Birth of Humanity

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In "Last Human Standing," the final program of the three-part series "Becoming Human," NOVA examines the fate of the Neanderthals, our European cousins who died out as modern humans spread from Africa into Europe during the Ice Age. Did modern humans interbreed with Neanderthals or exterminate them? The program explores…
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Part of the Series: NOVA
Over 60,000 years ago, the first modern humans--people physically identical to us today--left their African homeland and entered Europe, then a bleak and inhospitable continent in the grip of the Ice Age. But when they arrived, they were not alone: the stocky, powerfully built Neanderthals had already been living there…
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Episode 5 of First Peoples
When Homo sapiens turned up in prehistoric Europe, they ran into the Neanderthals. The two types of human were similar enough to interbreed -- and both created artifacts of similar complexity. But as more and more Homo sapiens moved into Europe, the balance of power shifted. Neanderthals were overwhelmed. Ever…
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Part of the Series: NOVA
NOVA and National Geographic present exclusive access to a unique discovery of ancient remains. Located in an almost inaccessible chamber deep in a South African cave, the site required recruiting a special team of experts slender enough to wriggle down a vertical, pitch-dark, seven-inch-wide passage. Most fossil discoveries of human…
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scienceNOW What Makes Us Human?
Part of the Series: NOVA
Scientists have struggled for centuries to pinpoint the qualities that distinguish humans from the millions of other animal species with which we share the vast majority of our DNA. Now, we explore those traits once thought to be uniquely human to discover their evolutionary roots.