National Geographic : 1975 Jan
NEW WORLD ORDER is emerging, dominated by nations that only yesterday were thought of as wastes of windblown sand inhabited by wandering herds men. Today almost all other nations-rich and poor alike must come to terms with these predominantly Moslem lands. For the Arabs particularly, this new power brought by oil must be a heady reminder of that other time, 1,300 years ago, when they swept suddenly out of Arabia and dominated the entire Mediterranean world. What happens next is anyone's guess, as the industrial nations learn to cope with the high cost of energy, and with the awesome accumulation of wealth that swells Middle East ern coffers; it may reach $80 billion this year alone. I find living in these times exciting and challenging-if sometimes nerve-racking-and I think most members of the National Geographic Society do too. They know what to expect of history; their magazine has traditionally docu mented the fundamental, irreversible changes in the lives of great nations and tiny tribes. Change can come like a thunderclap, as it did to the Incas; Loren McIntyre brought that period vividly to life in the December 1973 issue. An equally exciting view of Maya civilization is in preparation. Change can also come as silently as the bloom of a white sail on an ocean horizon-as a forthcoming article on Colum bus will show-and as relentlessly as the progress of a road through a jungle. Next month's issue will tell of two Brazilian tribes facing that problem. Later we will visit the Kurds of Iraq, caught in a struggle for autonomy, and view the un precedented making of a new society in Alaska. Looking back, I am impressed by the continuity that un derlies NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC'S monthly accounting of change. When our staff recently started work on articles about coal resources, geothermal energy, and solar energy, they were acting in an honored tradition: In 1904 we sur veyed the "Natural-Gas, Oil, and Coal Supply of the United States"; in 1918 we discussed oil shales; and in 1920 pre sented "Where the World Gets Its Oil: But Where Will Our Children Get It... ?" Two years ago we published "The Search for Tomorrow's Power." And only days after the Arab nations had closed the oil spigot, our staff men were in Saudi Arabia preparing "Oil: The Dwindling Treasure." This month we visit Iran, one of the nations responsible for, and affected by, the new world order. In 1959 I rode with other journalists into Tehran, accompanying President Eisenhower. Our motorcade rolled over exquisite Persian rugs, but beneath them lay a deeper symbol of the nation's pride and power, Iranian oil-based asphalt. Assistant Editor William Graves's report introduces us to some of the Iranians making world-shaking decisions, and gives us a vivid picture of the land and its diverse people, faced with a situation unusual in their history-prosperity. In the long view, I suppose, what happens in the 20th century is only the latest installment in the 37,000-year saga of Cro-Magnon man. We can take comfort in the notion, as Alexander Marshack's article in this issue points out, that even in the most difficult of times, those ancestors of ours managed to make a go of it. ^*Cfc--S^ ^Lo-^^^idi^ MNAT ONAL THE NATIONALGEOGRAPHICMAGAZINEVOL. 147 NO. I COPYRIGHT© 1974 BY NATIONATIONAL GEOGRAPHICSOCIETY WASHINGTON,D. C. INTERNATIONALCOPYRIGHTSECURED January 1975 Iran: Desert Miracle 2 Crisscrossing the Persia of old, staff men William Graves and James P. Blair find the empire's 20th-century successor savoring a new glory based on oil. How We Found the Monitor 48 After more than a century of oblivion, the Civil War's famed "cheesebox on a raft" has been identified and photographed 220 feet down in the Atlantic. By John G. Newton. Exploring the Mind of Ice Age Man 62 New techniques help Alexander Marshack formulate some answers to an audacious question: What were the thought processes of Europeans 37,000 to 10,000 years ago? New England's "Little Portugal" 90 0. Louis Mazzatenta traces the thread Portuguese immigrants have woven into the fabric of our national life. Bad Days for the Brown Pelican IIn Ralph W. Schreiber assesses a familiar bird's chances for ultimate survival. Photographs by William R. Curtsinger and the author. Martinique: Libert6, Egalite, and Uncertainty in the Caribbean 124 Kenneth MacLeish and John Launois find problems behind the pleasures in a tropical piece of France. COVER: Fluorescing weirdly under ultraviolet light, this bison in a cave at Niaux, France, helps a noted prehistorian toward a new understanding of Ice Age man (pages 76-77). Photograph by Alexander Marshack.