Distributor:  Scorpion TV
Length:  58 minutes
Date:  2011
Genre:  Expository
Language:  Spanish / English subtitles
Color/BW:  Color
You must register and login to preview and purchase items.

The Search for the First European

New to Docuseek2? Please register and login to preview and/or license this film. If your institution has already licensed this film, you will need to access this page from your institution's network to watch the film. For help on using Docuseek2, please visit our help wiki.

A science road movie to discover the origins of the first Europeans, told through an entertaining mix scientific knowledge, adventure and humor.

The Search for the First European

Luis, young and curious, is determined to find out where Europeans come from. His early investigations lead him to meet Eudald Carbonell, co-director of excavations at Atapuerca, and he invites him on a journey in search of the traces of Europe's ancestors. The extraordinary journeys take the viewer through Africa and Asia to reach Europe where Luis finds that the origin of what are now called Europeans is not in the old continent. Organized as a scientific road movie, the The Search for the First European mixes scientific knowledge, adventure and humor in equal measure to let the viewer know in a rigorous but easy and entertaining way the incredible story of the origin of Europeans.

"The simple, straightforward narrative of human evolution and migration he uncovers makes it pedagogically effective. Focusing on the basics of the evolutionary story, in a leisurely yet fun manner, makes this a great film for undergraduates and the general public." - Educational Media Reviews Online

TITLE : The Search for the First European - Full Episode

DATE: 6 November 2013

NUMBER OF SPEAKERS: Multiple Speakers

TRANSCRIPT STYLE: Intelligent Verbatim

FILE DURATION:58 minutes

TRANSCRIPTIONIST: Jodene Antoniou

 

 

 

 

 

TIME

SPEAKER

DIALOGUE

0:00:01.2

CAPTION

Una producción de Turkana Films.

0:00:04.7

CAPTION

En coproducción con TVE.

0:00:09.3

CAPTION

Con la participacion del Oiphes, Institute Catala de Paleoecologia Humana I Evcolucio Social.

0:00:12.9

CAPTION

Con la financiación de OFECYT.

0:00:15.9

RODRIGO

Hello. I am Rodrigo.

0:00:18.9

GINGIE

My name is Gingie.

0:00:20.1

IAN GIBSON

My name is Ian Gibson.

0:00:21.2

ANTONELLA

I am Antonella, I’m Italian.

0:00:23.2

FEMALE SPEAKERS

I’m from England.

0:00:25.0

MALE SPEAKER

I am from Stockholm, Sweden.

0:00:26.7

FEMALE SPEAKER

I am Dutch.

0:00:28.0

FEMALE SPEAKER

And I am European.

0:00:28.6

MALE SPEAKER

From Europe.

0:00:29.6

FEMALE SPEAKERS

And I’m European.

0:00:31.3

MALE SPEAKER

I’m European.

0:00:32.3

MALE SPEAKER

I’m European.

0:00:33.5

IAN GIBSON

I’m European.

0:00:35.0

LUIS

My name is Luis, I’m Spanish. How did I get here? Searching for the First European.

0:00:41.8

CAPTION

Quest for the First European

0:00:48.5

CAPTION

Un Documental de Ivàn Yamir, Luis Quevedo, Alfonso Par.

0:00:52.2

MALE SPEAKER

Don’t know. Where do Europeans come from?

0:00:55.1

MALE SPEAKER 1

Same place as the rest of humans?

0:00:58.4

MALE SPEAKER 2

The Middle East, perhaps. Mesopotamia, Egypt and all that...

0:01:02.4

MALE SPEAKER 3

They come from Africa.

0:01:03.5

YOUNG FEMALE SPEAKER 1

I think we Europeans descend from monkeys.

0:01:06.8

MALE SPEAKER 4

I’m in no position to provide you with an answer. I’d like to know it, though.

0:01:15.1

NARRATOR

Everyone has wondered once in a while about... ...the origin of all things. How did it all start? The Universe, life on Earth, our species... And, what is the origin of Europeans? It was a good question, I had no answer for.

0:01:33.8

NARRATOR

To find one, I thought of paying a visit to an old friend... ... at the Science Museum.

0:01:42.4

INTERVIEWER

Jorge, where do Europeans come from?

