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.

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Comments (4)
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  • 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.

  • Martins says:

    Hi.
    Good maps, but I agree with the comments above, there are some imprecisions, the basic is mare or less right and the sources seem to be few (I´ll appology if i´m wrong but it seems history viewed from western eyes). I guess it could improve with more sources of information from different cultures. We have to be careful of our basic concepts and with what we don´t know with a certain degree of scienfic truth.
    Many thanks and keep improving it.

  • Ben1 says:

    Lol, there was no civilisation in Japan until like 500AD?
    What crazy person made this video?

    There is literally archaeological evidence that the Yayoi from Korea spread into Japan starting in 300BC, this is when all the archaeological Korean peninsula items are found in Japan (clearly indicating this as the start date).

    Not only does science prove this, but even Chinese tests write about a civilisation of Yamatai people of Japan back in the BC era (who were descended from Korean migrants, Yayoi).

    This video is silly.
    Here is the actual history for Japan, backed by actual science and education (unlike this video in which the guy who made it just appears to wing it and go with guesses instead of reading about the history of reach country in the map).

    1.Original Japanese are Jomon people, reaching Japan 25,000 years ago. Again the shell middens and the skeletons found and DNA analysis prove this, it’s not debatable I am afraid. Emishi, original Ryukyuans and Ainu are all descendants of those Jomon (though Ainu are partly mixed with Siberian oriental people who met Ainu in Sakhalin where they mixed, so Ainu unlike other Jomon people carry a little Siberian DNA and will have a slightly more oriental appearance than pure Jomon groups like Emishi who have a more intensely Caucasian appearance and skulls).

    2. The Korean Yayoi find Japan around in 300BC, they enter in around Kyushu and start slowly spreading there. Forming the modern civilisation at the time (that had more technology than the Jomon civilisations of Japan obviously). Thus the civilisation that the Yayoi brought in, became the dominant one in Japan.

    3. Somehow a lot of Jomon men mixed with the Yayoi women, meaning this process of colonisation must not have been how we imagine the European colonisers to be today, but instead the Yayoi and Jomon appear to have been somewhat of a peaceful intermingling and mixing.
    Because if it was a violent and brutal invasion by the Yayoi, you wouldn’t expect much of the Jomon men’s DNA to remain, yet around 45% of Japanese men are descendants from the Jomon Y DNA, even more than Jomon women that are more like around 18% mitochondrial DNA descendants of Jomon women.

    So it means Jomon men bred with Yayoi women, more often than Yayoi men bred with Jomon women.

    4. From the point of enter into Japan, the Jomon become mixed away, and the new civilisation and people (call them Yamato if you want) are already part Yayoi and part Jomon now, these people now end up slowly taking over more and more of Japan.
    These people gain more mixture, as more Jomon natives are assimilated in more distant Japanese lands. As a result if we measure Jomon DNA in Japanese, it’s lowest at the Korean entry points, and it’s highest at the last assimilated zones.

    This is simply because the Yamato people who already were a mix of the two, the particular Yamato that migrated further into Japan to assimilate more Jomon, ended up gaining more of the mixture than other Yamato that remained lower in places like Fukuoka or Hiroshima etc.

    That is the complete history of Japan, something which could be called an advanced civilisation first entered Japan in around 300BC according to archaeologists, and they were migrants from Korea. They brought with them metallurgy, glass making etc.

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