First Face of America (2018)
Back in 2007, divers who were exploring an underwater cave in Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula made an astounding discovery — a trove of bones from twenty animal species, and a nearly complete skeleton of a teenage girl that they later christened "Naia" (after a mythological nymph). Scientists determined that Naia was 13,000 years old, making her "among the earliest known human remains in the Americas." In reconstructing what happened, scientists speculate that she climbed into the cave and then fell into a deep pit that was later cut off by rising sea levels. Even more tantalizing is the fact that her bones are different from today's Native Americans. Who were these Ice Age people? How did they get there? The movie incorporates the commentaries of the two cave divers, the principal investigator of the project, an anthropologist, an archaeologist, a Danish evolutionary geneticist, and a cave paleontologist. My only complaint with this inherently interesting story is the unnecessarily melodramatic music, hokey recreations, and exaggerated narrative (the divers were "breathless with excitement!"). This 53-minute documentary first appeared in the PBS Nova series, and is also available on Netflix.
Dan Clendenin: email@example.com