Roads of Arabia: new perspectives on human society

Luxury goods or tourism typically aren’t considered a solid basis for the development of human society.  That’s only through the bias of thinking within empires and through the industrial machinery of modern nation-states.  The Sackler Gallery’s spectacular exhibit, Roads of Arabia: Archaeology and History of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, shows that trade in incense and travel to Islamic holy sites supported small, distinctive, culturally advanced societies in Arabia alongside of ancient empires, long before the discovery of oil.

Roads of Arabia; anthropomorphic stele

In the form of beautifully lit sandstone steles, distinctive and expressive persons living in Saudi Arabia about 6000 years ago welcome visitors to the first room of Roads of Arabia.  Little is known about the purpose of these steles and the societies that created them.  Roughly similar steles, known as hermae, were made in Greece about 3000 years later to serve as boundary markers and funerary monuments.  The Arabian steles don’t seem to represents kings or heroes.  The Arabian steles seems to represent a sense of self that cultural historians within the European intellectual tradition typically trace to a recent, few centuries of economic growth and political liberalization within a Judeo-Christian culture.  Roads of Arabia expands that self-consciousness enormously.

Roads of Arabia potentially revolutionizes understanding of human social organization.  The exhibit includes a stone sculpture apparently of a horse.  It was discovered within the last five years in al-Magar in north-central Saudi Arabia.  The al-Magar sculpture and related evidence suggests that domesticated horses existed in Arabia 9000 years ago.  The best recent research on horse domestication suggests that horses were first domesticated about 5500 years ago in the steppes of Ukraine and northwest Kazakhstan.[1]  The al-Magar horse sculpture, if scientifically validated, potentially implies a complete rethinking of the relationship between humans and horses, and a new history of human societies all across Asia for thousands of years.

Many’s the water-skin of all sorts of folk I have slung
by its strap over my shoulder, humble as can be, and humped it;
many’s the valley, bare as an ass’s belly, I’ve crossed,
a valley loud with the wolf howling like a many-bairned wastrel [2]

Roads of Arabia presents artifacts that should encourage a literary re-assessment of what’s known as Bedouin poetry.  At least since the cultural heights of the Abbasid caliphate, Bedouin poetry has been associated with an Arabian world of bucolic Bedouin, camels, campfires, and sand.  However, a roughly 2400-years-old stone pedestal or altar discovered in northern Hijaz (northeastern Saudi Arabia) includes iconography showing influence of high culture from Egypt to Persia.[3]

The people of pre-Islamic Arabia had broad cultural horizons.  About 2300 years ago, they carved exquisite, life-sized stone statues of men.  Those statues aren’t the sort of objects that a Bedouin would carry around the desert.  A girl buried just outside Thaj (east-central Saudi Arabia) about 1900 years ago was buried on a beautifully cast Hellenstic funerary bed.  She was dressed in a lavish custom and had a gold funerary mask.  She probably didn’t regularly lead a donkey to a well to fill animal skins with water for her camp.  Pre-Islamic oasis cities in the northern Hijaz had constructed wells, artificial lakes, dams, canals, and complex hydrological mechanisms.[4]  Bedouin poetry was probably primarily a literary conceit in the cosmopolitan, cultured world of Arabia that existed even prior to Islam.

The extensive economic and cultural development in Arabia occurred without strong, territorially extensive political control.  Tribes and cities in Arabia formed loose, shifting alliances.  Societies in Arabia developed not by exploiting a large expanse of secured territory, but via trade routes connecting incense sources and holy sites in Arabia to north Africa and Eurasia.  Incense and holy sites are much more closely related to symbolic systems and communication than are iron and oil.  Many leaders around the world today are pondering how to prosper in a new economy of communication networks.  Roads of Arabia shows a greatly under-appreciated ancient example of a vibrant society built upon communication and services.

Roads of Arabia: Archaeology and History of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is at the Sackler Gallery in Washington, DC, through Feb. 24, 2013.  The exhibit is beautifully lit and features a stunning, walk-through arrangement of tombstones of pilgrims to Mecca.  Associated with the physical exhibit is a extensive, well-constructed online exhibit.  While no substitute for seeing the artifacts in person, the online exhibit makes many images and much information from Roads of Arabia accessible world-wide.

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[1] Warmuth et al. (2012).

