Episode 40: Paleolithic Magick with Leah Walden-Hurtgen

Welcome to the 40th episode of the Science Witch Podcast!

Venus of Willendorf cast at the Smithsonian exhibit

In this episode, Enku and Anjel talk to Anthropology professor and fellow Clan of the Cave Bear enthusiast Leah Walden-Hurtgen about early hominid evolution. In this episode we discuss the distinctions and evidence that supports the idea of how we became human and also talk about the archeological evidence about spiritual beliefs and even cannibalism. Content warning for sexual topics as we do delve into the Clan of the Cave Bear book series. We round off the discussion with a fascinating discussion of what makes us human and how music evolved before our language processing centers in the brain. 


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Transcripts for this Episode


Show Notes

Leah Walden-Hurtgen

Earth’s Children Series 

Clan of the Cave Bear movie 

Oldest Stone Tools Go Back 3.3 Million Years, Predating Our Species

Multiple episodes of interbreeding between Neanderthal and modern humans

Clan of the Cave Bear Published May 4 1980

Neanderthals and Homo sapiens had similar auditory and speech capacities

The 2022 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is awarded to Svante Pääbo for his discoveries concerning the genomes of extinct hominins and human evolution.

In Click Languages, an Echo of the Tongues of the Ancients

The First Language? Genetic and linguistic data indicate—but can’t quite prove—that our ancient ancestors spoke with strange clicking noises

Homo heidelbergensis was Extremely Resourceful, New Research Shows

Cannibalism in early Latin America 

Neanderthal family found cannibalised in cave in Spain

Kuru: The Science and the SorceryFull Documentary 

Homo floresiensis: the real-life ‘hobbit’

There used to be nine species of human. What happened to them?

Venus Figurines

The Venus of Willendorf and Other Voluptuous Ancient Figures May Have Been ‘Ideological Tools’ to Shape Body-Image Norms

Cave of Forgotten Dreams

The Story of Music is the Story of Humans

Music: It’s in your head, changing your brain

The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity 

Mystic South 

Monica Lewinsky You’re Wrong About


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