I’ve deliberately left this image a bit “fuzzy” so as to eliminate any kind of copyright issue. If you want an image that is suitable for reading the text, you will need to buy the book. I got mine at Barnes and Noble on sale for $10, but it’s also at Amazon for a lot more ( about $40). This is a camera generated “panorama” that has some splice artifacts in it, and yes, I could re-do the image outdoors with a lot of light and better splice positioning et.al…. but see the above note about NOT wanting this to be readable… It’s to give an understanding of the tool, not to provide the tool, especially when I don’t have rights to it.
OK, what is this? It is a time line of world history where the width of the lines are the importance of the empire, the colors are the particular empire / ethnicity and the positioning on the page shows gross west to east geography. So, at the very bottom, you can see the Americas enter onto the scene and the USA grow to power on the left side. The pink at the far left is Latin America, the grey next to it is the USA. All long the right edge is China (that tan stripe), until Japan shows up toward the bottom (the dark blueish stripe), and just to the left of China is India in hot pink.
Looking top to bottom, near the middle, that big brown blob is The Roman Empire. The peach one just above it is the Greeks. The dark green blob to the right of the Greeks is the Persian Empire.
So much for the basic orientation. Other empires or areas come and go over time, as the wheel of history turns.
So I was looking at this, and looking for Bond Events and 1/2 Bond Event times just to see “what happened in the world then?” and noticed an interesting pattern. It takes a bit to ‘tease it out’ of the image as the particular empire in a given geography may change while the location doesn’t, and that confounds a geography oriented goal. For example, that big “Roman Brown Splotch” covers Egypt (the sky blue blobs near the top) during that time (as Rome had absorbed Egypt by then) yet in prior periods it is Egypt that matters. OK, a bit of “mental image stitching” needed. And on the right side, you have variously Mongols and Persians and Assyrians and Amorites as the “Southwest to Central Asian” grouping. (Amorites are that early plum color, while the Iranian / Persians are the olive to the right of it and Huns / Mongolians the lighter green just to the right of the pink Indian stripe and before the tan Chinese stripe.)
Ok, just run you eye up and down the image. Look at how the “lumps” change size. Something of an alternation between left and right sides. This corresponds with the rise and fall of Egyptian Kingdoms as we saw earlier.
First off, notice that in ‘recent times’ they have gone very PC and show most of the world as relatively constant width lines. No need to piss anyone off by showing Japan expand it’s empire in W.W.II and then lose it all, only to recover economically later… nor to show the USSR blossom and crash… though the blue-grey Russia line does get a bit thicker and thinner… OK, so recent data is a bit stilted as folks are more sensitive. Got that.
From The Start Of The Chart
But in the beginning we can see Egypt have it’s “Kingdoms” and its rise and fall with “Intermediate Periods” of collapse. Notice that in those first two “skinny bits” of the Egyptian sky blue, the Amorites expand? (That plum bit to the right of it) In the second one, an olive green blotch forms and grows between Egypt and the Amorites too. That is the Assyrian empire that is in the same general area as the Amorites. You can think of Amorites as Iraq and Assyrians as Syria, sort of.
The first of these “Egyptian skinny bits” is that 1800 BC to 1570 BC “Second Intermediate Period” were I’d been wondering “what happened here?”. The answer is that the Hyksos Kings came in from further up north and ran the place for a while. Various folks have asserted these guys where Hebrews, or various other Semitic tribes. The Time Chart note for Egypt in 1800-1750 BC says “XIIIth Dynasty, a period of internal strife and disorder, but new blood is introduced by invasion of Semitic Nomads (Bedouin) who rule Egypt under the name of the Hyksos Kings“. As the Bedouin of that time were not the same as today, that leaves a lot open to interpretation. There were some red head Bedouin (there are still some today, though fewer) and these could even have been some of the Edomites or their kin. Folks just don’t know.
