4/5 How the written word, originally used for accountancy, gave rise to human literature.
3/5 How the invention of writing influenced the spread of religion.
2/5 Melvyn considers the impact of the invention of the book.
1/5 How making signs on clay, wood or parchment enabled the development of human culture.
7/20 Neil MacGregor explores the lives of powerful rulers around the world over 2,000 years ago
BBC Radio 4 Extra
Martha Kearney's guests review secret government papers from 1981.
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the giant molecules that underpin all life.
3/3 Hugh contrasts the role of philanthropy today with that of the middle of the 20th century.
15/15 As it sits on the brink of privatisation, what does the Royal Mail mean today?
Agnes Poirier explores the role of the body which protects the French language.