Very interesting writing (all of your articles), history less often heard. I wonder if you would write a piece on vanished powers and what they had and what did them in, a global overview in summary (in your usual long and thorough way, which is great). You described how certain factors caused rich societies to fade back into the countryside in this African history, and told about their rise and prosperity. It makes me interested to read, in your style, about parallels among all the great empires that we know about: how many people, what sorts of technology and education, and what led to decline. The drama in it of course is the evidence that today’s powers might disappear into the countryside like their predecessors did over and over again for the last hundred centuries.