Rebranding Neanderthals (02:28)
New genetic and archaeological evidence reveals humans and their Ice Age rivals interbred.
Decoding Neanderthals: Sponsor Message (00:32)
Decoding Neanderthals: Sponsor Message
Neanderthal Lifestyle (01:53)
Learn how the early European hunter gatherer species survived Ice Age conditions for 300,000 years.
Human Migration (00:57)
Homo sapiens arrived in Europe 40,000 years ago, competing with Neanderthals, who disappeared 10,000 years later.
Neanderthal Competition Theory (02:42)
Scientists believed humans killed off the rival species. Learn how early archaeological evidence resulted in a popular image of Neanderthals having low intelligence.
Neanderthal Technology (03:34)
Archaeologist Metin Eren explains how Levallois flint flakes were engineered for specific purposes—indicating intelligence and high skill levels.
Neanderthal Spearheads (02:27)
Archaeologist Wil Roebroeks explains how Neanderthals heated birch bark to glue flint to wooden handles—predating human synthetic materials.
Dry Distillation (02:28)
Roebroeks replicates a Neanderthal pitch extraction technique used for gluing spearheads—a complex thermal process indicating intelligence.
Neanderthal Language Research (03:30)
Neanderthal technology found across Europe suggests that communication existed. Geneticists Svante Pavo and Ed Green isolate FOXP2, a human speech gene.
Mapping the Neanderthal Genome (05:22)
Learn how geneticists prepared 30,000 year old bone fragments, separated bacteria from host cells, and sequenced DNA during a four year project.
Neanderthal Communication Evidence (01:45)
Neanderthals share the FOXP2 speech gene with humans; experts believe they had developed a language.
Neanderthal and Human Genetic Links (04:30)
Geneticists mapped the genomes of people from five ethnic groups. Europeans and Asians have more matching DNA than Africans—indicating interbreeding and fertile offspring.
Neanderthal Symbolism (04:37)
Pigmented bones and seashells suggest the species used body ornamentation to distinguish friend from foe—a trait previously attributed solely to humans.
Neanderthal Burials (05:11)
Neanderthal and panther skeletons discovered in a cave in Spain suggest they were placed there in rituals, a controversial theory among archaeologists.
Neanderthal Extinction Mystery (06:43)
John Hawks found genetic evidence of human and Neanderthal interbreeding in Southern Europe—suggesting they were absorbed into the human population, rather than killed off.
Neanderthal Genetic Inheritance (03:41)
Geneticists have found Neanderthal DNA in our immune system. Experts discuss the possibility of natural selection during interbreeding with humans.
Credits: Decoding Neanderthals (01:15)
Credits: Decoding Neanderthals
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