Secrets of the Stone AgeA three-part series in which anthropologist and author Richard Rudgley sets off on an epic journey back in time and around the world to discover the real roots of civilization.

The Wisdom of the Stones - Richard travels from New York to the Pyramids and beyond in search of evidence of writing, medicine and architecture from the Neolithic or New Stone Age (8000 - 3000 BC) - way before conventional history says they existed. It was the time when human beings embarked on a bold experiment - settling down in fixed communities - and establishing a style of living that still exists today.

Frozen In Time - Richard Rudgley continues his journey back in time and discovers that woolly mammoths and cave paintings aren't the only relics of the Ice Age. In his travels through the Upper Palaeolithic (or Ice Age), Richard finds beauty, social complexity and technological skill.

He visits a 35,000-year-old bead factory - maybe the first ever production line - and builds up a collection of beautifully sculpted female figurines - fertility symbols or early pornography? And he tunnels deep into the earth in search of the spiritual secrets of our Ice Age ancestors - in full glory on the painted walls of their cave-cathedrals.

The Human Story - In this final programme of the series, Richard Rudgley meets Neanderthal Man - our supposedly stupid cousin who became extinct 30,000 years ago.

Richard travels to Israel where early moderns and Neanderthals coincided for tens of thousands of years. And he visits Portugal, where the skeleton of a child caused an international outcry when it was suggested he might be the hybrid offspring of Neanderthal and modern interbreeding.

Not available at TDF. Try to watch the full documentary at Channel 4.

Secrets of the Stone Age