Join us on         

Science Wednesdays: Cavemen Cold Case

Mon, 05/13/2013 - 11:38am -- WCVE

A tomb of 49,000 year-old Neanderthal bones discovered in El Sidron, a remote, mountainous region of northern Spain, leads to a compelling investigation to solve a double mystery: How did this group of Neanderthals die? And could the fate of this group help explain Neanderthal extinction?

Scientists examine the bones and discover signs that tell a shocking story of how this group may have met their deaths. Some bones bear distinct signs of cannibalism. Was it a result of ritual or hunger? Neanderthal experts are adamant that they were not bloodthirsty brutes. What happened here 49,000 years ago will take viewers on a much bigger journey — from El Sidron to the other end of the Iberian Peninsula, where scientists are excavating beneath the seas off Gibraltar in search of Neanderthal sites. Scientists working here had theories—but no proof—for why Neanderthals went extinct. El Sidron may change this.

Watch Secrets of the Dead: Cavemen Cold Case May 15 at 10:00 p.m. on WCVE PBS/WHTJ PBS.

Watch on PBS Video