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Author: Brian Spooner

Afghan Wars, Oriental Carpets, and Globalization

By: Brian Spooner

The Afghan war rugs on exhibit at the Penn Museum from April 30 to July 31, 2011, raise a number of interesting questions—about carpets, Afghanistan, and the way the world as a whole is changing. These rugs, which come in a variety of sizes and qualities, derive from a tradition of oriental carpet-weaving that began […]


Afghanistan’s War Experience

By: Brian Spooner

Afghanistan entered history in 1747. Nadir Shah, the Iranian ruler of the region, had been assassinated in Meshed (now northeastern Iran). One of his Afghan generals launched a new Afghan Empire from Qandahar (now southern Afghanistan), taking advantage of the decline of the Mughal Empire in India. When emissaries from the British Imperial Government in […]


Globalization and The Ancient World

By: Brian Spooner

Globalization began in the Middle East. It is the story of larger and larger numbers of people connecting and interacting with each other over greater expanses. But it would not have happened without climate change and population growth. Around 10,000 BCE, adaptation to climate change allowed some to settle. As the climate continued to change, […]


Nomads in The Middle East

By: Brian Spooner

Nomads are mobile tent-dwelling pastoralists in areas of the arid zone (which stretches from Morocco to China, with the area we call the Middle East at its center), where there is no urban or agricultural development. By migrating seasonally to find the best pastures, they are able to manage larger flocks. Unlike urban and agricultural […]