From Caves to Cosmos

Premiere date: October 23, 2018 at 9/8c

From Caves to Cosmos focuses on the deep roots of Native America: Who are America’s First Peoples and how did they create their unique world? Answers emerge from Hopi Elders on pilgrimage at sacred Chaco Canyon in the New Mexico desert, scientists examining ancient cave painting in the Amazon jungle, Chumash boat builders exploring their tribe’s ancient migration legacy off California’s coast, and an archaeologist digging deep below a towering pyramid near Mexico City. Read more below

Video from Episode 1

Episode 1

From Caves to Cosmos

Aired: 2018-10-23 53:31 Expires: 2018-11-21 Rating: TV-PG

Ancient clues and modern science answer the question: who were America’s First Peoples?

More About the Episode

Modern scholarship and ancient oral tradition work side-by-side to discover a shared native science and spirituality, maintained across thousands of miles, that creates the foundation for some of our planet’s greatest wonders. These stories point to the genesis of a vast social and cultural network that connects people across two continents – one that began earlier than ever imagined. Recent discoveries are driving archaeologists and indigenous leaders to a bold new perspective: that all Native Americans are part of a unique interconnected world.  

New evidence hints that the First Americans spent millennia developing their distinctive culture and beliefs as a single community in what is now Alaska, before spreading rapidly across North and South America.  Together, they set Native America in motion, continents apart and untouched by influence from Europe, Asia and Africa.  The result was incredible cities, sophisticated cultures, and unique ways of life that continue to reverberate in native beliefs and ways of life to this day.

A Closer Look at From Caves to Cosmos

Extended Interviews

The Earliest Cave Paintings in America

Archaeologist Anna Roosevelt dates the cave paintings in Brazil's Amazon jungle to 13,000 years ago. Her discovery rewrites the traditional history of the peopling of the America and who those people were - not just big game hunters but also artists and scientists.

The Importance of Names

Zuni elder Jim Enote speaks on why knowing Native names is an important source of information. Native names often reflect information about a place that is based on thousands of years of observation.

Shared Beliefs

David Carrasco illuminates the similarities of the religious beliefs shared by indigenous peoples across the Americas. These similarities include sky worship including the sun and moon, the power of water, sacrality of trees, and human relationships to animal spirits.

| Native America
Choose Station
When to watch

Native America

Local Station:

Choose Station

Streaming on:

Your purchase supports PBS and helps make our programming possible.

Support your local PBS station