0:01:44.9

CAPTION

Jorge Wagensberg, Director Cientifico Fundación “la Caixa”

0:01:45.0

JORGE WAGENSBERG

Well, the first thing we must do is to deconstruct that question. I suppose by European you mean human. And it is not clear what tells apart a human being from a hominid... or the Homo genus. We should ask an expert... Eudald Carbonell, for instance.

0:02:23.8

NARRATOR

Archaeologist and Geologist, Atapuerca’s team co-director... ... an discoverer of the First European. Sure! Eudald Carbonell had the answer I was looking for.

0:02:39.2

INTERVIEWER

Dr. Carbonell, I suppose?

0:02:39.2

EUDALD CARBONELL

Of course! I’m working in my orchard...

0:02:43.3

INTERVIEWER

How do you do?

0:02:44.3

EUDALD CARBONELL

Good.

0:02:45.8

INTERVIEWER

I guess Jorge warned you, I’m looking for the First European.

0:02:49.9

EUDALD CARBONELL

You’re Luis.

0:02:50.5

INTERVIEWER

Yes, Sir!

0:02:52.9

EUDALD CARBONELL

Peppers... and there’s some peas brought down by the rain. Pumpkins... look at the leaves. And these are onions... Cereals grow over there, only rice is missing and we’d have a cultural synthesis of the last 10,000 years.

0:03:20.9

INTERVIEWER

Eudald, why do you cultivate?

0:03:23.5

EUDALD CARBONELL

Because to cultivate is what makes us human!

0:03:26.5

INTERVIEWER

Why?

0:03:28.3

EUDALD CARBONELL

Because it requires logic, thinking, retrospective, prospective... That makes us human. And Luis, why are you after the First Europeans?

0:03:39.3

INTERVIEWER

Because I’ve always wanted to know: where do we come from, how all this came to be... Elephant hunters in the Iberian Peninsula?!

0:03:45.2

EUDALD CARBONELL

Yes, in the Spanish plateau.

0:03:59.4

INTERVIEWER

But this is wonderful!

0:04:01.0

EUDALD CARBONELL

The heidelbergensis hominids of Atapuerca.

0:04:04.8

INTERVIEWER

Where’s all this coming from?

0:04:07.3

EUDALD CARBONELL

A life’s work. All my life, researching the First Europeans.

0:04:15.7

NARRATOR

To get my answer, I’d have to follow Eudald in a journey to the beginning... Luckily, a beginning just 20Km far from home.

0:04:27.6

EUDALD CARBONELL

This is a primate rescue center.

0:04:31.0

INTERVIEWER

OK, and what are we going to see?

0:04:33.3

EUDALD CARBONELL

How they live, how they’re de-humanized. Here they are: Pan troglodytes, the chimp. We share more than 90% of our genome. We’re evolutive cousins, so to speak.

0:04:52.1

EUDALD CARBONELL

And shared and ancestor over 10 million years ago.

0:04:59.6

INTERVIEWER

Why did we part ways 10 million years ago?

0:05:03.9

EUDALD CARBONELL

Probably because they stayed living in jungles, in densely vegetated areas, while we, the Homo genus, moved into the savannahs and evolved differently.

0:05:19.4

EUDALD CARBONELL

They start by throwing greens, leaves and dirt... but then go and pick pebbles and stones. This is a menacing display. To appear both taller and wider.

0:05:29.1

INTERVIEWER

Do they consider us a menace?

0:05:30.3

EUDALD CARBONELL

Yes, indeed. This is their territory. All primates are very territorial. It’s just natural that we have so many commonalities. But I think there are traits that tell us apart. Cranial capacity, for instance. If we compare a chimp’s cranium to one of our genus’ we can see a great difference.

0:05:59.3

INTERVIEWER

But then, when did we master fire, start talking, making tools...?

0:06:03.3

EUDALD CARBONELL

Let’s slow down here! First, we are bipedal. We stand up and walk on two feet. This allows us to save energy with just two contact points on the ground. Secondly, you receive less radiation from the Sun. You also have a larger visual field and, of course, freeing your hands allows you to carry and systematically make tools.

0:06:54.2

NARRATOR

Even though the journey seemed easy at first, I’d have to follow Eudald very far. The next stop would take us to the beginning of the beginning. Where chimps and humans took different paths, 10 million years ago.

0:07:15.9

INTERVIEWER

So now we’re going to buy food for three days?

