Dawn of Humanity (2014)
In a deep and narrow cave in South Africa in 2013, a collection of ancient fossils were discovered and then excavated. They were revealed to belong to an early species of hominin – one of Homo sapiens’ earliest ancestors.
The discovery rocked the scientific world, as it uncovered a previously unknown branch of our hominin family tree. Homo naledi was incredibly human-like – and yet not exactly like us.
To date, the fossils of more than 15 individuals have been excavated from the Rising Star Cave system in the Cradle of Humankind. This documentary is a two-hour thrill ride as it follows the excavation team as they descend into the almost inaccessible caves to retrieve the rare remains.
Didn’t think doccies about archaeology could be this exciting? The New York Times wrote, “Documentaries about prehistory and paleoanthropology are usually interesting, sometimes even thought-provoking. But you don’t often encounter one that’s thrilling. Yet that is a fitting adjective for Dawn of Humanity, a program… that brings an aura of breaking news to a field that can often seem musty.”