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Human is a major new 5x60 science series for BBC Two and iPlayer. Produced by BBC Studios Science Unit and co-produced with PBS, it tells the story of how humanity went from being just one of many hominin species to the dominant form of life on earth.


Around 250,000 years ago, Homo sapiens appeared in Africa – one of at least seven hominin species alive at the time. Today, we are the most dominant animal on Earth, and the only remaining human species left on the planet.

It’s an extraordinary story. But for 98% of it, we have no written record of what happened. Now, following breakthroughs in DNA technology and remarkable new fossil evidence, we are able to tell this story in startling detail.

Presented by paleoanthropologist Ella Al-Shamahi, this series uses a combination of archaeology, travelogue and reconstruction to tell the story of how we became ‘us’: modern humans. Ella will follow in the footsteps of our ancient ancestors – visiting internationally important archaeological sites to meet experts who can help her unlock the secrets of our deep historical past.

Presenter Ella Al-Shamahi says: “In the last few years there has been an ancient DNA revolution and multiple new species of human have been discovered. So this really is the perfect time to be making this series. I’m particularly excited to put the human back into human evolution. This is our story and it’s a remarkable one.”

Tom Coveney, BBC Head of Science, says: “Amazing new discoveries from dig sites and labs around the world are finally making it possible to tell the astonishing story of Homo sapiens. This series will reveal the dramatic twists and turns our species’ story, the secrets behind our success, and ultimately what makes us human.”

Andrew Cohen, Head of BBC Studios Science Unit, says: "Human will build on the dramatic story telling techniques of Universe and Planets to reveal the extraordinary journey we have taken over the last 300,000 years...

"From being just one of a number of human species on Earth, to a species that has grown to dominate the planet like no other, the series will reveal the very latest research into our distant ancestors and we hope provide a new perspective on what it means to be Human."

Human was commissioned for BBC Two and iPlayer.


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