[2] Mu’allaqa of Imru’ al-Qays, trans. Arberry (1957) p. 64.

[3] al-Hamra cube, from the al-Hamra Temple at Tayma, Saudia Arabia. A Christian bishop ordered a “Najrani {Christian} monk,” “one of the people of Najran,” to travel to India and China about 980.  Al-Nadim, Fihrist, trans. Dodge (1970) v. 2, p. 836.  Najran is a city in southern Arabia.  Christians from that city were deported to Kufa, just south of Baghdad, about 640.  Whether the Christian monk lived in Najran or merely maintained a historic affiliation with Najran, his assignment to travel to China suggests Arabia’s cosmopolitan position.

[4] Ghabbān (2010) pp. 215, 224-6 (Tayma); pp. 275, 290 (Hegra); p. 266 (huge constructed water basin at Dedan).

[image] Anthropomorphic stele; El-Maakir, Qaryat al-Kaafa, near Ha’il, Saudi Arabia, 4th millennium BCE; Sandstone; H x W: 57 x 27 cm; National Museum, Riyadh.  I’ve covered the non-original support for the stele with the black background to avoid its distraction.  The arrangement and lighting of the steles in the exhibit has a similar effect.


Arberry, Arthur John. 1957. The seven odes: the first chapter in Arabic literatures. New York: Macmillan.

Dodge, Bayard Dodge. 1970. The Fihrist of al-Nadīm: a tenth century survey of Muslim culture. New York: Columbia University Press.

Ghabbān, ʻAlī ibn Ibrāhīm. 2010. Roads of Arabia: archaeology and history of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Paris: Somogy Art Publishers.(exhibit catalog)

Warmuth ,Vera, Anders Eriksson, Mim Ann Bower, Graeme Barker, Elizabeth Barrett, Bryan Kent Hanks, Shuicheng Li, David Lomitashvili, Maria Ochir-Goryaeva, Grigory V. Sizonov, Vasiliy Soyonov, and Andrea Manica. 2012. “Reconstructing the origin and spread of horse domestication in the Eurasian steppe.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 109 (21): 8202-8206.

Al-Marwazi described migration of mobile societies in ancient Eurasia

Alexander the Great and Ghengis Khan created vast Eurasian empires about 2300 and 800 years ago, respectively.  The creation of those empires surely wasn’t a typical re-arrangement of Eurasian societies.  Writing about 1120, Sharaf al-Zaman al-Marwazi, a native of the major central-Asian city Merv, described a more typical re-arrangement:

To them {Turks} also belong the Qun; these came from the land of Qitay, fearing the Qita-khan.  They were Nestorian Christians, and had migrated from their habitat, being pressed for pastures.  Of their numbers {is? or was?} Akinji b. Qochqar {?} the Khwarazmshah.  The Qun were followed {or pursued} by a people called the Qay, who being more numerous and stronger than they drove them out of these {new?} pasture-lands.  They then moved on to the territory of the Shari, and the Shari migrated to the land of the Turkmans, who in their turn shifted to the eastern parts of the Ghuzz country.  The Ghuzz Turks then moved to the territory of the Bajanak, near the shores of the Armenian {?} sea. [1]

Al-Marwazi’s reference to the Qun, Turks who were Christians, is not well-understood.  The Qun may have been the Tuyuhun.  In the late eighth century they lived in Shaanxi and neighboring provinces.  They plausibly had contact with Xi’an, an early center of Christianity in China. In the ninth and tenth centuries the Tuyuhun moved just north of the great bend of the Yellow River (the Ordos Loop).[2]  That movement may have been related to the suppression of Buddhism, Christianity, Manichaeism, and Zoroastrianism in China in the mid-ninth century.[3]  The Kereit, a Turkish people living southeast of Lake Baikal, converted to Christianity in 1009.[4]  Contact with the nearby Christian Qun may have fostered that conversion.  In any case, the Qun were positioned to connect the sedentary people of China to the mobile societies of central Asia.

More generally, al-Marwazi reported an immense migration of peoples.  The movement began in Manchuria in far-east Eurasia and ultimately had effects on peoples near the Black Sea in western Eurasia.  This migration is thought to have taken place primarily from 1030 to 1050.[5]  Roughly a half millennium earlier, the Avars apparently migrated from eastern-central Eurasia to western Eurasia.  Many other re-arrangements and migrations among the relatively mobile Eurasian societies could have occurred in the long span of Eurasian history.

