Update news: civilization pages are being upgraded

Building the Timemap of World History is a puzzling experience. We originally designed it so that it would have an informative home page, which would act as an effective gateway to the rest of the site. In fact, only 10% of you enter the site by that particular door. A majority go directly to the page they want (which does, I suppose, make sense).

Another thing that has surprised me is how popular our “civilization” pages are: those marked “Civilization: Ancient Mesopotamia“, “Civilization: Ancient Egypt” and so on.

Up to now I have not given them much priority. They are devoted to describing the characteristics of different civilizations – society, economics, culture, that sort of thing – and I thought that there was so much out there on the web covering these topics that these pages would be almost redundant.

How wrong I was. These are some of our most popular pages.

I have given a lot more priority to the articles on the history of these civilizations:

History of Ancient Mesopotamia

History of Ancient Egypt

History of Ancient Greece

History of Ancient Rome

and others.

I felt that there was a real need for a reasonably thorough, but readable and not-too-detailed, coverage of what happened in these civilizations over time – how they originated and grew, how they declined and fell. In fact, though, they are far less popular than the civilization pages.

Oh well, that just shows that you (or rather I) can’t second-guess other folks’ behaviour!

Anyhow, as a result of all this, I’m carrying out a programme of upgrading the civilization pages. I’m trying to impose a standard format on them (although this is proving harder than I had anticipated, and will take a bit more time).

They now begin with a timeline (the word “timeline” appears in many of the most common search phrases which lead to our site, so we thought we’d better provide some!)

The pages then have sections on government (including law and warfare), society and economy, culture, religion, science and technology, and the civilization’s place in world history (I haven’t done this for Ancient Rome yet, because our authoring program won’t allow me to write any more – I’ve reached the text limit. I’m going to have either to put it on a different page, or cut this page down a bit before adding this new section).

It would be great if these pages could be as useful as they can possibly be, so we need your input. We would very much appreciate it if you could take a look at them, and send us your comments. So far I’ve done Ancient Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome. I’ll let you know when I’ve upgraded more.

Thank you!

Peter Britton