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Mankind Decoded

Mankind Decoded

Mankind Decoded reveals the gripping story of how 12 surprising forces shaped human civilization and helped make us who we are today. Lust for Luxury depicts the hunger of ordinary people for the luxuries of the rich, and how this has impacted history, from the obsession with silk to the fall of Constantinople and the industrial revolution.

Building the Pyramids
Man's Best Friend
Genghis Khan
Gunpowder to Guns
Rise of the Incas


Lust For Luxury
From the obsession with silk to the fall of Constantinople, the discovery of the Americas to the launch of the Industrial Revolution, our desire for luxury has shaped our history and evolution.
Arms Race
About 10,000 years ago we discover farming. But when crops fail, early farming communities face a new threat. War. It's the birth of the arms race.
Connecting The World
Throughout history new trade routes have proved to be double-edged swords, opening the way to wealth as well as terrible dangers--among them revolutionary ideas and terrifying pandemics.
Violent Planet
Mankind has evolved from a puny, vulnerable creature to become a dominant force on the planet. Occasionally the planet bites back--with terrifying consequences that have shaped our evolution.
Eat It, Drink It, Smoke It
Man uses plants to feed, heal and clothe himself, to build his world and even to alter how he feels. They become such an important part of our lives that they play a central role in our evolution.
Rise Of The Machines
Tools and machines have allowed us to overcome our physical limitations, and become the most successful species on Earth. But tools are also transforming what it means to be human.
Man And Metals
5000 years ago man first throws a handful of rocks into a campfire and stumbles upon a discovery that changes the world: Metal. Copper, Tin and Bronze empower the ancient world and allow empires to expand.
Fire, Coal, And Oils
Armed with fire, we experiment by heating minerals to make stronger tools allowing us to fight wars and build civilizations. But burning wood destroys our landscape, so Mankind exploits a new energy--oil.
Man And Beast
15,000 years ago man and the wolf form a partnership that shaped the future of Mankind. With the help of man's new best friend we domesticate more animals, sowing the seeds of farming and civilization.
Information Is Power
Communication is the vital ingredient in the building of civilization. The creation of things like a 22-letter alphabet and the printing press allowed Mankind to further expand.
Building Earth
New challenges create new sciences, and when the Romans mixed volcanic ash with water they created a new super-material: concrete. Today, we shape the surface of the earth to facilitate our needs.
Need For Speed
No prizes for second place! In this episode we learn how being the fastest enabled empires to be born and capitalism to thrive.