Sex in the Stone Age

I’ve just gotten word that the long-awaited Denisova documentary on the National Geographic Channel is running next Thursday night at 10:00 pm Eastern in the U.S.

Sex in the Stone Age promo graphic

Yes, they called it “Sex in the Stone Age”. I find it to be a great improvement over the working title, “X-Woman”.

I have a small role in this documentary, mainly contextualizing how we can use a genome to investigate the phenotypes of ancient people. The film crew got some great coverage of the Denisova area when I was there last summer, and spoke extensively to the Max Planck sequencing team as well as the Russian excavators from the Institute of Archaeology in Novosibirsk. I hope they did a good job with the writing and editing!

Here’s the promo text they’ve been sending around:

A fragment of a pinky bone and a tooth twice the size of todays average molar are the only remnants of a species we now know lived at the same time and place as modern humansand interbred with them. They are a part of us we never knew existed. What did these people look like? And how do they fit into what we thought we knew about our biological development as a species?

It’s such a fascinating problem, and I’m glad it’s being shown to a broader audience. I just wish it weren’t at the very same moment when I’ll be doing the Plenary Session for the AAPA meetings in Portland!