What was motherhood like in prehistoric times? Most recent archaeological findings prove that the cooperative support of mothers within a community became a successful reproductive strategy.

A million years ago, our ancestors only narrowly escaped extinction. Today, however, our astonishing ability to reproduce sustainably is threatening the survival of numerous species – including our own. What was motherhood like in prehistoric times? Was the mother solely responsible for her child? This scientific documentary takes us to the animal world – to the white-tufted marmosets – but also on an anthropological journey of discovery into the past and to remote corners of the world. What do we humans have in common with the white-tufted marmosets? We raise our young communally. This is key to the survival of the human species, because the cooperative support of mothers in a community is a highly successful reproductive strategy. On a remote Greek island, communal motherhood was practised in a bizarrely coercive way until well into the 19th century. In a historically isolated part of northern Germany, researchers are investigating the role of the grandmother in the evolution of mankind and for the first time uncover the cause of the universal conflict with mothers-in-law. Prehistoric grave findings also shed light on the importance of the individual mother and how she handled her children.