The Oldest Buildings in the World, Part II: North America, Africa, and Asia

Today is Part II of our look at the world’s oldest buildings by continent. Part I can be found here; Part II can be found here. North America – Cuicuilco Circular Pyramid, 800-600 BCE View of Cuicuilco’s main circular pyramid looking south from the Anillo Periférico freeway in Mexico City. Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CuicuilcoPerifericoDF.JPG. View Larger Map…

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A Gallery of Contrasts Along International Borders

We may think of borders as merely invisible lines on maps, but over time these ‘imaginary’ lines can become very real indeed. Countries regulate (or fail to regulate) the usage of their lands in very different ways. US astronaut and former NASA Chief Scientist John Grunsfeld remarked earlier this year how the differences in land…

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The Many Alexandrias of Alexander the Great

This map of Alexander’s empire will be useful for orientation in this article.  Click on image to expand to full size (2000 x 961).  Source: Captain Blood, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:MacedonEmpire.jpg.  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported licence. In a span of just 13 years from 336 BC to 323 BC, Alexander the Great pushed…

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Flooding the Qattara Depression

Source: cheesy42, http://www.flickr.com/photos/cheesy42/464081947/in/set-72157607020706612/. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic licence. A barren 18 000 km2 sand-and-salt bed 133 metres below sea level in the heart of the Libyan Desert probably would not get the average person to think about hydroelectricity. Scientists, academics, and even the CIA, however, have been thinking about flooding Egypt’s Qattara Depression for the past…

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4 Deserts: The Most Inhospitable Endurance Tests on the Planet

When one hears the term ‘world’s greatest athlete’, it is traditionally appended to the name of the winner of the Olympic or world decathlon championship, the event which combines the most variant combination of athletic disciplines. Occasionally, some media outlet looking for publicity, or one with an agenda to push a certain athlete for marketing…

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