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First Peoples (documentary) facts for kids

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First Peoples is a 2015 television documentary about the first people on the continents of the Earth. The five-part PBS series covers each continent or group of continents one at a time. The focus is on very recent work in paleogenomics (the study of genomes from very long ago). It was produced by Wall to Wall Television. The series challenges the East African origin theory of modern man showing there were other origins in other parts of Africa.

A two-disk DVD of the documentary was made in 2015.


1. "First Peoples: Americas" discusses the idea that the first people coming into the Americas traveled along the western coast thousands of years before the Clovis people. The episode begins with a lengthy discussion on Kennewick Man and what his DNA reveals about him.

2. "First Peoples: Africa" argues that the Homo sapiens emerged in various parts of Africa about 200,000 years ago. This episode discusses the Jebel Irhoud skull found in Morocco. It also discusses evidence of other humans in West and Central Africa.

3. "First Peoples: Asia" presents evidence and arguments for a mixture of Neanderthal, Denisovan and Homo erectus genes in humans' as they moved east. It emphasized man's need to explore. Because of that need they encountered other peoples. Modern human DNA shows the earliest Homo sapiens interbred with other human species such as Neanderthals.

4. "First Peoples: Australia" discusses evidence for the first Australians coming across the ocean around 43,000 BP (Before Radiocarbon dating began in 1950). This program explores the close connections between the first people and modern-day Australian Aborigines.

5. "First Peoples: Europe" discusses the arrival of humans in Europe and why they dominated competing Homo species. It highlights the explosion of art in Europe that came with the Homo sapiens.

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