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Episode 45: Detective of the Dead

Atapuerca is a place that holds the mystery of human evolution in Europe from 1.2 million years ago through recent times. You can find, in one place, the oldest human in Europe, the first murder in the archaeological record, and fossils that tell a range of stories from disturbing and grisly to tender and heartwarming. María Martinón-Torres is a Leakey Foundation grantee who is sometimes called a “detective of the dead” because she pieces together clues to learn about the lives and deaths of the people who once inhabited northern Spain.

Special thanks

Thanks to María Martinón-Torres for sharing her work. Thanks to Dub and Ginny Crook for sponsoring this episode.

Links to learn more

The Atapuerca website María Martinón-Torres’ website Learn about Atapuerca on Unesco World Heritage information Sima del Elefante – The First Hominin of Europe Gran Dolina – Human Meat Just Another Meal for Early Europeans? Sima de los Huesos

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Host, Writer, Producer: Meredith Johnson Producer: Lucia Benavides Editor: Audrey Quinn Special thanks to Shuka Kalantari Theme Music: Henry Nagle

Additional Music:

Lee Rosevere “Tech Toys” and music from Blue Dot Sessions.


Origin Stories is made possible by support from Dub and Virginia Crook, Diana McSherry, Jeanne Newman, Camilla Smith, and donors like you!

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