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NOVA; Decoding Neanderthals

01/03/2013

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Series
NOVA
Program
Decoding Neanderthals
Program Number

4002

Series Description

Premiered March 1974 NOVA is a general-interest documentary series that addresses a single science issue each week. Billed as "science adventures for curious grown-ups" when it first aired in March, 1974, NOVA continues to offer an informative and entertaining approach to a challenging subject. 1996 marked NOVA's 23rd season, which makes it the longest-running science program on national television. It is also one of television's most acclaimed series, having won every major television award, most of them many times over. Series release date: 3/3/1974

Program Description

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 for hundred of thousands of years. So what happened when the first modern humans encountered the Neanderthals? Did we make love or war? That question has tantalized generations of scholars and seized the popular imagination. Then, in 2010, a team led by geneticist Svante Paabo announced stunning news. Not only had they reconstructed much of the Neanderthal genome -- an extraordinary technical feat that would have seemed impossible only a decade ago -- but their analysis showed that "we" modern humans had interbred with Neanderthals, leaving a small but consistent signature of Neanderthal genes behind in everyone outside Africa today. NOVA explores the implications of this exciting discovery. Were Neanderthals really mentally inferior, as inexpressive and clumsy as the cartoon caveman they inspired? NOVA examines a range of new evidence for Neanderthal self-expression and language, suggesting that we may have underestimated our long-vanished cousins.

A NOVA Production by Arrow International Media Ltd. for WGBH

Duration

00:56:46

Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type

Video

Genres
Documentary
Topics
Science
Citation
Chicago: “NOVA; Decoding Neanderthals,” 01/03/2013, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed December 5, 2016, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_D296400C85D64A939B6B5FA8342F1938.
MLA: “NOVA; Decoding Neanderthals.” 01/03/2013. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. December 5, 2016. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_D296400C85D64A939B6B5FA8342F1938>.
APA: NOVA; Decoding Neanderthals. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_D296400C85D64A939B6B5FA8342F1938
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