0:07:17.8

EUDALD CARBONELL

Yes, we’ll be far for 3 or 4 days.

0:07:32.5

NARRATOR

Jungle, savannah, city and market. Africa was rich in contrasts. How did I end up in a journey such as this, together with an eminence in evolution? No idea... But sure it promises to be a great adventure.

0:07:59.5

EUDALD CARBONELL

Here you can see this savannah, full of trees and dry. In sharp contrast to what was here 6 million years ago.

0:08:07.2

INTERVIEWER

A jungle?

0:08:08.6

EUDALD CARBONELL

Yes, a jungle with plenty of trees where the hominins lived. Eating fruits and leaves. Later they came down off those trees and occupied stretches of savannah.  

0:08:20.3

INTERVIEWER

But, Eudald, why did the jungle disappear?

0:08:23.0

EUDALD CARBONELL

There was a climate change, less humidity led to progressive aridification. And the result was something like this savannah.

0:08:29.3

INTERVIEWER

Climate change? Like the one going on now? When?

0:08:31.3

EUDALD CARBONELL

It was 3 million years ago, in the Pliocene.

0:08:37.2

NARRATOR

When climate changes, to adapt or to die are the only options. How could our ancestors survive?

0:08:55.8

INTERVIEWER

Eudald, such a mystery! What is it?

0:08:58.1

EUDALD CARBONELL

In my life, I’ve seen many things but today I’m going to show you a really exceptional fossil.

0:09:08.4

EUDALD CARBONELL

What do you think, uh?

0:09:11.2

INTERVIEWER

These are footprints.

0:09:12.5

EUDALD CARBONELL

Indeed. This is the proof that 3.5 million years ago, there were bipedal primates that walked on the savannah.

0:09:20.8

INTERVIEWER

But how was this preserved?

0:09:22.2

EUDALD CARBONELL

Because they [treaded] on fresh volcanic ashes that rain solidified. And so their footprints turned into stone.

0:09:40.7

EUDALD CARBONELL

Look at this.

0:09:43.1

INTERVIEWER

What is it?

0:09:45.3

EUDALD CARBONELL

This is Australopithecus afarensis, it made the tracks we’re seeing here. We know they walked on two feet because of [these] tracks, and also because they had the foramen magnum in an upright position.

0:10:04.5

INTERVIEWER

This is where the spinal column connects with the skull?

0:10:07.6

EUDALD CARBONELL

They had a cranium of 350 cc. Ours have up to 1300 cc.

0:10:10.8

CAPTION

Australopithecus afarensis. 3.5 millones de aňos Cerebro de 350 cc.

0:10:14.6

EUDALD CARBONELL

It is very prognathic, it has a very protruding face. An oval-shaped palate. In chimps  it is squared. No fangs, though its canine teeth are bigger than ours. But above all: it was bipedal.

0:10:33.7

EUDALD CARBONELL

It walked on two limbs, 3.5 million years ago. This is the most important fact about it.

0:10:44.7

NARRATOR

When still resembling chimps, we survived climate change standing up on our hind limbs. How long did it take for the first human traits to appear on stage?

0:11:04.7

INTERVIEWER

Eudald, what happened to Australopithecus?

0:11:07.2

EUDALD CARBONELL

After Australopithecus two lines of hominids appear: robusts, such as Paranthropus and gracile, such as Homo habilis.

0:11:22.1

INTERVIEWER

But this looks like a gorilla, doesn’t it?

0:11:25.7

EUDALD CARBONELL

Yes. Look, it has an enormous face, larger than its cranium and a huge sagittal crest where powerful muscles are attached.

0:11:36.6

CAPTION

Paranthropus boisei, 1.8 millones de aňos, Cerebro de 450 cc.

0:11:37.9

EUDALD CARBONELL

This powerful mandible was used to grind dried nuts and fruits. It had a squared palate and big molar teeth.

0:11:51.7

INTERVIEWER

... and still bipedal?

0:11:53.5

EUDALD CARBONELL

Of course.

0:11:55.4

INTERVIEWER

So what happened to them?

0:11:56.4

EUDALD CARBONELL

It disappeared. It was a specialized animal, a vegetarian. It was eliminated through natural selection. But... for graciles, like Homo habilis, the first member of our genus, from which we all descend, the story is different. It had a 500 cc cranium, a smaller face.