Economic change seems to be shifting societies toward mobile assets.  Physical assets require physical space and non-scalable maintenance services. Virtual assets such as software and data can realize great economies of scale and be quickly adapted to new applications.  Cloud technologies and mobile devices allow persons and groups to be much more nomadic.  Leading societal forms of the twenty-first century are likely to be more like ancient Central Asia than like Roman or Chinese empires.

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[1] Al-Marwazi, Kitāb Ṭabāʾiʿ al-Ḥayawān (Nature of Animals), Ch. 9, Sec. 3, trans. Minorsky (1942) pp. 29-30. The editorial interpolations in {} are Minorsky’s.

[2] Minorsky (1942) commentary on al-Marwazi, p. 99, apparently quoting Pelliot (1921), Note sur les T’ou-yu-houen in T’oung-Pao.

[3] The religious suppression in mid-ninth century China did not eliminate Manichaeism in China:

Manichaeism was flourishing in China as late as the Sung dynasty. In the Sung hui-yao kao we find many imperial edicts persecuting the followers of this religion throughout the Northern and Southern Sung dynasties. In 1120 A. D., the year of Marvazi’s death, it is said that in Wen-chou alone there existed more than forty Manichaean temples.

Chou (1945) p. 14. For a detailed analysis of a Manichaean’s relationship with a Confucian official under the southern Sung Dynasty, see Lieu (1977).  Christianity in China seems also to have survived the mid-ninth-century religious suppression.

[4] Mingana (1925) pp. 308-311.

[5] Minorsky (1942) commentary on al-Marwazi, p. 104.


Chou Yi-liang. 1945.  “Notes on Marvazi’s account on China.” Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies. Vol. 9, n. 1 (Sept.) pp. 13-23.

Lieu, Samuel N. C. 1977.  “A lapsed Chinese Manichaean’s correspondence with a Confucian official in the late Sung Dynasty (1265): a study of the Ch’ung-shou-kung chi by Huang Chen.”  Bulletin of the John Rylands Library (Manchester), v. 59, pp. 397-425.

Mingana, Alphonse. 1925. The early spread of Christianity in central Asia and the Far East: a new document. Manchester: University Press.

Minorsky, Vladimir F. 1942. Sharaf Al-Zamān Ṭāhir Marvazī on China, the Turks and India: Arabic text (circa A. D. 1120) with an English translation and commentary. London: Royal Asiatic Society.

paternity choice: an aborted principle of the French Revolution

At the heart of the French Revolution were ideals of liberty, equality, and love.  As leaders of the French Revolution recognized, those ideals implied legal paternity choice.  The first French Civil Code of 1804 essentially forbid imposing legal paternity upon a man outside his voluntary consent to legal marriage.  By 1870, many other jurisdictions had also enacted this revolutionary principle of liberty, equality, and love.[1]  However, paternity choice – legal freedom to choose fatherhood – was subsequently swept away in France and in most other jurisdictions.  Men’s natural hostility toward other men and women’s naturally narrow self-interest aborted the French Revolution’s principle of paternity choice.

In pre-revolutionary France, an unmarried woman had a privileged position under law to name the father of her child during childbirth.  The pain of childbirth, like the pain of torture, was falsely held to guarantee truthful speaking.  Women’s legal privilege in establishing paternity was summarized in the legal maxim creditur virgini parturienti (“believe the young woman giving birth”).[2]  A man thus named could know either that he might be the biological father, or that he surely was not.  In either case, if the man did not want the legal status of father of that child, he had to make arguments to civil officials to overturn the mother’s assertion of his fatherhood.  Such arguments were unlikely to be successful.  With respect to establishing paternity, women and men were highly unequal under pre-revolutionary French law.

post-Revolutionary legal paternity choice contrasted with women's privilege in establishing legal paternity in Old Regime France

By legally binding fatherhood to a woman’s claim of paternity and depriving men of paternity choice, the Old Regime undermined parental love.  The Old Regime used an unwanted legal declaration of paternity as punishment for a man judged to have seduced a woman, even if that distinctly male criminal act occurred with the woman’s enthusiastic participation.  Men are highly unusual among mammalian males in being attached to and providing for their biological children.[3]  Men’s paternal care did not evolve through the development of a coercive state police apparatus.  The love of a father can only be a freely given gift.  Legal regimes that do not allow space for that gift and that love are deeply oppressive.

