This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labour of the writers and actors currently on strike, the movie/series/feature being covered here wouldn't exist.
"Packed with information and has amazing visuals to support it. Well detailed and well explained, something I highly recommend watching."
BY ROMEY NORTON JULY 17, 2023
Unknown: Cave of Bones takes its audiences on a journey to South Africa’s Cradle of Mankind, where paleoanthropologist (digs up dead and not dead people) Lee Beger has found the world's oldest graveyard. The fascinating thing is, it is not human. Finding 1,500 bone fragments Lee and his team are on a mission to prove these ancient, ape-like creatures had burial rituals. In so, they’ll change the way we see hominid evolution and the originals of belief. A huge moment in human history.
Do you know what hominid evolution is? I didn’t before I started watching, and I do now. This documentary is so interesting and insightful, I recommended it to anyone interested in evolution or wanting to learn about something pretty cool to talk about with friends, family and co-workers.
The opening shots are of the team squeezing their way through tiny caves to get to these burial sites. We see and hear how physically and mentally challenging this type of work is, and it is not for the claustrophobic. Camera’s follow the team into the caves, which are beautiful, and hold many secrets. Watching everyone crawl through the caves is nerve wracking, but once they’re inside it’s magical, and their faces filled with awe and almost disbelief is quite emotional.
These bones belonged to Homo Naledi, a primate, which was around 200,000 years before humans. These creatures potentially being interested in burials, which are rituals, is massive into understanding what it is to be human. The team excavates parts of a cave that has never been explored before. This is to help their research to prove they conducted burial traditions - or as close as they can.
Not only do they find bones, they find evidence of fire, from roughly 250,000 years ago. Their animations on what they believe these creatures would have looked like, acted like and how they got the bodies through the cave to bury it, are really freaky. They scared me a little (It reminded me of the horror film The Descent). Then there is something about the way in which these animals would have felt, and cared so much, they needed to bury their loved ones that provoked an emotional response as a viewer, and made me ask the same questions: Does this connect us, and is this what it means to be human?
Unknown: Cave of Bones, like others in the Unknown series, is packed with information and has amazing visuals to support it. Well detailed and well explained, something I highly recommend watching.