First Steps

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NOVA: Becoming Human - Unearthing Our Earliest Ancestors
PBS
Nothing is more fascinating to us than, well, us. Where did we come from? What makes us human? An explosion of recent discoveries sheds light on these questions, and NOVA's comprehensive, three-part special, "Becoming Human," examines what the latest scientific research reveals about our hominid relatives--putting together the pieces of…
Birth of Humanity
Episode 2 of NOVA: Becoming Human
In "Birth of Humanity," the second part of the three-part series "Becoming Human," NOVA investigates the first skeleton that really looks like us-"Turkana Boy"-an astonishingly complete specimen of Homo erectus found by the famous Leakey team in Kenya. These early humans are thought to have developed key innovations that helped…
Last Human Standing 
Episode 3 of NOVA: Becoming Human
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…
Prehistoric Autopsy - Neanderthal
BBC
Human evolution is not a straight line and prehistory is littered with hominids that never made it. Putting flesh and skin back onto ancient bones, this original series recreates every inch of three of our earliest ancestors. From fragments of bones to a recognisable face, prepare to meet some remarkable…
Decoding Neanderthals
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…
Europe
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…
Prehistoric Autopsy - Homo Erectus
BBC
Human evolution is not a straight line and prehistory is littered with hominids that never made it. Putting flesh and skin back onto ancient bones, this original series recreates every inch of three of our earliest ancestors. From fragments of bones to a recognisable face, prepare to meet some remarkable…
Archaeology - The Series that Rewrites History
A lost city is discovered in an emerald jungle of Honduras; the remains of Viking settlements confirm the fierceness of these warriors, but also reveal that they were proud poets; recent excavations expose the story of the mass suicide on Masada in ancient Israel as a myth. ARCHAEOLOGY brings the…
Dawn of Humanity
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…
Secrets of the Dead - Caveman Cold Case
PBS
In El Sidron, a remote, mountainous region of Northern Spain, a tomb of 49,000 year-old Neanderthal bones discovered, leading to an investigation to solve a double mystery: How did this group of Neanderthals die? And, could the fate of this group help explain Neanderthal extinction? Scientists examine the bones--buried over…
The Triunfante - The Discovery and Restoration of an 18th Century Warship
What's the process of retrieving a sunken ship and preparing it for display in a museum? How do archaeologists work underwater? One of the biggest wrecks ever discovered in Spain was the 'Triunfante', sunk during a French siege in 1795. We follow the process from its discovery to its display…
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.