Monday, October 15, 2012

Missing Pieces in the History of the World

Who and what events and discoveries would you include if you were compiling a History of the World? The BBC came up with their list of most oft overlooked moments. Here are a few:

1. "In 1909, Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch created a way of producing huge amounts of" industrial-grade ammonia for use in fertilizers.

2. "Ibn al-Haytham was born in about 965 in what is now Iraq, and is regarded by some by some as the real father of the scientific method, predating Francis Bacon and Rene Descartes in the 17th Century. He was [also] the first to disprove the theory that we see objects by rays of light emitted from our eyes, realising instead that we see because light enters our eyes."

3. The Danube Script found on Neolithic artefacts is as yet undesciphered and archeologists have not been able to decide whether it is indeed one of the earliest forms of writing or just random, ritualistic symbols.

4. "Double-entry book-keeping, which [was] introduced to Europe in the early 16th Century by the monk Luca Pacioli, is a financial accounting system that [recognizes that] all transactions have two aspects, a credit and a debit, and the two sets of figures [must] always balance."

5. The Seven Years' War (1756-1763) was truly the first World War, since it "involved all the great powers of Europe and saw France, Austria, Russia and Sweden on one side, and Britain, Prussia and Hanover on the other."

6. The Kingdom of Aksum (Axum) in north-eastern Africa became one of the world's greateast markets in the first century CE. It was one of Rome's great trading partners and was characterized by a "highly innovative urban civilisation."

7. The Law Code of King Hammurabi (1792-1750 BCE), the first ruler of the Babylonian Empire, are written in Akkadian, include concepts such as evidence-based justice and giving testimony under oath. Hammurabi "adorns the wall of the American Supreme Court."

8. Angkor Wat of 9th–12th century Cambodia was the "largest pre-industrial urban complex in the world" of its time, with "sophisticated hydraulic engineering and water management systems."