0:12:17.2

CAPTION

Homo habilis, 2.2 millones de aňos, Cerebro de 500 cc.

0:12:26.3

EUDALD CARBONELL

An oval shaped palate and small canine teeth.

0:12:32.7

INTERVIEWER

And no sagittal crest, right?

0:12:34.7

EUDALD CARBONELL

No, because it ate anything. He was an omnivore. That fact made him very adaptable.

0:12:43.3

INTERVIEWER

And what about that name, Homo habilis?

0:12:45.2

EUDALD CARBONELL

Precisely. Homo habilis, because he made the first tools in the Homo genus. They truck stones to produce sharpened edges to chop and cut and flints as a by-product.

0:13:20.7

EUDALD CARBONELL

If we’d been here 2 million years ago, we’d probably [have] seen a group of Homo habilis walking across the savannah. A community of hominids, 1.3 metres in height... (3.3 feet) [wobbling], amongst the animals and carrying sticks and stone tools for defence.

0:13:55.9

NARRATOR

To understand the importance of prehistoric diet, Eudald invited me to spend a day as if we [were] 2 million years ago, Homo habilis, looking for food in the African savannah.

0:14:07.9

INTERVIEWER

Eudald, I’m starving! How do we get something to eat, hominid-wise?

0:14:14.2

EUDALD CARBONELL

Scavenging some dead herbivore or as an alternative, we could eat termites.

0:14:20.8

INTERVIEWER

Man, I’d rather go for the termites!

0:14:23.0

EUDALD CARBONELL

Let’s see if we can find a nest, then. Look at the tree base. That’s a termite nest.

0:14:31.6

EUDALD CARBONELL

Let’s try to catch some with this stub.

0:14:41.2

INTERVIEWER

They’d have done it this way?

0:14:41.5

EUDALD CARBONELL

Yes.

0:14:51.5

INTERVIEWER

Look, we have one.

0:15:07.5

EUDALD CARBONELL

We caught the queen!

0:15:23.8

INTERVIEWER

How was it? But it can take hours to feed.

0:15:30.1

EUDALD CARBONELL

If you find a good termite nest... I’ve caught up to 15 or 20 at once. I mean, if you’re patient, in half an hour you can catch a lot of energy and proteins, powerful stuff.

0:15:47.1

EUDALD CARBONELL

Rotate. Let them bite. It’s bending. Wait a second. OK. Take it out and watch that they don’t’ get off.

0:15:57.0

INTERVIEWER

Nay! Eudald, I’m not lucky today.

0:15:59.4

EUDALD CARBONELL

No problem. Let’s go scavenge!

0:16:01.0

INTERVIEWER

Scavenge?!

0:16:04.6

NARRATOR

With no fangs or claws, how could we extract meat from a corpse?

0:16:12.8

INTERVIEWER

Eudald, what do you want to do here?

0:16:14.1

EUDALD CARBONELL

We’re going to pick tools. Stones to cut. Beware of the elephants!

0:16:21.4

INTERVIEWER

Elephants? Here?

0:16:23.4

EUDALD CARBONELL

Oh, yes. Look, this is a good one.

0:16:34.1

INTERVIEWER

And this one, would it work?

0:16:36.5

EUDALD CARBONELL

Yes, but the material’s not very good. [It would] break too easily. Look, there’s more... This is it, we have enough.

0:16:51.5

INTERVIEWER

So our ancestors went to the riverbed to pick stones? No matter the crocodiles, hippopotamus or elephants?

0:16:58.3

EUDALD CARBONELL

Exactly.

0:17:08.8

EUDALD CARBONELL

Look, still hungry, Luis? There’s your food!

0:17:12.2

INTERVIEWER

A corpse!

0:17:13.4

EUDALD CARBONELL

Well, yes. Hominids scavenged thousands of years ago.

0:17:19.9

INTERVIEWER

And how am I supposed to eat this?

0:17:22.6

EUDALD CARBONELL

Using tools.

0:17:25.4

INTERVIEWER

OK, the stones we picked up earlier?

0:17:26.7

EUDALD CARBONELL

Indeed. Let’s go.

0:17:27.2

INTERVIEWER

All right.

0:17:57.9

EUDALD CARBONELL

It can’t be done. You need a stronger material. This one, for instance. You have to hit no matter where, and try to get something out.

