Segments in this Video

New World Mystery (01:46)


Anthropologist Niobe Thompson explores new research casting doubt on the Clovis Migration Theory of when humans first arrived in America.

Brazilian Cave Paintings (02:17)

Anthropologist Walter Neves believes humans lived in South America during the last Ice Age.

Luzia Woman (02:44)

Brazilian evidence suggests humans reached the New World before the Clovis Migration. A skeleton was found in sediment predating the Ice Age.

Brazilian Archaeological Mystery (02:27)

To disprove the Clovis Theory, Neves needs to date Luzia's bones. A lab expert attempts to locate carbon isotopes trapped in her tooth enamel.

Clovis Migration Theory (00:55)

Learn why archaeologists believe humans arrived in the Americas 13,000 years ago.

Studying Ancient DNA (03:03)

A Danish geneticist attempts to date Luzia's tooth in a special laboratory—but there is no carbon left to determine her age.

Lake Baikal Expedition (01:21)

Thompson travels to Siberia to research the genetic origins of aboriginal North Americans.

Siberian Skeletons (03:22)

Archaeologists excavate Ice Age human remains around Lake Baikal. Freshwater resources attracted early settlements.

Siberian Migration Mystery (01:46)

Lake Baikal was a likely oasis for Ice Age movement towards the Bering Land Bridge. Thompson researches what attracted humans to the frozen north.

Ancient Reindeer Hunters (03:54)

Nomadic expert Piers Vitebsky believes humans migrated through Siberia after their mobile food and clothing sources.

Beringia Land Bridge (02:03)

Arctic nomads migrated from Siberia—but scientists don't know when. Native American DNA analysis shows genetic partition before the Ice Age ended.

Paisley Caves Discovery (04:18)

University of Oregon researchers test coprolites found in sediment predating the Ice Age. If proved human, they could overturn the Clovis Theory.

Overturning the Clovis Theory (02:13)

Archaeologists visit the Paisley Caves where coprolites have been discovered; they prove humans were in the New World 1,200 years earlier than previously believed.

Ice Age Survival Mystery (01:41)

Siberian nomads couldn't have entered the New World on foot due to glaciers. Thompson visits the Bering Strait to learn how they adapted to the environment.

Sea Migration Theory (04:31)

Bering Strait indigenous communities show how humans adapted to the Ice Age. Skin boats would have enabled them to follow marine mammals to the New World.

Ice Age Coastal Migration (03:48)

Archaeologists believe kelp forests allowed humans to travel south in skin boats from the Bering Strait—supported by arrowhead evidence.

Credits: Code Breakers (00:40)

Credits: Code Breakers

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When did the first peoples arrive in the New World? For decades, anthropologists believed that humans were unable to enter the Americas until the end of the last Ice Age. In this documentary, anthropologist Niobe Thompson opens a fascinating window onto new research overturning this longstanding theory. He works in cooperation with scientists who are studying everything from human coprolites to forgotten fossils to ancient DNA and revealing a much earlier human migration than was once thought possible. In addition, gorgeous re-creations of the world of ancient first peoples are brought to life with the help of modern ice people from Arctic Russia. (44 minutes)

Length: 45 minutes

Item#: BVL58456

ISBN: 978-0-81608-561-3

Copyright date: ©2010

Closed Captioned

Reviews & Awards

Gemini winner—Best Science, Technology, Nature, Environment or Adventure Documentary

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.

Only available in USA.