As both religious rituals and urban administrative needs grew ever more complex, the priesthood grew more specialized and shrines became grand temples.

So I wanted to make sense of a long period in the development of religion/political order, and do so efficiently. But how? A picture speaks a thousand words, yes, but which picture?

After weighing this and that, I decided to illustrate the architectural progression of sacred spaces during that period.

But wow, the archaeological research is pretty thin. You would think this had been studied every which way by now. Nope. All the research out there seems to ultimately be based on a single, mimeograph-looking report from 1981, itself based on a dig in the mid-1940s. I asked experts for help tracking down any other useful sources. Zilch. This was… less than ideal.

But worse—nobody in the history of History has tried to re-create what all the various shrines and temples looked like (except for one temple). How the heck could I illustrate them without any references of what they looked like?

But yes—between photos, written descriptions, and historical accounts, I just barely had enough to get going with. I could do it. I could illustrate what they all (probably) looked like.

But no—that would have filled 10 pages’ worth of panels! That’s the opposite of efficient. Now what?

I turned them into a single-panel animated gif. Like a slideshow.

That was a terrible idea. No matter how I timed the gif, images would go by too fast for some, too slow for others, would be completely out of the viewer’s control, and would last far too long regardless.

Kudos to Patreon supporter R. Eric Reuss for suggesting that, instead of doing something like a slideshow, I simply present them as a slideshow. GENIUS!

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