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How Homo sapiens became world’s dominant species

‘First Peoples’ engagingly describes humans’ rise, global spread

By
4:30pm, May 31, 2015
Omo I skull

ADAM OR EVE  The new miniseries First Peoples tells the story of how humans emerged in Africa and went on to colonize the rest of the world. Found in Ethiopia, this roughly 195,000-year-old skull known as Omo I is the oldest known Homo sapiens fossil.

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No superhero’s origin story is more epic than our own: Some 200,000 years ago, the first modern humans arose in Africa and went on to take over the world. This remarkable feat is chronicled in the series First Peoples, which begins airing on PBS June 24.

The series consists of five hour-long episodes that focus on how Homo sapiens emerged in Africa and then spread to Asia, Australia, Europe and the Americas. The series provides a compelling overview of the major human evolution discoveries of the last several years. It also methodically dismantles outdated notions about our origins.

First Peoples tackles many big questions, including who the first Americans were (SN: 12/27/14, p. 29), why the Neandertals went extinct (

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