BOOKS
03/23/2012 10:57 am ET | Updated Mar 26, 2012

PHOTOS: 6 Ancient Muslim Advancements We Still Use Today

Imagine that you're on a camping trip. Are you jaunting through the Rockies, an earth-toned REI tent in tow?

Imagine that you're in a garden. Are you admiring the symmetry and scrupulousness of Versailles? Or getting your hands dirty in a community plot with rows of tomatos and kale?

It may be our tendency to assume our past times and modern luxuries are all thanks to earlier Western civilizations, but in fact, much of American culture is rooted in the Muslim world. Tents, gardens, libraries, herbal medicine, chess and jewels are all Eastern developments that we reap the benefits of today.

In the third edition of "1001 Inventions: The Enduring Legacy of Muslim Civilization" [National Geographic Society, $28.00], we learn about the evolution and advances of these apparatuses via a combination of ancient drawings and current photographs.

CLARIFICATION: We have changed 'inventions' to 'advancements' in the headline to clarify that in some cases a technology or practice might have existed prior to the Muslims' contribution.

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