many of us would produce an Arabic thinker as an example? This is a shame, as the Golden Age (8th century – 13th century) in the…
Shah Cheragh is a funerary monument and mosque in Shiraz, Iran. It translates to “King of the Light” and it’s easy to understand why. The jaw-dropping interior of this structure has millions of tiny mirror shards which bounce the light in every direction. The site has a rather mysterious past. According to one story, around 900 A.D. a traveller spotted something shining from a distance. He approached the area to investigate and found an illuminated grave. An armored corpse of an important Muslim figure was found inside and the area became a pilgrimage destination for Shia Muslims. A structure was…