Same Name, Other Side of the Border (Part VI: West Asia)

Azerbaijan (Azerbaijan/Iran) The region of Azerbaijan, divided between the Republic of Azerbaijan in the north and the Iranian provinces of East Azerbaijan, West Azerbaijan, and Ardabil in the south, has been split since 1812-13, when the Russian Empire, steadily extending its reach southward along the Caspian Sea, captured the khanates in the portion of Azerbaijan…

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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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The Great Wall of Gorgan

The Great Wall of China is the longest defensive wall ever constructed in history, as most people are likely aware.  To find the next longest wall, you have to travel across Central Asia to the Caspian Sea and Iran’s province of Golestan near the Turkmen border, where the (at least) 195 km (121 mi)-long, 6-10…

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