AS AN ANTHROPOLOGIST, part of what I studied was where “culture” began. Sometimes, it was in the Fertile Crescent, when agriculture became the norm. Other times, it began right when modern humans developed, with cave paintings, decorative spears, and bone needles. Others would argue that culture did not begin until the Medieval era had ended, because before that, the Egyptians, the Greeks, and the Romans all did the same stuff.

I like to think that culture is purely subjective, and that there is no “right” way to define it. What I can attest to, is how culture influences culture, whether through interaction, isolation, or a mix of the two. This insane video, created with data collected by University of Texas at Dallas’s Maximilian Schich, maps out culture and its hubs, from 600 BC to the present day. It’s a bit dizzying, but definitely worth watching.

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