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Episode 50: Understanding Neanderthals

Early prehistorians had little more than stones and bones to work with as they tried to piece together the story of the Neanderthals, but today’s researchers work in ways that early prehistorians could never have imagined.

Archaeologist and author Rebecca Wragg Sykes’ new book Kindred: Neanderthal Life, Love, Art, and Death synthesizes more than a century of research on Neanderthals – from the first Neanderthal fossil discovered, to the most up to date and cutting edge research – revealing a vivid portrait of one of our most intriguing and misunderstood relatives.


The Leakey Foundation

Origin Stories is a project of The Leakey Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding human origins research and outreach.

Support The Leakey Foundation

Support this show and the science we talk about. For the month of February, we are running a campaign in celebration of Charles Darwin’s birthday. 100% of the money we raise will go towards funding research grants, and all donations up to a total of $2,500 will be matched by Leakey Foundation trustee Mike Smith and matched again by the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation. 

A Most Interesting Problem

As part of our Darwin celebration, we’re having a virtual event on Saturday, February 13. “A Most Interesting Problem” celebrates Charles Darwin’s contributions to science and explores what Darwin got right and wrong about human evolution – 150 years after the publication of his book The Descent of Man. The speakers will be Jeremey DeSilva, Darwin historian Janet Browne, Brian Hare, Yohannes Haile-Selassie, Augustin Fuentes, Holly Dunsworth, and Ann Gibbons. Visit to get your free tickets.

Lunch Break Science

Lunch Break Science is The Leakey Foundation’s web series featuring short talks and interviews with Leakey Foundation grantees. Episodes stream live on the first and third Thursdays of every month.

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