Using paternity as punishment for men allowed the Old Regime to avoid effectively facing collective responsibility for poor children.  Leading French liberal thinker Benjamin Constant highlighted the importance of active liberty: “an active and constant participation in collective power.”  Constant opposed involuntary legal fatherhood and favored paternity choice.[4]  Legally imposing upon a particular man unwanted financial responsibility for a child required much less citizen activity than providing for that children through an effective collective system for ensuring the welfare of poor children.  The private approach also created more welfare inequality among children.  Under the private system, the welfare of the child depended directly on the welfare of the man whom the mother declared to be the child’s father. The richer the man the mother named as father, the more money the mother received, and the higher the welfare of the child likely was.  Modern family law is formally based on the best interests of the child.  Mothers in Old Regime France undoubtedly sought to advance the best interests of the child.[5]  A more collective approach to the best interests of children would better serve ideals of active liberty and welfare equality for children.

Overturning the law of the Old Regime, the French Civil Code of 1804 essentially forbid imposing legal paternity upon a man outside his voluntary consent to marriage.  Getting married established a man as legally the father of his wife’s subsequent children.  Narrow conditions, but relatively reasonable ones in comparative historical perspective, allowed a husband to assert that a child of the marriage was not his child.[6]  Unmarried men were subject neither to a legal presumption of paternity nor to having legal paternity forced upon them through a paternity establishment proceeding (paternity search). Article 340 of the Civil Code of 1804 declared:

Paternity searches are forbidden.  In cases of elopement, when the elopement coincides with the date of conception, interested parties may declare that the man of the eloping pair is the father of the child. [7]

Elopement in this context can be interpreted as the woman and man’s decisive choice to be married, despite social and familial circumstances that otherwise prevented them from formally getting married.  The legal institution of fatherhood in the French Civil Code of 1804 was in general closely tied to the legal institution of marriage.

What happened to the ideals of the French Revolution and paternity choice?  Male magistrates in France found ways to get around Article 340 so as to satisfy female pleaders and to harm other men. Other men gained public attention by speaking out forcefully against paternity choice.  For example, Ernest Legouvé, who won prominence as a mid-nineteenth-century French author and intellectual, positioned himself as a champion of women.  He declared: “There should be a law against seduction.”[8]  Seduction meant male behavior ranging from sweet words to abduction to rape.  For men such as Legouvé, seduction was what other men did to get women.  For women struggling to get more resources from men, seduction was a sexual relationship in which men did not provide women with all that women felt that women deserved.  Male and female leaders exploited deep biases of male and female human nature to extinguish the French Revolution’s principle of paternity choice.

The extent of moralizing and shaming of men in reversing ideals of the French Revolution is nearly impossible to perceive today.  According to leading current scholarly analysis, men simply seeking to have sex are men attempting to “escape the responsibilities of misconduct.”  Article 340 of the French Civil Code of 1804 was “a charter of liberties for men, giving them no incentive to behave honorably or responsibly.” A man who had sex should be required to “behave honorably and pay for his dishonorable deeds.”  The French Revolution ushered in “the age of paternal irresponsibility,” that was then reversed in “the evolution from male legal sexual irresponsibility in the nineteenth century to more legal sexual responsibility in the twentieth century.”  The French Revolution’s rejection of forced fatherhood and embrace of paternity choice was based on “fear of female sexuality” and the belief that women were “not to be trusted.”  The Old Regime’s maxim creditur virgini parturienti (“believe the young woman giving birth”) has been revived and expanded to the maxim creditur mulieri (“believe the woman”).  Nonetheless, early twentieth-century success in reversing the French Revolution’s principle of paternity choice “was still a far cry from having respect for, and confidence in, single mothers.”[9]

The leading scholarly work on the history of paternity in France from the Old Regime to the present makes an outstanding contribution to understanding modern regulation of male sexuality.  The author’s introduction begins thus:

“Why are you writing a book on paternity?” some friends have asked — often adding, somewhat suspiciously: “But I thought you worked on women’s history?” [10]