0:18:12.8

INTERVIEWER

No way?

0:18:14.0

EUDALD CARBONELL

We can’t scavenge here. There’s only skin and bone. We need to find something else.

0:18:19.8

INTERVIEWER

So, as hominids in the savannah we’d be...

0:18:20.9

EUDALD CARBONELL

... as hominids in the savannah we’d be...

0:18:35.1

NARRATOR

Before nightfall, Eudald decided to show me how to use stone tools. Even if on meat bought at the market.

0:18:48.4

EUDALD CARBONELL

I have a stone knife, yours is metallic. Hundreds of thousands of years separate them. You’re about to see how efficient a stone knife can be.

0:18:58.2

INTERVIEWER

Finally, some food!

0:19:08.4

INTERVIEWER

Why [was] developing these tools so important?

0:19:11.4

EUDALD CARBONELL

To scavenge, cut through skin when the prey was still fresh and reach the soft tissues.

0:19:20.7

INTERVIEWER

An otherwise impossible task?

0:19:20.7

EUDALD CARBONELL

Yes. Otherwise they couldn’t.

0:19:27.6

EUDALD CARBONELL

This tool is losing its edge. I could sharpen it but I’d rather make a new one.

0:19:31.5

INTERVIEWER

That’s why we find so many of them today?

0:19:34.0

EUDALD CARBONELL

Exactly. This is too abrupt, it won’t cut.

0:19:40.5

INTERVIEWER

It won’t work?

0:19:41.7

EUDALD CARBONELL

No. You need to shift angle. For instance, hit here.

0:19:46.3

INTERVIEWER

From here to there?

0:19:47.6

EUDALD CARBONELL

Down. Not, hit here.

0:19:49.9

INTERVIEWER

Ah, OK, from here to there.

0:20:07.6

EUDALD CARBONELL

See this? Try it. This is very good.

0:20:47.5

INTERVIEWER

Eudald, all dinner long, I was wondering, why does Paranthropus go extinct and habilis leads to us?

0:20:53.6

EUDALD CARBONELL

All right, pay attention. Bipedalism + Encephalization + Technification + being omnivorous allowed these hominids to progress up until they became humans.

0:21:09.1

INTERVIEWER

All right, let’s see if I got that correctly. Walking on two feet + having a larger head, a larger brain, + making tools + eating anything made us human?

0:21:21.3

EUDALD CARBONELL

Exactly.

0:21:21.7

INTERVIEWER

OK, I got it.

0:21:26.7

NARRATOR

3 million years ago, A. Afarensis walked upright on savannah. Just half a million years later, little Homo habilis made the first tools in history, inaugurating out genus: the genus Homo.

0:21:49.3

INTERVIEWER

How does this hominid journey continue?

0:21:51.4

EUDALD CARBONELL

We’re in the savannah: north to the northern wind territories. After our ancestors, the first who left Africa... To the Caucasus.

0:22:12.2

NARRATOR

For the next stage in my journey, I’d be on my own. From the African savannah to the foot of the Caucasus.

0:22:18.0

CAPTION

1.8 million years BP. Have 1.8 millones de aňos.

0:22:19.1

NARRATOR

A 200,000 year journey, in hardly a day.

0:22:35.4

NARRATOR

I’d met David Lordkipanidze, discoverer of Homo georgicus. A hominid that inhabited this land 1.8 million years ago.

0:22:50.8

DAVID LORDKIPANIDZE

This is a jaw we found in ’91. This was a big sensation. Nobody could trust that Dmanisi could be 1.8 million.

0:23:01.8

CAPTION

David Lordkipanidze, Director Museo Nacional de Georgia.

0:23:03.1

DAVID LORDKIPANIDZE

And this jaw was the subject of big discussions. But to learn about how hominids, to know hominid stories, you should have skulls. You can see it. Please, look on it.

0:23:22.1

CAPTION

Homo georgicus, 1.8 millones de aňos. Cerebro de 600 cc.

0:23:23.5

DAVID LORDKIPANIDZE

This is a teenager. The most interesting thing is that it has a very small brain capacity, around 600 cubic cm. We have almost 1,500 cc. It was a very big surprise to have so primitive hominids out of Africa.

0:23:45.3

DAVID LORDKIPANIDZE

They’re the earliest representatives of Homo out of Africa.

