Paleo Human Mysteries
Neil Bockoven is an award-winning geologist, journalist and the author of the historical fiction “Moctu” series — Moctu and the Mammoth People and The People Eaters (July 2022) – as well as a children’s science book titled When We Met Neanderthals.
Paleo Human Mysteries is a four-part documentary series (produced and hosted by Neil) that examines some of the greatest mysteries surrounding our early ancestors. Did we interbreed with Neanderthals and other archaic human species? And why did we survive, while they did not? Based on Neil’s exhaustive research, the series delves deep into the Paleolithic era and the interactions of paleo humans and explores the most recent discoveries being made through archaeology and genetics.
Episode Two – “Killer Instinct” – takes a hard look at why Neanderthals went extinct shortly after they encountered Homo sapiens in Europe roughly 45,000 years ago. Neil documents how violent and murderous our ancient ancestors were (a trait that continues in our species to this day) and that the killing of Neanderthals may have played a role in their demise. But Neil also describes in detail many other forces that contributed to their disappearance, including how Neanderthals likely experienced a KODAC moment (K is for Killed, O is Outcompeted, D is Disease, A is Absorbed and C is Climate) all of which combined to overwhelm their population.
The award-winning geologist expresses sadness over the loss of Neanderthals and other hominids who came into contact with – and in some cases, interbred with – Early Modern Man. He wonders what we might have learned from these other intelligent life forms. And per normal, Neil explains in his own folksy, witty and straightforward way the astonishing breakthroughs in DNA analysis and genetic research that are bringing our ancient past to life and transforming our understanding of who we are and where we came from.