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The Great Human Odyssey

The Great Human Odyssey is a three-part CBC documentary series hosted by anthropologist Niobe Thompson, exploring the unlikely survival and the miraculous emergence of Homo sapiens as the world's only global species. Ancient climate research has revealed that we evolved during the most volatile era since the extinction of the dinosaurs. Just like the many other kinds of human who once shared our world, we should have died away. Instead, our species survived to populate every corner of the planet, against all the odds. How did we do it? How did humans overcome near extinction in an African super-drought? How did we find a doorway through the Sahara and out of Africa? What happened when we met the Neanderthals? And how did humans master the Arctic and cross the oceans? Niobe Thompson takes us inside groundbreaking scientific research to reveal dimensions of the human journey we once thought was impossible.

Episode 1 - Rise of a Species
Like other kinds of human who once shared our world, homo sapiens should have died away. Discover how our species faced near extinction in Africa, and then found a place to rebuild. Explore the birth of language and art at archeological excavations scientists are now calling "the cradle of the human mind".

Episode 2 - The Adaptable Ape
How did we become our planet's only global species, at home in every environment on Earth. Learn how our ancestors found a way through the deserts and out of Africa. Explore the meeting of Neanderthals and humans. And discover how we survived the Ice Age.

Episode 3 - Journey's End
Early humans eventually colonized Australia, the South Pacific, and the Americas. But how did our ancestors master the oceans? Learn how new discoveries in ancient DNA research are changing our understanding of the earliest sea voyages, from Easter Island to the Bering Strait.


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