When we think about history, we usually focus on the human impact: our influential leaders, the great civilisations we’ve built, and how we’ve harnessed the world’s resources to power our lives.
But what about the influence of our planet? How has the Earth helped to create us?
In his new book, astrobiologist Lewis Dartnell talks us through just that: how the Earth’s ancient geography has influenced the development of human societies in ways we might not have noticed, and how it still affects our behaviour today.
He’s talking to BBC Focus editorial assistant Helen Glenny about a few fascinating case studies: like how geological forces drove our evolution in the East African Rift, and whether the UK’s ancient geography influences our political beliefs.