Nova: Decoding Neanderthals
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Now, the pendulum has swung in the other direction again! Are we to believe "Decoding Neanderthals", these paleo-brutes (who are said to have the mother of all image problems) were closely related to our own species, so closely that they could interbreed with us and produce fertile offspring. I admit I was stunned. I must have missed this piece of sensational science news somewhere in between Justin Bieber's and Britney Spears' latest exploits...
The documentary further claims that Neanderthals were more intelligent than previously imagined, and had a symbolic culture. They could produce glue through an artificial, "industrial" process (rather than just gather natural glue from, say, trees). Neanderthals also used red paint on their bodies, might have used feathers for decoration, and buried their dead. Genetic research shows that these supposedly primitive hominins had the same gene for language skills as modern humans. I wonder how long before the old speculations about a "cave bear cult" is dusted off and reused?
But, as mentioned, the most sensational new piece of evidence is that Neanderthals interbred with Homo sapiens.Read more ›
"They were the brutes of Ice Age Europe. Although a branch of our human family tree, they were seen as a dead end, deep in our prehistoric past. They were called Neanderthals.
They etched out a marginal existence, hunted by brute force, with only simple stone tools. They were considered primitive with no language, art, or the higher-level thinking of advanced species like us.
They began to disappear 40,000 years ago, as modern humans, our species, came on the scene.
But this primitive picture is being replaced by a different image of Neanderthals. It's bringing them much closer to us, as genetic evidence revises our human family tree and reveals their mysterious presence right within our genes.
Now archaeologists are finding new evidence to resolve bitter debates. In tool-making, they're seeing signs of language. A new Neanderthal mind emerges. And if scientists are finally finding the real legacy of the Neanderthals buried deep in our history and our genes, what does it say about all of us?"
The above comes from the preview of this exceptional documentary about Neanderthals, our closest extinct ancestor.
This program looks at such topics as the technologies of Neanderthals, their intelligence, and their genetic makeup. (The genetic studies on Neanderthals took about four years to complete.)
The end of this program asks the question:
"Why are we [humans] still here and the Neanderthal not?"
The answer to this question may shock you.
Finally, throughout this documentary are brief comments made by university professors, geneticists, etc.
In conclusion, this is an exceptional program that may radically change your perception of Neanderthals.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am a History teacher, my students & I love it!!! Buy it you will love it too!!!!!Published 5 months ago by Ramiro C.
Absolutely a must for those of us who are blessed with 3% or less Neanderthal DNA!Published 6 months ago by Judith Metcalfe
Wow! One of the best presentations on Neanderthals yet (and there are many out there). Includes most up-to-date info on genetic research as well. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Rockin' Fuge
I liked this so much I bought a DVD for my grandson who is studying Neandrathals in school.Published 9 months ago by K. Dassis
This really settles the argument between Evolution and Significant Design! Neanderthals and humans are 2 different species! However, they did intermarry (? Read morePublished 9 months ago by Lynette L. Corn