1931 Infographic Covers 4,000 Years of Human History

Via Slate's History blog the Vault, this image was originally published as a poster that sold for $1 in 1931. It covers history, as it was known at the time, from 2000 B.C.E. to the date of publication.
"It’s unclear what the width of the colored streams is meant to indicate. In other words, if the Y axis of the chart clearly represents time, what does the X axis represent? Did Sparks see history as a zero-sum game, in which peoples and nations would vie for shares of finite resources? Given the timing of his enterprise—he made this chart between two world wars and at the beginning of a major depression—this might well have been his thinking."

Click on the image below to enlarge.


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