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Code Breakers


Unlocking the secrets of humankind’s last great migration with anthropologist Niobe Thompson.

Winner of 2 Gemini Awards – “Best Science and Nature Documentary” & “Best Photography”

Is human culture in the Americas thousands of years older than we thought?  Did the first humans reach the New World by foot at the end of the Ice Age?  Or did they come thousands of years earlier, by sea?

Science may finally have the answer.

Code Breakers follows Arctic anthropologist Niobe Thompson on a fascinating journey, from Siberia to the Bering Strait, from Brazil to the world’s cutting-edge DNA laboratories, searching for the secrets of prehistory’s last great migration.  A major discovery seems within reach, but promising evidence keeps falling short.  Until a remarkable discovery in an Oregon cave.

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CBC | (2011) | 43 mins. & 48 mins.
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Winner
Best Sound
AMPIA 2011
Winner
Best Photography
AMPIA 2011
Winner
Best Documentary
AMPIA 2011
Winner
Best Photography
Gemini Awards 2011
Winner
Best Science and Nature
Gemini Awards 2011

Is human culture in the Americas thousands of years older than we thought?  Did the first humans reach the New World by foot at the end of the Ice Age?  Or did they come thousands of years earlier, by sea?

Science may finally have the answer.


Code Breakers follows Arctic anthropologist Niobe Thompson on a fascinating journey, from Siberia to the Bering Strait, from Brazil to the world’s cutting-edge DNA laboratories, searching for the secrets of prehistory’s last great migration.  A major discovery seems within reach, but promising evidence keeps falling short.  Until a remarkable discovery in an Oregon cave.

For decades, scientists believed humans waited for the Ice Age to end, 11,000 years ago, before entering the Americas across the Bering Land Bridge.  Until then, a sheet of ice 4 kilometers thick covered the northern half of the continent, blocking the route into North America.  But in recent years, tantalizing but inconclusive evidence of earlier humans living during the Ice Age has begun to emerge.

Now, in his own journey from Siberia into the Americas, anthropologist Niobe Thompson takes us inside the incredible scientific discovery that has finally solved the mystery.

In this multiple award-winning documentary, the ancient world of the first peoples of the Americas comes to life in gorgeous recreations shot in Arctic Russia. As the mystery of the Ice Age migrations is finally solved by science, Thompson takes us to the modern ice people of the Bering Strait, whose way of life completes our understanding of how their ancestors conquered the New World.