Those friends need not have feared a scholarly revolution, or even some scholarly innovation.  The author fully embraced her friends’ parochial, misandristic perspective.  The author strenuously engaged in moralizing and shaming of men and single-handedly generated all the quotes in the previous paragraph.  Given this work’s achievement, an H-France Forum featured four lengthy, laudatory reviews of it as well as the author’s response.  These essays, which are freely available on the Internet, deserve an (attempt at) reading, for they uncannily reproduce the literary and intellectual brilliance of Soviet apparatchiks meeting under Brezhnev.  Not surprisingly, the book went on to win the 2009 J. Russell Major Prize from the American Historical Association, the 2009 Frances Richardson Keller-Sierra Prize from the Western Association of Women Historians, and the 2008 Charles E. Smith Award from the European History section of the Southern Historical Association. In 2010, the author was elevated to a Regents’ Professor, “the highest faculty honor awarded at Arizona State University.”

How can one hope for another revolution?

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[1] Jurisdictions that forbid legally forced fatherhood in 1870 included Belgium, Bolivia, Costa Rica, France, Geneva, some German states on the Rhine (including Prussia and Austria), Greece, Haiti, Hesse, Holland, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, Naples, Neuchatel, Romania, Russia, Sardinia, Serbia, Ticino, Uruguay, Vaud, and Venezuela.  Watson (1985) p. 29.  The French Civil Code of 1804 abolished feudal privileges and established in written law personal freedoms and due process of law.  The Civil Code emphasized clearly written and democratically accessible law.  It is widely regarded as a major milestone in the development of legal systems.

[2] Id. p. 31, Fuchs (2008) p. 23.  A similar procedure was adopted under law in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1668.  Hambleton (1998) p. 101.  Given the interests supporting such practices and laws, they probably existed in other jurisdictions as well.  Childbirth, which is a natural process for the human female body, differs substantially from torture.  On early modern understanding of the relation between torture and truth, see Silverman (2001).  Fuchs (2008), p. 2, declares:

Medical science could not determine paternity by blood types until after the mid-twenty-century, and genetic testing came even later.

That’s wrong by about half a century.  In Germany and Austria in 1928, paternity blood tests were used in more than a thousand paternity cases.  In 1930, the Circuit Court of Appeals of Berlin declared that “the probative force of blood-grouping tests could no longer be denied.”  Schoch (1942) pp. 178, 180.  Blood tests were a prominent issue in the widely reported Charlie Chaplin paternity cases in the U.S. in 1944-5.  Paternity has a long history of legal fiction.  Availability of scientific paternity knowledge has had relatively little effect in adjudicating contested paternity and in establishing paternity claims against unmarried men.

[3] In only about 5% of mammalian species are males social bonded to breeding females and directly provision that female and her children.  Lukas & Clutton-Brock (2012).

[4] On Benjamin Constant and active liberty, see Breyer (2004) pp. 3-4.  Constant was an outspoken opponent of even allowing an unmarried mother to choose to have a man’s name inscribed as father, against his choice, on her child’s birth certificate.  Fuchs (2008) pp. 53-4 provides a characteristically biased description of the relevant history.  Jean-Jacques Cambacérès, a moderate within French Revolution leadership, by 1793 regarded legally forced fatherhood as odious and contrary to natural law.  Id. p. 34.

[5] In eighteenth and nineteenth century France, elite discourse had not yet developed sufficiently to suppress socially expressions of concern about women making fraudulent claims:

Jurists were far less likely to take a mother’s word than they were to argue that accepting a mother’s word {stating who the father of her child is} would result in scandals, lies, and extortion.

Id. p. 37.  One reason for not legally privileging women’s paternity claims is that a woman may not truly know who the father of her child is.  That’s the circumstances if the woman has had sex with more than one man in the relevant period.  Shondel v. Mark (2006) apparently is a modern example of such a case.  Here’s some statistics on the extent of paternity ignorance.  Another reason for not privileging women’s paternity claims is that, as late-eighteenth-century French jurists recognized, the woman is a highly interested party with respect to that claim.  Id. p. 52 reports:

They {Revolutionary-era French jurists} therefore no longer countenanced a woman’s word {about who the father of her child was} because, they said, women would lie.

