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14 October 2014
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Civilisations is a multi-dimensional picture of human history, where you're in charge of the timeline.

It uses web technology to reveal the sweep of historical forces and the rise and fall of great empires and ideas over 5000 years in a way that no book could ever do.

And it does it your way. You can customise Civilisations to show you the things that interest you. The best way to understand Civilisations is to have a go.

Launch Civilisations

Every effort has been made to depict empires accurately but the nature of the project sometimes required a generalisation of the data. For instance, the map of Buddhism shows that Buddhists only lived in India in the first century, but isolated Buddhist communities may have existed elsewhere.


You will need the Flash 6 player to use Civilisations.

Please visit BBC Webwise for help on downloading and installing the Flash plug-in.

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