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As Europe toiled in the Dark Ages, the Islamic world was deep into scientific discovery. This epochal era is profiled in the traveling exhibition “1001 Inventions: Discover the Golden Age of Muslim Civilization,” which stops at National Geographic for a six-month stay after spending time in Los Angeles, New York, London, Istanbul, and Abu Dhabi. A historical chronicling of ingenuity in Muslim culture is the exhibition’s primary cause, but the deeper message is, “Hey, xenophobes, the cradle of civilization is not full of unenlightened barbarians.” The show is divided into seven themed sections, covering everything from architecture and astronomy to medicine and the marketplace. This aeon of creation took place between the seventh and 17th centuries, coming to a close because of foreign invasions, economic instability, and internal corruption. But as “1001 Inventions” shows, the house of wisdom built during this golden age is everlasting.
“1001 Inventions: Discover the Golden Age of Muslim Civilization” is on view 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily Aug. 3 to Feb. 3, 2013 at the National Geographic Museum, 1145 17th St. NW. $8 for adults. nationalgeographic.com. (202) 857-7588.