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Watch BBC Journey From The Centre Of The Earth online: Episode 1 Risky Rocks

All over the Mediterranean region, earthquakes have created a huge network of cracks in the ground. These faults provide pathways for all kinds of stuff to rise up to the top from deep below gases, elements, molten lava. Sometimes what comes up is good for us, sometimes bad. Just as it can be a kill or cure for an individual, so it can contribute to the rise and fall of entire civilisations. As a geologist, Iain sidesteps the tour guides of the Med and shows us how cracks in the Earth have changed the course of human history. We look at earthquakes in Turkey; the health spa and entrance to hell at Pamukkale (good water and bad gas); a theory that asphalt is behind the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah; how the use of copper and tin brought about the Bronze Age and how lead poisoned the Romans. We also include volcanic eruptions at Santorini.

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