Fans of Attenborough who know him primarily for his wonderful nature documentaries may be unaware of the skill with which he has talked about people and their cultures in his numerous anthropology documentaries. This book, written more than two decades ago, accompanied a BBC series of the same name, written and presented by Sir David himself. We are given an overview of the major forces that shaped the culture of the region, from religion, warfare, and human migration, to plant and animal life, deforestation, and the development of agriculture. As might be expected, there are lavish illustrations, with photographs of ancient ruins and archaeological finds and drawings that recreate the original appearance of ancient structures. Attenborough’s text superbly elucidates these illustrations. You can almost hear his voice reading it to you.