What is clear, though, is that Egypt was “on the rocks” and folks “up north” and “over east” a ways could waltz in and take over. Similarly we find Babylon (Amorites) and Persia ( Iranians) expanding their lines. During a 1/2 Bond Event, Egypt suffers and more North-East of them prospers (and / or is motivated to attack warmer places ;-)
China and Droughts
I also note that in the China line for the 1800-1750 BC period it notes “The Great Drought” Now if that isn’t a “Dig Here!” I don’t know what is! 8-)
In south-western China, drought is threatening to reduce crop yield and thus cause food price inflation.
Coupled with an especially cold winter in Northern China at the same time, this has caused the government to be concerned that its 2010 goal of producing 500 million metric tons of grain could be missed, according to Xinhua.
Even the “Warmers” have noticed, though they have the causality backwards:
There were also “great droughts” in China in 580 BC and 641 BC, but I’m getting ahead of myself ;-)
Has an interesting note per China during times about the Little Ice Age era:
The four famines of 1810, 1811, 1846, and 1849 are said to have killed no fewer than 45 million people. The period from 1850 to 1873 saw, as a result of the Taiping Rebellion, drought, and famine, the population of China drop by over 60 million people
So, to me, it looks like cold excursions are not good for China and drought problems. The converse would be that the present drought (especially in the context of recent cold winters) confirms that we are actually entering a cold period.
Back To The 2000 BC Egyptians
Unfortunately, the chart begins in 2000 BC with an established Egyptian empire, so we don’t get to see Bond Event 3 in 2200 BC. In about 1850 BC, after 400 years of good times, something starts to go wrong and the Egyptian line skinnys in to about 1700 BC. But moving forward to 1650 BC, the note for Egypt says “Introduction of horses”. We know that the saddle was invented in the Tocharian area of China (what today is China, then it was populated by a more Scandinavian / celtic looking folk as shown in the red head mummies dug up there.) So it would be reasonable to presume that some kind of “middle asia toward Egypt” spread was happening during this time of troubles.
By 1550 BC, Egypt was back on its feet. The note says “Hyksos expelled by Ahmos I with the aid of army raised in Ethiopia”. We see the Amorite / Iranian / Persian / Mongolian cluster shrinking again. Clearly “good times” in Ethiopia and Egypt, not so good in Asia Minor.
But skip forward to 1200 BC (the plunge into Bond Event 2 with the Iron Age Cold Period about 900 BC) and we again have Egypt on the wane and the Assyrian green-tan blob coming to dominate. (The Babylonian Plum makes a nice peak then too, in 950 BC)
Of Greeks and Romans and Egypt
OK, all things warm again and by 700 BC when the Assyrian blob (the Olive bit) is at it’s widest, we have that Greek peach band on the far left starting to expand. About the same time Rome was founded (that brownish wedge starting as the Greeks move away from the left edge). About this time, we would expect to see that Egyptian line expanding in the warmer times, but instead Persia blooms? (The dark green blob) WUWT? In 450 BC the note for Egypt says “Egypt a Persian Province”… Oh… A nice example of how you need to disentangle the political from the physical on the chart. So Persia is growing instead of Egypt as it IS Egypt in terms of productivity…
Next, that Persian blob shrinks as the Greek blob expands greatly and we get a very large chunk of Peach while the Persian green fades. Our next 1/2 Bond Event isn’t until 200 BC or so, so why is “Egypt” shrinking now? Because it isn’t.
Persia is conquered by Alexander The Great and we have the note in 350 – 300 BC “Alexander The Great establishes the Macedonian Empire including Persian Empire. Egypt conquered. Civilization of great Hellenistic Age centered at Alexandria“. So for all this wobbling back and forth, this could be seen as just another “warm Egyptian” period.
So what happens about 200 BC? That’s about 1/2 Bond Event prior to The Dark Ages in 500 AD, and it’s about 1/2 Bond Event after the Iron Age Cold Period in 900 BC. A bit of cold maybe? “Egypt” shrinking?
