This book takes a dramatically original approach to the history of humanity, using objects which previous civilisations have left behind them, often accidentally, as prisms through which we can explore past worlds and the lives of the men and women who lived in them. The book’s range is enormous. It begins with one of the earliest surviving objects made by human hands, a chopping tool from the Olduvai gorge in Africa, and ends with an object from the 21st century which represents the world we live in today. In this book, we travel back in time and across the globe, to see how we humans have shaped our world and been shaped by it over the past two million years. The story is told exclusively through the things that humans have made all sorts of things, carefully designed and then either admired and preserved or used, broken and thrown away. I’ve chosen just a hundred objects from different points on our journey from a cooking pot to a golden galleon, from a Stone Age tool to a credit card, and each object comes from the collection of the British Museum.