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Great Empires of North America, Part 3: Citadels of Ancient Colorado

From cliffside fortresses, they controlled a sprawling trade network — and hoarded wealth beyond dreams. Meet the merchant princes of the ancient Southwest. When we hear terms like “invasion” and “first contact” in American history, we naturally think of European colonialism — and with good reason. The Spanish arrival in New Mexico  devastated indigenous populations, […]

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Great Empires of North America, Part 2: Exodus to Arizona

They raised mighty mud-brick cities, and built a trade empire spanning the Southwest. Meet Arizona’s desert lords. The people had been walking in the desert for many days. When they’d departed from northern Mexico on their great northward migration, they’d been more than a hundred strong – men, women and children, well-practiced at surviving in […]

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The Revenant Is a Movie About Man

THIS CONTAINS ZERO SPOILERS. The Revenant takes place in Montana in the 1800s, but most of it could’ve happened any time since the last Ice Age, in any cold part of the earth. There’s the snow. The wind. The trees. The slow shaggy meaty animals and the quick fierce ones that bring them down. Men in heavy […]

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From “One Goat” to “The Number One”

We didn’t always have numbers—we had to invent them first. Here’s how the birth of math changed everything. Anthropological studies all over the globe have confirmed that in the most primitive cultures, numbers as abstract entities have no meaning at all. In other words, you can talk about one tree, two bananas or three goats, […]

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