When humans first emerged from Africa 200,000 years ago, we weren’t much more than slightly brainier hominids. It would take time for us to distinguish ourselves from the rest of the species vying for dominance over the planet.
But once we got a toehold — oh, boy did we take off. Humans leveraged a few key innovations — fire, weapons, agriculture — into the beginnings of an unrivaled global empire.
Wrapped up in the crises of the moment, it can be tough to appreciate the sheer scale an