The fossil bones of animals like antelopes, elephants and pigs are abundant.But the fossils of our ancestors are extremely rare.Zeray called the baby Selam, the Ethiopian word for peace.
The programs were shot "in the trenches" where discoveries were unearthed throughout Africa and Europe. Featuring interviews with world-renowned scientists, each hour unfolds with a CSI-like forensic investigation into the life and death of a specific hominid ancestor. An explosion of recent discoveries sheds light on these questions, and NOVA's comprehensive, three-part special, "Becoming Human," examines what the latest scientific research reveals about our hominid relatives—putting together the pieces of our human past and transforming our understanding of our earliest ancestors.Dry bones spring back to life with stunning computer-generated animation and prosthetics. An explosion of recent discoveries sheds light on these questions, and NOVA's comprehensive, three-part special, "Becoming Human," examines what the latest scientific research reveals about our hominid relatives.Double it: 10,000 years ago, when plants were domesticated and agriculture begins. He is one of a whole new generation of African scientists trying to unravel the mysteries of human origins.
Double it again, to the time when Ice Age hunters paint stunning images on cave walls. Zeray has brought his precious fossil here to the national museum.
But not the baby teeth visible in her jaw: the adult teeth growing inside the bone, as seen in a CT scan. Like Lucy, she testifies to a crucial step in our evolution. As the first fossil Don Johanson found clearly revealed. And I gently tapped it with my sneaker and this is what fell out of the ground.
And it is the, this is your, the top end of your shinbone. And very close by, in two pieces, I found this bone.
And keep doubling, six more times, taking us back 1.3 million years, when the first creature who really looked like us hunted on the plains of Africa. His challenge is to release her from the tomb of sandstone in which her bones are encased. She's from a species considered by most scientists to be an ancient ancestor, Australopithecus afarensis: a small, chimp-like creature who walked on two legs.
And then keep traveling back another two million years, and only then do we arrive in the time when Selam lived in Ethiopia nearly three and a half million years ago. This is the same species as the famous Lucy, discovered in the 1970s by Don Johanson.
Everything was squashed against the base of the skull and completely covered by sandstone block.