Based on the prize-winning exhibition and BBC radio programme, this book uses 100 objects from the British Museum’s collection to illustrate human history from its earliest beginnings right up to the present day. Some items will be familiar to all: the Rosetta Stone, the Sutton Hoo helmet. Others are less widely known: a 4,000-year-old gold cape from Wales; a ceremonial stone belt from Mexico; a West African drum carried by slaves to America and a bark shield brought back from Botany Bay by Captain Cook. Each tells a story, and unexpected connections across continents and centuries emerge – Spanish pieces of eight reveal the beginnings of a global currency; a Victorian tea-set reveals the impact of Empire; a Shariah compliant credit card symbolises global banking and a renewed combination of religion with economics. Even the most well-read will find surprise within the pages of this engrossing and unusual history.