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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The Richat Structure: Eye of the Sahara

In central Mauritania, straddling the border between the Tiris Zemmour and Adrar regions, lies one of the most unique rock formations on Earth.  Surrounded by thousands of square miles of nearly featureless desert, this formation is readily visible from space. Source: J. Shannon, http://www.flickr.com/photos/nice1top1sorted/14624780/.  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)…

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The Ever-Changing Route of the Dakar Rally

This time of year marks the annual appearance of one of the most arduous tests in sport, the two-week-long Dakar Rally (for those who aren’t fans of motorsport, perhaps the closest sporting equivalent to the Dakar might be cycling’s Tour de France).  A 14-stage race for the world’s top off-road racers of cars, quads, motorcycles,…

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Old African Names for Modern African Countries

As the process of decolonisation swept through Africa in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, many of the new countries were eager to choose new names to replace the colonial appellation they had been given by their previous rulers. Many of these names were more accurate native versions of the original colonial names (e.g., Ruanda-Urundi became…

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