Political borders divide the earth like a jigsaw puzzle, but they do not tell the story of its people well.

The image below is a population density dot map of northern Africa and the fertile crescent. It reminds us that all lands are not the same. Mountains, deserts, forests, and rivers have dictated where people lived, where they moved, and what they fought for, what divided them, and what united them.

In this series, each article will focus on one geographic niche and explore the connections between its natural setting and its people and history .

The first article in the series explores the north-eastern part of India.