The Ice Age is usually considered an epoque hostile to human life. However, scientists are finding more and more evidence that its last cold phase was an extraordinarily fruitful period in the development of humans. This was when our closest relative, Neanderthal Man, entered the scene, and also when our own history began with the appearance of our direct ancestor, the early Homo sapiens sapiens, the anatomically modern human being.
As well as presenting the current state of research, using traditional documentary devices such as graphics and interviews with international experts, Christian Bauer, the author of this two-part documentary, brings the Ice Age back to life, revisiting the world of our ancestors by the means of computer animations and re-enacted scenes.
The first episode, THE MAMMOTH HUNTER, deals with the central question concerning the Neanderthal Man as the success story of the Ice Age: How could a human being survive in such cold and hostile surroundings?
The second film, THE DEATH OF NEANDERTHAL MAN, explores the mystery of why Neanderthal Man, who had dominated the Ice Age for about 160 000 years, suddenly became extinct in the face of competition with Cro-Magnon Man, our more recent ancestor. How did the Cro-Magnons win this competition, sealing the fate of Neanderthal Man?