Rome takes over. It conquers the places that ‘have a bit of a problem’ during cold spells. “Egypt” by any other name and also the Asia Minor areas that would normally have been expected to rebound. So all of it ends up “Roman” and we lose some fingerprints in the sand. (Though a search of Roman History might yield interesting information about what areas did well and what had “issues” during this time. Egypt does have its final collapse with Cleopatra and looking forward, Rome does move during the following warmth up toward German and British areas.)
I note that the China comment for 250 BC – 200 BC is “Period of great confusion, followed by four hundred years of divided empire”. Seems like China does not do so well in cold excursions either…
Time passes and the Roman Republic turns into the Roman Empire.
Then we come to that time about 400 AD-500 AD when we have Bond Event 1. That is the point where the Big Brown Roman blob shrinks to near nothing. The empire “recandles” to Byzantium (down near the warmer bits) as the Northern parts of the empire have trouble feeding themselves and have little tribute to send to Rome. At the same time, we get a large Green Blob of Mongolians swooping over Central and Western Asia.
OK another cold period, another ascendency of Central / Western Asia. And while we leave behind some of the confusions over “which Egypt” we start to pick up Europe and other geographies as things to dilute the signal in the chart. By 700 AD we have the rise of the Arab / Muslim empire displacing the Mongols in that Asian mix, and once again as warming slowly starts, Europe grows while Central / Western Asia suffers. By 1000 AD we’ve got Byzantium back on stride and joined by The Holy Roman Empire. The Teutons / Franks are that lime green and yellowish band that shows up on the left side about the time the Romans are getting most squashed and the Mongolian green bit has a dramatic peak. The Teutons / Franks later breaks up into the Green bit that is the Holy Roman Empire as France shows up as a Plum bit to the left of it.
Everything is great for Europe and Byzantium right up until about 1150 – 1200 AD ( seven hundred years after that 500 AD time of troubles…) when we once again have a Mongolian Green Blob (Genghis Khan this time) as the Turks start empire building too. (That Arab yellow collapses and just under it a lime green Turks band begins). Once again, we have that Central / Western Asia rise during 1/2 Bond Event times in Egypt / Europe. The names have changed, but not the geography.
Warmth Returns To Europe
The Age of European Empires
A couple of hundred years later, and the Asians are fading from the scene as Europe has a resurgence. This time it is the Spanish, French and on the far left, that dark green empire seen growing is England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. This complicates things a bit as the British Empire expanded all around the globe, so even India was part of that political event. In any case, we’re near the end of our saga. During the Little Ice Age, the United States takes over (the dak grey band showing up near the end). Japan is the dark blue on the far right, while the Mongolian Green fades into the Chinese tan and India is a thin plum of the empire. The next inward dark blue band is Russia, coming to dominate south western Asia.
So here we are, at the end of a ‘warm phase’. Europe and the New World in dominance.
IF we turn to another Bond Event, should we not expect what we saw the last times? “Problems” from the arc that reaches from Mongolia down through Turkey / Syria / Iraq / Persia-Iran? Hard times in North Africa and cold in Europe? In many ways, the EU has rebuilt the Roman Empire. But Rome did not fare so well in the last turns to the cold side with the Eastern Provinces.
And is there really cause to think that this time is the time for a new Little Ice Age? Could not the Little Ice Age itself have been a Bond Event? I suppose it could have been (and the Ottoman Turk Empire would fit the pattern) but there is evidence for a new cold time coming:
History does not repeat, but it does strongly rhyme. Looking at these patterns, the implication is that we are on the edge of a time of troubles for China (probably crop failure, drought, and food mediated) while there will be major issues in that Central Asian arc to South West Asia. Who will invade whom? No way to tell. The political axis is not the same as the geographic one. Can we ship enough food around to avoid this turn on the wheel? Can we dodge the need to invade to survive and use trade instead? Can our technology be the lever that frees us from the cold? One can only hope.
“But Hope is not a strategy. – E.M.Smith”