Big History Project Website Credits



All images © Corbis

Table of Contents

All images © Corbis

Chapter 1

The Universe © Corbis

Origin Stories: Pan Gu and the Egg of the World: © A portrait of Pan Gu by Wang Qi, circa 1607, Titans and Gods of Olympus © Bettman/Corbis, The Great Turtle's Island © National Geographic Society/Corbis; Genesis © Alinari Archives/Corbis, Popul Vuh © Christie's Images/Corbis, Modern scientific: Planetary nebula NGC 6210 in Hercules Constellation © ESA/Hubble and NASA

A Mysterious Hiss from the Heavens © NASA; Powers of 10 © 1977 The Eames Office

Gravity: Newton's Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy © Isaac Newton/Corbis

Further reading for Chapter 1

Cynthia Stokes Brown. Big History: From the Big Bang to the Present. New York: The New Press. 2007.

Bill Bryson. A Short History of Nearly Everything. New York: Broadway Books. 2003.

David Christian. Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History. Berkeley: University of California Press. 2004.

Fred Spier. Big History and the Future of Humanity. Malden, MA. Blackwell Publishing. 2010.

Chapter 2

Our Solar System and Earth © Corbis

The Lifecycle of Our Sun: all images © Corbis

Our Solar System: Spinning Like Pizza Dough © NASA/JPL-Caltech, Leftovers © NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle, 98% Hydrogen, Helium, 2% Awesome © ESA/NASA/SOHO, Super hot plasma © NASA, The blue marble © NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Mountains of the Moon © NASA/GFSC/Arizona State University, The gas giant © NASA/JPL/University of Arizona, The eye of the storm © NASA/JPL

Finding Earth © Bettmann/Corbis

Astronomers: Ptolemy © Bettmann/Corbis, Copernicus © Bettmann/Corbis, Galileo © Bettmann/Corbis, Newton © Bettmann/Corbis, Leavitt © Photo Researchers, Hubble © Science Source

Activity: Goldilocks Conditions: all images © Corbis

Proving Continental Drift: A Case for Pangaea © Courtesy of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research

Together, Decades Apart, They Proved It: Alfred Wegener (1880-1930) © Courtesy of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Harry Hess (1906-1969) © Courtesy of Princeton University Archives

Further reading for Chapter 2

Marcia Bartusiak. The Day We Found the Universe. New York: Random House. 2009.

Simon Singh. Big Bang: The Origin of the Universe. New York: Harper Collins. 2004.

Chapter 3

Life © Corbis

The Earliest Life Forms: Spewing life © National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), The first named cell © Robert Hooke, Two billion year-old colonies © Norman Kuring/NASA Ocean Color, Making oxygen © Kristian Peters, A single-celled predator © Carolina Biological/Visuals Unlimited/Corbis, Moving to dry land © National Science Foundation, From mouse to man? © Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle

What Makes Life, Life © John Hyde/Design Pics/Corbis

Life Adapts: Energy from the sun © Daniel Schoenen/imageBROKER/Corbis, Two transformations © Ocean/Corbis, Early brains © Carolina Biological/Visuals Unlimited/Corbis, Brain cells ©, Amphibians leave their tracks © Jonathan Blair/Corbis, Colorful genetics © John E Marriott/All Canada Photos/Corbis, An early view of human evolution © Ernst Haeckel's Evolution of Man (1879)

Origin of Species: An evolutionary idea © Bettmann/Corbis, "Natural" evidence growing © Bettmann/Corbis, The shape of survival © Bettmann/Corbis, The evidence builds © Bettmann/Corbis, Artificial selection © the food passionates/Corbis

Select Charles Darwin images reproduced with permission from John van Wyhe ed. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (

The Crater of Doom © Detlev van Ravenswaay/Photo Researchers, Inc.

DNA: Life's Little Instructions: The Double Helix Discovery: Francis Crick and James Watson © Bettmann/Corbis, Rosalind Franklin © Science Source

Baffling DNA: The twist on life © Creative Commons

Chromosomes in a cell © 3D4Medical/Photo Researchers, Inc.

Further reading for Chapter 3

Edward Dolnick. The Clockwork Universe: Isaac Newton, the Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern World. New York: Harper Collins. 2011.

Sam Kean. The Disappearing Spoon. New York: Little, Brown and Company. 2010.

Special thanks to the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research. (

Roger M. McCoy. Ending in Ice: The Revolutionary Idea and Tragic Expedition of Alfred Wegener. New York: Oxford University Press. 2006.

Walter Alvarez. T.rex and the Crater of Doom. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 1997.

Ross A. Slotten. The Heretic in Darwin's Court: The Life of Alfred Russel Wallace. New York: Columbia University Press. 2004.

Gerard Helferich. Humboldt's Cosmos: Alexander von Humboldt and the Latin American Journey that Changed the Way We See the World. New York: Gotham. 2004.

Davi Kopenawa and Bruce Albert. The Falling Sky: Words of a Yanomami Shaman. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 2013.

Chapter 4

Humans © Corbis

Using Tools, Shelter, and Fire: Out of Africa © Carolina Biological/Visuals Unlimited/Corbis, Cousins? © Fiona Rogers/Corbis, Earliest tools © Alfredo Dagli Orti/The Art Archive/Corbis, Shelter from the elements © John Reader / Photo Researchers, Inc. Controlling fire © Anthony Bannister/Gallo Images/Corbis

Writing and Saving Knowledge: A library for a king © Trustees of the British Museum, Egyptian hieroglyphs © Gregor Schuster/Corbis, The Dead Sea Scrolls © Corbis, Guttenberg Bible © Harry Ransom Center, Moveable type © Bettmann/Corbis

The Rise of Civilization: The pace of collective learning grows © Tom Martin/JAI/Corbis, Farming power © Bojan Brecelj/Corbis, Irrigation produces a surplus © George Steinmetz/Corbis, The first law of the land © Gianni Dagli Orti/Corbis

Terracotta warriors © Creative Common © State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg

Creating Settlements: Did Religion Sow the Seeds of Civilization? © Creative Commons

How Cultures Connect: Taking a Trip Down the Silk Road © State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg

Further reading

Evan Fraser and Andrew Rimas, Empires of Food: Feast, Famine, and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations. New York: Free Press. 2010.

David B. Abernathy. The Dynamics of Global Dominance. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. 2000.

Jared Diamond. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1999.

Chapter 5

The Modern Revolution and the Future © Corbis

Eurasia Meets the Americas: The Continents Reconnect © CrashCourse

The Problem with Longitude: all images © Corbis

Fuel for the Ages © CrashCourse

Inventions of the Modern Era © Corbis

Ecological Impact: Overpopulation © Image Source/Corbis, Running wild © Hebert Kehrer/Corbis, Melting away © Radius Images/Corbis, Drying up © Shepard Sherbell/Corbis Saba, Overfishing © Michael S. Yamashita/Corbis, The wilderness comeback © Les and Dave Jacobs/cultura/Corbis, The natural questions © Bob Sacha/Corbis

Further reading for Chapter 5

Joseph Tainter. The Collapse of Complex Societies. New York & Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 1988.