Men lie, but women would never lie.  And if women lie, their lies are justified:

These men {those bad men who said women lie} paid no attention to the possibility that if a woman gave false testimony, it might not be from lack of scruples but from sheer distress.

Id. p. 52.

[6] Under Articles 312-318 of the Code, a married man could contest his paternity of his wife’s child if, between 300 and 180 days before the child’s birth, he was “either, by reason of absence, or by the effect of some accident, under a physical incapability of cohabiting with his wife.”  A claim of a man’s natural impotence, which was historically legally tested through the physiologically absurd and personally degrading practice of observed sexual congress, was explicitly disallowed as a basis for contesting paternity.  On legally testing men’s sexual function through observed sexual congress, see Benedek & Kubinec (1998).

[7] Here’s the original French text of the Civil Code of 1804.  Article 340 of that text:

La recherche de la paternité est interdite. Dans le cas d’enlèvement, lorsque l’époque de cet enlèvement se rapportera à celle de la conception, le ravisseur pourra être, sur la demande des parties intéressées, déclaré père de l’enfant.

An early nineteenth-century English translation of the French Civil Code of 1804 translates “enlèvement” as “rape” and “ravisseur” as “ravisher.” Fuchs (2008), p. 52, translates those terms as “abduction” and “abductor.”  Id. p. 17 observes:

Eighteenth-century seduction included gifts, sweet words, promises of marriage, and sexual activity.  … Although rapt could include rape, it usually indicated nonviolent seduction against the wishes of a woman’s father.  Writing in 1781, Jean-Francois Fornel, a leading legal authority, distinguished séduction from rapt de séduction: séduction was against the woman alone; rapt de séduction involved a man abducting a young women from her parental home, usually with the avowed intent to marry her without her father’s permission.

The term “elopement” better describes the relevant actions in modern English than does the term “abduction.”  The fluidity between sexual persuasion and rape shows the ease with which men are criminalized.

[8] Legouvé, Histoire morale des femmes, pp. 72-3, quoted and trans. Fuchs (2008) pp. 78-9.

[9] Id. pp. 153, 53, 158, 281, 263, 139, 155, 138 (quotes above seriatum, excluding English texts of the maxims).

[10] Id. p. 1.


Benedek, Thomas G., and Janet Kubinec. 1998. “The evaluation of impotence by sexual congress and alternatives thereto in divorce proceedings.” Transactions and Studies of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. 4: 122-153.

Breyer, Stephen. 2004.  “Active Liberty: Interpreting Our Democratic Constitution.” The Tanner Lectures on Human Values, delivered at Harvard University, Nov. 17-19, 2004.

Fuchs, Rachel Ginnis. 2008. Contested paternity: constructing families in modern France. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Hambleton, Else L. 1998.  “The Regulation of Sex in Seventeenth-Century Massachusetts: The Quarterly Court of Essex County vs. Priscilla Willson and Mr. Samuel Appleton,” Pp. 89-115 in Smith, Merril D., ed.  1998. Sex and sexuality in early America. New York: New York University Press.

Lukas, Dieter, and Tim Clutton-Brock. 2012. “Cooperative breeding and monogamy in mammalian societies.” Proceedings. Biological Sciences / The Royal Society. 279 (1736): 2151-6.

Schoch, Magdalena. 1943. “Determination of paternity by blood-grouping tests: the European experience.” Southern California Law Review, v. 16, pp. 177-192.

Silverman, Lisa. 2001. Tortured subjects: pain, truth, and the body in early modern France. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Watson, Alan. 1985. The evolution of law. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Cai Guo-Qiang's smoke tree disillusions

On Friday, November 30 at 3 pm, Cai Guo-Qiang created an explosion event in front of the north entrance to the Freer Gallery.  Three sets of explosions blew smoke into the air.  Spectators eagerly anticipated seeing a smoke-created illusion of a tree.  Why would a huge crowd hope to see such an illusion?

With the third explosion, smoke rose upwards, highlighting the beauty of another real tree, and the clouds.

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The Sackler Gallery sponsored the Cai Guo-Qiang explosion event in conjunction with the U.S. State Department’s Art in Embassies program.  The event was part of the Sackler Gallery’s 25th Anniversary celebration.  Other events associated with that celebration are the Sackler’s Dunhuang cave visualization and the magnificent Roads of Arabia exhibit.

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