BBC · 2010 · Presenter: Iain Stewart
Professor Iain Stewart examines the role of geology in the history of mankind in this documentary program. Each of the classical elements plays a role - for instance, he points out that mankind has been drawn to fault lines for centuries, since this is the best place to find minerals, oil, soil suitable for farming, etc. But with these riches comes great danger, of course, since locating communities on the fault lines makes them vulnerable to earthquakes. Subsequent episodes review the cycle of freshwater, the force of the wind, and fire both as a source of energy and a terrifying force of nature. From crystal caves in Mexico to holes in the Iranian desert and a mysterious lake in Oregon, Stewart travels the globe to hammer his point home.
In this first episode, Iain explores the relationship between the deep Earth and the development of human civilisation. He visits an extraordinary crystal cave in Mexico, drops down a hole in the Iranian desert and crawls through 7,000-year-old tunnels in Israel.
His exploration reveals that throughout history, our ancestors were strangely drawn to fault lines, areas which connect the surface with the deep interior of the planet. These fault lines gave access to important resources, but also brought with them great danger.