0:24:01.5

NARRATOR

Tbilisi to Dmanisi, where Homo georgicus was found. I wanted to know what lured these hominids far from the savannah and into the Caucasus.

0:24:54.7

JORDI AGUSTI

This was Dmanisi’s first surprise: thousands of mode 1 tools indicating that the hominids that left Africa weren’t active hunters but scavengers that made such simple tools, hardly useful to fracture bones in search of marrow or tear meat out of prey other predators have killed.

0:24:57.1

CAPTION

Jordi Agusti, Coordinator, Investigación IPHES.

0:25:27.3

NARRATOR

According to Jordi, both habilis and georgicus always inhabited wooded areas like this one. The climate change dessecating Africa and expanding the savannah pushed them, generation after generation, to green refuges such as Dmanisi.

0:25:44.9

JORDI AGUSTI

In this journey, they’d be accompanied by predators like meganterion, a forest saber-tooth cat. When a carcass is produced by meganterion, or another saber-tooth, georgicus is the first to eat it and don’t have to compete with other big carnivores.

0:26:22.7

JORDI AGUSTI

In more than 15 years of excavation, Dmanisi’s given given discoveries. Here’s one of the most prominent. It’s a toothless hominid. You can appreciate it in this skull and more easily in this toothless mandible.

0:26:41.0

INTERVIEWER

How old could this be?

0:26:42.1

JORDI AGUSTI

This’d be about 40 to 50 years old. At that time, it was already an elder. This individual needed help to eat. He was actively [fed] by the group. This is the earliest proof of what we could see as cooperative behaviour, solidarity in prehistory, 1.8 million years ago.

0:27:20.1

INTERVIEWER

Jordi, from the Caucasus, from Dmanisi, how do we reach Europe, the First Europeans?

0:27:26.4

JORDI AGUSTI

You’ve got to take into account that Dmanisi is not only a destination, but a starting point by itself, too. From here, a fraction of them quickly reach the Far East. In about 100,000 years – little time in geological terms – they reach the island of Java. Homo erectus and Homo florisiensis appear there. Another fraction of that population will colonize Europe.

0:27:52.3

JORDI AGUSTI

But it’ll take a longer time, almost another half a million years.

0:27:57.4

INTERVIEWER

And why those 500,000 between Asia’s and Europe’s colonization?

0:28:01.8

JORDI AGUSTI

Probably, it’ a matter of climate. Half a million years later, climatic conditions changed in Europe allowing hominids to colonize at least the South of Europe, south of the principal ridge systems and the Mediterranean region.

0:28:35.2

NARRATOR

Now, from Asia to Europe.

0:28:37.8

CAPTION

1.5 million years BP, Have 1.5 millones de aňos.

0:28:39.2

NARRATOR

Eudald told that, this time in Spain, I’d meet the First European.

0:28:55.1

EUDALD CARBONELL

Hey, what’s up?

0:28:55.3

INTERVIEWER

How are you doing?

0:28:57.7

EUDALD CARBONELL

Fine, and you?

0:28:57.8

INTERVIEWER

Good! Finally here.

0:28:59.8

EUDALD CARBONELL

A “chico-chico”, Luis. This is the ritual one has to perform before entering the site.

0:29:05.6

INTERVIEWER

Cheers!

0:29:14.0

EUDALD CARBONELL

Along this road, if it wasn’t by the wheat and rye, we’d see a great grassland. Quite like the African savannah we saw. A great crossroads, on the north side of the Iberian Peninsula between East and West, North and South. A strategic place to settle.

0:29:43.9

EUDALD CARBONELL

This is one of the caves we’re excavating in Atapuerca. The “Mirador” cave. I started digging here about 11 or 12 years ago.

0:29:57.0

EUDALD CARBONELL

I’m going to show you something exceptional. In Atapuerca we find burials like this one here dating 4,000 years and others over 500,000 years old. This 4,000 is a girl in fetal position. She’s buried with a grinding stone that you can see back there. She was buried by her group.

0:30:20.1

EUDALD CARBONELL

A group of farmers and cattle breeders that settled here.

0:30:24.1

INTERVIEWER

Then, of course, these couldn’t be the first dwellers here, if you told me you’ve found burials dating 500,000 back...?

