The History of Civilization Mapped in 13 Minutes: 5000 BC to 2014 AD

Above, watch “a geopolitical history of all empires, nations, kingdoms, armies and republics” unfold in 13 minutes. Created by a YouTuber who simply goes by the name “kardboardking,” the video stitches together “more than 500 world maps spanning all historical events.” We start in Sumer, somewhere around 5500-4000 BC. And end in 2014, with the world as we know it today.

Kardboardking is careful to point out that the clip features civilizations with a writing system and urban centers. Hence “pre-historical cultures” don’t make an appearance here. For more information on the maps, see the blurb that accompanies the video on YouTube. For a truly comprehensive history of the world, see: The History of the World in 46 Lectures From Columbia University.

Follow Open Culture on Facebook and Twitter and share intelligent media with your friends. Or better yet, sign up for our daily email and get a daily dose of Open Culture in your inbox. And if you want to make sure that our posts definitely appear in your Facebook newsfeed, just follow these simple steps.

Related Content:

Free: National Geographic Lets You Download Thousands of Maps from the United States Geological Survey

Download 67,000 Historic Maps (in High Resolution) from the Wonderful David Rumsey Map Collection

The History of Cartography, the “Most Ambitious Overview of Map Making Ever,” Now Free Online

New York Public Library Puts 20,000 Hi-Res Maps Online & Makes Them Free to Download and Use

Free Online History Courses

by | Permalink | Comments (2) |

Comments (2)
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
  • William Huston says:

    This shows Indian “Civilization” began in 500 BC?! What a joke. According to Stephen Knapp and many other scholars, the Buddha can be fixed at 1800 BCE. The Mahabarat war was 3100 BCE, and the Ramayana has been dated using astronomic markers as being written either ~5100 BCE or 7300 BCE. This was clearly written by Europeans. The Vedas and the Purans are very old, perhaps the oldest texts in the human cannon.

  • Sue Hutchings says:

    I guess it all depends on what you call civilization. So, nobody in North America was civilized until Spain and then France and Britain sent some folks over to throw their weight and weapons about. I sit here and shake my head at the arrogance of we — yes, we — descendants of European folks. Cool map, but imcomplete.

Leave a Reply