National Geographic History January/February 2019

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United States
National Geographic Society
6 期號


1 分鐘
from the editor

In 1787 Thomas Jefferson wrote to James Madison, “I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing.” The two men were fresh off a successful rebellion, one that gave independence to North American colonists. Rebellions have been a key part of the United States’ story from the beginning, but not all rebellions and rebels are created equal. One rebel, Jesse James, has been mythologized as an American Robin Hood, stealing from the Northern rich to give to the Southern poor. The violence of the Civil War turned James against the United States; after the Confederacy lost, James and his comrades attacked the institutions of the victorious Union: They held up banks, robbed trains, and murdered Americans who stood in their way. But the “noble outlaw” myth does…

2 分鐘
kenya’s monumental city of the dead

An international team of researchers has opened a landmark exploration of the Lothagam North­Pillar Site near Lake Turkana in Kenya. Based on their initial research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), their findings­-suggest that this mysterious complex of rings of boulders, small stone pillars, and cairns functioned as both a -cemetery—the earliest monumental site in East­Africa—and a landmark for African herders between 4,000 and 5,000 years ago. Partly funded by a National Geographic grant, the team excavated a small section (just 43 square feet of a 7,500-square-foot site) and uncovered 36 sets of human remains. The dig site concentrated on the circular esplanade ringed with boulders, but as many as 500 more burials may lie within the necropolis. Remains of men, women, children, and theelderly were…

1 分鐘
legacy at the lake

FIVE THOUSAND YEARS may seem like a long time ago. The 5,000-year-old Lothagam North necropolis certainly seems ancient, but the region around Lake Turkana (the world’s largest, permanent desert lake) has been home to communities that extend back to the dawn of humanity itself. In 1994 National Geographic explorer-in-residence Maeve Leakey unearthed a fossil of a hominid (Australopithecus anamensis) who lived around 4.2 to 3.9 million years ago. Study of the fossil found the creature had walked on two feet, and that hominids had developed bipedalism earlier than previously thought. Near the lake in 1984, Kenyan paleontologist Kamoya Kimeu found a fossil of Homo erectus who lived 1.5 to 1.6 million years ago. Believed to be a boy about eight or nine years old, the fossil was nicknamed Turkana Boy.…

1 分鐘
bright lights of the big screen

1870 Antoine Lumière arrives in Lyon with his family. He opens a photographic studio, where two of his sons, Louis and Auguste, will one day work. 1881 Louis’s new, improved dry plates are a runaway success. Lumière will soon be Europe’s biggest photography brand. 1895 The Lumière brothers patent the Lumière Cinématographe and hold the first ever public film screening at the Grand Café in Paris. 1903 The Lumières patent plates to produce color photographs, which they call autochromes. The plates go on the market in 1907.…

6 分鐘
the lumières: sires of the cinema

Auguste and Louis Lumière invented a camera that could record, develop, and project film, but they regarded their creation as little more than a curious novelty. Shortly after the public premiere of their film, Louis was said to have remarked: “Le cinéma est une invention sans avenir—Cinema is an invention without a future.” This prediction was the Lumières only scientific miscalculation, for this sibling pair created an unprecedented form of art and entertainment that radically influenced popular culture. Their Cinématographe introduced a crucial innovation: By projecting moving images onto a large screen, it created a new, shared experience of cinema. The first movie audience was born. A Family Tradition In 1870, as France reeled from invasion in the Franco-Prussian war, Antoine Lumière moved his family from the hazardous eastern border of the country…

1 分鐘
double feature

THE TWO ELDEST sons of Antoine Lumière—Auguste (born in 1862) and Louis (born in 1864)—shared a deep interest in science. Brotherly solidarity even extended to marriage: The men’s wives were sisters. Louis was the driving force behind both the improved dry plate and the Cinématographe. After both men developed the color autochrome in 1907, their interests began to diverge. Louis continued his work in photography while Auguste increasingly focused his time on medical studies, researching and publishing extensively on asthma, tuberculosis, and renal conditions. Auguste died in 1954, six years after the death of Louis.…