This story is part of BBC Earth's "Best of 2016" list, our greatest hits of the year. Browse the full list.

For decades, we've thought of our Neanderthal cousins as brutish, primitive beings. Second-class humans driven extinct by their own fallibility and stupidity.

But as we are fast learning, the truth about who they were and how they died is far more intriguing.

In a special series, BBC Earth has recreated the last days of the last Neanderthal.

To find out more about the discoveries revolutionising our understanding of Neanderthals, watch the films above and below:

What killed the Neanderthals?
Did we really drive our human relatives extinct?

How Neanderthal are you?
What do you owe to our ancient cousins?

How human were Neanderthals?
They were as special as our ancestors

Did Neanderthals create art?
A stunning engraving suggests they did

Join over five million BBC Earth fans by liking us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

If you liked this story, sign up for the weekly bbc.com features newsletter called "If You Only Read 6 Things This Week". A handpicked selection of stories from BBC Future, Earth, Culture, Capital, Travel and Autos, delivered to your inbox every Friday.