Skeletons of the Sahara
Skeletons of the Sahara Previous Broadcasts
KQED Life: Sat, Feb 1, 2014 -- 3:00 AM
This film tells the story of scientist Paul Sereno's amazing discovery of a prehistoric human burial ground in the middle of one of the world's most forbidding desert. Like many great scientific discoveries, this one happens by accident. Sereno, one of the world's leading experts in finding fossils of dinosaurs and ancient crocodiles, is on an expedition to Niger, in Saharan Africa. Six weeks into a three-month journey, Sereno's team makes an unexpected discovery. They find bones all right, but these bones don't belong to prehistoric beasts -- they are human bones, the last remnants of a people who lived from 10,000 to 5,000 years ago when this now forbidding landscape was a thriving culture on the edge of a vast lake. Sereno's team counts the remains of dozens within a few minutes. "Skeletons of the Sahara" tells the story of this find and what it reveals to us about two civilizations that once thrived in what is now the world's largest desert.