0:30:30.9

EUDALD CARBONELL

Look, in Atapuerca we have settlers as far back as 1.4 million and until 4,000 years. To tell you more about human evolution in Atapuerca, we must go to the trench. The oldest remains are there.

0:30:43.1

INTERVIEWER

Eudald, why did you call this the time tunnel?

0:30:44.7

EUDALD CARBONELL

Because here, more than a hundred years ago in the XIX Century, the hill was cut up so a railroad could cross along. When they cut the rock, the caves appeared on both sides where we find the fossils.

0:31:04.9

EUDALD CARBONELL

First, we found tools at the lower level of “Gran Dolina”. But, most surprisingly, in 1994, we found these remains of Homo antecessor. You can see the frontal bone very askew with little cranial capacity. Typical of African hominids.

0:31:29.1

EUDALD CARBONELL

On the other hand though, the maxillary has canine pits like ours, or supraorbital depressions. A meld of very archaic and very modern traits. A specimen of about 1.60 to 1.50m, with 1,000 cc of cranial capacity. 

0:31:47.2

INTERVIEWER

What’s antecessor’s place in our timeline?

0:31:51.0

EUDALD CARBONELL

Between 1.5 million and 900-800,000 years.

0:31:55.5

INTERVIEWER

So this antecessor came from Georgia?

0:31:58.4

EUDALD CARBONELL

Well, yes. We think antecessor could be the first European species. And that it evolved from Homo georgicus.

0:32:08.8

INTERVIEWER

May I?

0:32:10.8

CAPTION

Homo antecessor, 1.2 millones de aňos, Cerebro de 1,000 cc.

0:32:11.4

INTERVIEWER

So at last, this is the First European I’ve been chasing for so long!

0:32:14.5

EUDALD CARBONELL

Actually, this is the first European species. There’s a lot left to learn. We’ve got to go upstairs and see what happened there.

0:32:19.9

INTERVIEWER

But... I’m not a descendant of...?

0:32:21.2

EUDALD CARBONELL

No.

0:32:21.8

INTERVIEWER

No kidding?!

0:32:24.6

EUDALD CARBONELL

These stairs will take us from 1 million years ago to the present.

0:32:44.3

EUDALD CARBONELL

880,000 years ago, here in Atapuerca, we’ve found proof that humans practiced cannibalism. Pass me that.

0:32:53.9

EUDALD CARBONELL

With an object like this, a flint made out of it, hominids butchered other hominids to eat them. Like we did in Tanzania. We can see cutting marks on those bones.

0:33:05.3

INTERVIEWER

Are still visible?

0:33:05.5

EUDALD CARBONELL

Yes, in human bones!

0:33:14.0

NARRATOR

At the foot of “Gran Dolina”, I met the First European, a species that lived here 1.3 million years ago. Somewhat higher, 800,000 years ago, Homo antecessor practiced cannibalism. Still higher, we’d meet the last dweller of this cave.

0:33:51.0

EUDALD CARBONELL

This is level #10 of “Gran Dolina”. The roof of the cave. The end of the evolutionary journey. 350,000 years ago, Homo heidelbergensis lived here. They were bison hunters.

0:34:05.4

EUDALD CARBONELL

This is heidelbergensis’ skull from “Sima de los Hũesos” (Pit of the Bones). They were tall, strong, more than 1.8m (5’10”) tall and over 100Kg (220Lbs) of [weight].

0:34:14.9

INTERVIEWER

Way more than antecessor.

0:34:14.9

EUDALD CARBONELL

Yes, way more!

0:34:17.7

EUDALD CARBONELL

Differently from us or antecessor, it has no canine pits.

0:34:19.1

CAPTION

Homo heidelbergensis, 500,000 aňos, Cerebro de 1,200 cc.

0:34:19.7

EUDALD CARBONELL

He’s prognathic. And look, such a protruding torus. And how thick this bone is!

0:34:33.3

INTERVIEWER

What about their brain capacity?

0:34:35.6

EUDALD CARBONELL

Between 1,100 and 1,300 cc. Close to what we have.

0:34:40.6

INTERVIEWER

Eudald, is this the kind of tool they made? What a leap forward!

0:34:44.7

EUDALD CARBONELL

Yes. This is antecessor’s, a mode 1 tool. And this is biface. Cut on both sides, with a triangular shape.

0:35:05.9

INTERVIEWER

This is the first species to master fire, bury their kin and also, talk?

