For its 2024 documentary lineup, Netflix has engaged award-winning actor Sir Patrick Stewart, who is well known for his appearances in Star Trek and X-Men, to voice a new historical documentary.

Read More: Netflix Secrets of the Neanderthals

Stewart becomes the latest addition to the esteemed group of narrators who have narrated documentaries on Netflix. Netflix has collaborated with actors such as Mahershala Ali, Morgan Freeman, Charles Dance, Helena Bonham Carter, David Attenborough, John Boyega, and Charles Dance over the years.

Ashley Gething, a London-based filmmaker best known for her work on A World in Arms, As It Happened: Pearl Harbor, and The Greatest Game, is directing the documentary.

So yet, Netflix has just released a brief logline for the document, which reads as follows:

“A study of the enigma surrounding the extinction of Neanderthals and their way of life”

Gething discusses the documentary in further detail on his LinkedIn page, stating:

“A documentary on archaeology that highlighted a dig conducted by Cambridge University at the famous Shanidar Cave in Kurdistan.”

The documentary was filmed in Gibraltar, France, Croatia, and Iraq.

Neanderthals were a subspecies of Archaic humans who lived mostly in Europe and certain regions of the Middle East and Asia until they went extinct about 40,000 years ago. Even now, scientists disagree greatly over what exactly killed the Neanderthals—possible causes include sickness, tiny population, climatic change, the emergence of modern humans, and assimilation of their species.

A number of documentaries, including Mountain Queen: The Summits of Lhakpa, Sherpa, Vampires of Gem City, What Jennifer Did, Will & Harper, and Ibelin, are scheduled for release in 2024. This is in addition to the Netflix docuseries roster.

Along with Clementine Cheetham, Gething is a producer on the documentary; executive producers are Andrew Cohen and Gideon Bradshaw.

What are your expectations for the upcoming historical documentary about the Neanderthals on Netflix? Tell us in the comments section below.

Assembling the Scene

We should take a step back and examine the site’s history and its strategic modern and prehistoric location on the southeast side of the Rock of Gibraltar before delving into the mystery surrounding the identity of the Gorham’s Cave artist and the Netflix Secrets of Neanderthals tale. Situated on the northern edge of a slender waterway that connects the Atlantic and Mediterranean seas, is this recognizable, monolithic limestone outcrop. This location was known as the “Strait of Hercules” in antiquity, according to the Greek mathematician and philosopher Plato, who wrote Timaeus and Critias (360 BCE). The Rock of Gibraltar and Jebel (Mt.) Musa in Morocco, western North Africa, may have been identified by this expression as the “Pillars of Hercules” that divide the earth and the heavens. The westernmost boundary where the mythical figure Hercules is supposed to have journeyed was the ocean’s edge beyond the Strait.

“Gorham’s Cave” is located on the southeast edge of Gibraltar. It was rediscovered in 1907 by Captain A. Gorham of the Royal Munster Fusiliers, who did so by opening a crack in the back of a sea cavern. The Mediterranean Sea’s constant eastern wave movement had organically formed the cave. The cave may have existed a few kilometers inland on a coastal plain during the last Ice Age, which peaked around 26,000 years ago. Ocean levels have continued to fluctuate. At that time, anybody visiting the cave would have seen grassland with sporadic bushes and trees that supported a diverse range of plants and animals.

According to some archaeologists, Gorham’s Cave is the final known location where Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis) inhabited the planet. The Neander Valley in Germany, close to Düsseldorf, is the location of the modern discovery of Neanderthals, hence the name. The German term Tal, meaning “valley,” was originally spelled Thal. There were more groups of Neanderthals throughout Europe. Homo sapiens, sometimes referred to as “modern man,” originated in Africa at least 54,000 years ago, and lived in the same general area as the Neanderthals. This is where our distant ancestors come in.

According to a few researchers who are the brains behind the Netflix series Secrets of the Neanderthals, Homo sapiens did not leave their imprint in Gorham’s Cave until around 20,000 years ago, when they left a painted deer and a handprint. Beginning around 5300 BCE, Neolithic shell fishers used the cave (McCann, B. 2012). Between 800 and 400 BCE, seafaring Phoenicians utilized the site’s entrance as a seaside sanctuary (UNESCO 2015). We had never learned why they had selected this location for their house of worship.