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Thanks for listening to Origin Stories! We are on hiatus as we work on new episodes. Our new season will launch in August, and we can't wait to share more stories about how we became human.

Dec 31, 2017

Three true tales about what it's like to do field research.

Kelly Stewart, Dorothy Cheney, and Robert Seyfarth share stories of gun smuggling, pet leeches, close encounters with hippos, and fan mail from one of the world's most infamous mass murderers.

This bonus episode was recorded live at a Leakey Foundation Fellows...


Nov 7, 2017

For a long time, scientists have been searching for the first Homo sapiens in the Great Rift Valley of Ethiopia. The story we've been telling about the origin of our species has gone something like this: Around 200,000 years ago in East Africa, the first Homo sapiens emerged, splitting off from an ancestral species,...


Sep 28, 2017

The stories and songs of prehistoric people are lost. Their art and artifacts are all that remain of their culture.

The painted caves of Ice Age Europe are the world's most famous examples of prehistoric art. What does this art reveal about the people who made it? Why did they paint those images on cave walls? What do...


Sep 21, 2017

One of the big questions in the study of human evolution is the question of how our ancestors spread across the world.

Our species evolved in Africa and migrated around the world from there. Most people on earth today are mixed descendants of multiple migrations to different places.

Somewhere in almost everyone’s...


Sep 14, 2017

It's not every day you see a Facebook post that changes your life, but that's exactly what happened to Leakey Foundation grantee Alia Gurtov. Gurtov was checking her Facebook feed one morning and saw a post from paleoanthropologist Lee Berger. He was looking for archaeologists who were "...skinny and preferably small....