0:35:10.3

EUDALD CARBONELL

On top of fire, language and burying, they took care of the sick. Same thing as in Dmanisi hominids!

0:35:29.4

INTERVIEWER

Eudald, I’m flabbergasted. What a place!

0:35:33.1

EUDALD CARBONELL

Yes. Here we have one and a half million years of human evolution. From Homo antecessor, probably the first species to live and evolve in Europe to the Heidelbergensis who fathered Neanderthals. We’ve found hominids  every 200 to 300,000 years.

0:35:57.3

EUDALD CARBONELL

No other site in all Eurasia has such a load of information in just one spot.

0:36:05.2

INTERVIEWER

Then, Eudald, how do we get to the present?

0:36:08.2

EUDALD CARBONELL

This is yet another great adventure. You must go to the Neanderthal world to know what happened before our species arrived in Europe.

0:37:08.0

NARRATOR

Eudald sent me here, to meet the Neanderthals and honestly, the last place I’d ever think of: Gibraltar.

0:37:17.2

CLIVE FINLAYSON

This was a strategic place for Neanderthals.

0:37:17.2

CAPTION

Clive Finlayson, Director, Museo de Gibraltar

0:37:18.8

CLIVE FINLAYSON

Think that, in 6 Km2 (2.3 sq miles) of peninsula, we’ve found 10 Neanderthal sites. Perhaps the greatest density on Earth.

0:37:28.3

INTERVIEWER

And, why all those Neanderthals here? When?

0:37:31.8

CLIVE FINLAYSON

The evidence suggests they lived here for a long period of time. As far as 100,000 years ago, until 20,000 odd, or 30,000. And we’ve got proof they lived here almost constantly.

0:37:48.7

CLIVE FINLAYSON

This is the south-western end of their geographical distribution. They lived as far as Mongolia and Siberia. What we’ve found is when climate was warm, they expanded. That is, Neanderthals in Germany, in Northern Europe lived there when climate [was] warm like now, or even warmer. When it’s colder, they go extinct and survive only in meridional southern latitudes.

0:38:11.8

INTERVIEWER

All these were caves inhabited by Neanderthals?

0:38:15.5

CLIVE FINLAYSON

Yes, indeed. This one’s Benet’s, have proof they were there. The next one is the most important, Gorham’s. An 18 m (60ft) tall deposit of archaeological evidence. Surely they lived there. The next, Vanguard, also inhabited. And possibly, the [ones] already washed - and emptied - by the sea.

0:38:34.6

CLIVE FINLAYSON

Neanderthals dwelled in all of them.

0:39:07.0

CLIVE FINLAYSON

This is a classic, typical Neanderthal. Very robust. With a huge cranial capacity.

0:39:14.3

CAPTION

Homo neanderthalensis, 170,000 a 25,000 aňos, Cerebro de 1,400 cc.

0:39:15.5

CLIVE FINLAYSON

In most cases, greater than ours. 1,450 cc (Neanderthal’s). Also, very Neanderthal is the lack of chin. And what we call prognathism. I mean, from moving all parts of the face results in this protruding of the face.

0:39:34.1

CLIVE FINLAYS

Citation

Main credits

Yamir, Iván (Director)
Yamir, Iván (Screenwriter)
Yamir, Iván (Cinematographer)
Yamir, Iván (Film editor)
Quevedo, Luis (Director)
Quevedo, Luis (Screenwriter)
Par, Alfonso (Director)
Par, Alfonso (Screenwriter)
Par, Alfonso (Producer)

Other credits

Director of photography and editor, Iván Yamir; original music, Tito Rosell.


Distributor credits

Alfonso Par

Alfonso Par

Docuseek2 subjects

Paleoanthropology
Physical Anthropology
European History
Migration
Evolution

Distributor subjects

No distributor subjects provided.

Keywords

Eudald Carbonell; paleoanthropology; human evolution; "The Search for the First European"; Scorpion TV

Welcome to Docuseek2!

Docuseek2 is a streaming platform of the best documentary and social issue films available for the higher education community.

Anyone may search for titles and find detailed information about the titles. To preview films or license them for streaming, you must register and login.

Currently, we support online registration for anyone affiliated with a higher education institution. Please inquire if you are with a K-12 district or school or with a public library.

Click the Close button to get started!