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First Peoples

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Europe - When Homo sapiens turned up in prehistoric Europe, they ran into the Neanderthals. The two types of human were similar enough – intellectually and culturally - to interbreed. But as more Homo sapiens moved into Europe and the population increased, there was an explosion of art and symbolic thought which overwhelmed the Neanderthals.

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    Find out why Neanderthals, with whom early humans in Europe interbred, went extinct.

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    Learn how Homo sapiens, new in Australia and truly alone, managed to survive and flourish.

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    Discover a type of ancient human whose genes helped us face down extinction.

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    Examine research that suggests we humans are patchwork species of hybrids.

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    Learn why a discovery in Mexico may rewrite the story of early migration to the Americas.

About First Peoples

See how the mixing of prehistoric human genes led the way for our species to survive and thrive around the globe. Archaeology, genetics and anthropology cast new light on 200,000 years of history, detailing how early humans became dominant.