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SECRETS OF THE DEAD: Cavemen Cold Case

Airs Thursday, September 25, 2014 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: A laboratory study of 49,000 year-old Neanderthal bones discovered in El Sidrón, a remote, mountainous region of northern Spain.

Part detective story, part true-life drama, SECRETS OF THE DEAD explores some of the most iconic moments in history to debunk myths and shed new light on past events. Using the latest investigative techniques, forensic science and historical examination to unearth new evidence, the series shatters accepted wisdom, challenges prevailing ideas, overturns existing hypotheses, spotlights forgotten mysteries and ultimately rewrites history.

"Cavemen Cold Case" - A tomb of 49,000 year-old Neanderthal bones discovered in El Sidrón, a remote, mountainous region of northern Spain, leads to a compelling investigation to solve a double mystery: How did this group of Neanderthals die? And could the fate of this group help explain Neanderthal extinction?

Scientists examine the bones and discover signs that tell a shocking story of how this group may have met their deaths. Some bones bear distinct signs of cannibalism. Was it a result of ritual or hunger? Neanderthal experts are adamant that they were not bloodthirsty brutes.

What happened here 49,000 years ago will take viewers on a much bigger journey — from El Sidrón to the other end of the Iberian Peninsula, where scientists are excavating beneath the seas off Gibraltar in search of Neanderthal sites.

Past episodes are available for online viewing. SECRETS OF THE DEAD is on Facebook, tumblr, and you can follow @SecretsPBS on Twitter.

Cavemen Cold Case Preview

Journey to Spain to investigate a double Neanderthal mystery.