The Neanderthal man has long been portrayed as a pre-human "cave man" who spoke only in grunts, relying heavily on body language, as do primates.
However, after finding a fossilized Neanderthal hyoid, a bone that is instrumental in enabling speech, this assumption has been revisited.
Using a computer model of the bone, scientists compared it to that of modern humans. It demonstrates that modern man and the Neanderthal have very similar linguistic capabilities.
In non-human primates, the hyoid is not placed in the right position to vocalize like humans.
Our human capacity for speech and language has long been used as a fundamental characteristic that makes us human.
Researcher, Stephen Wroe says, “If Neanderthals also had language then they were truly human too.”
This, added to other recent discoveries, show that far from being pre-humans, Neanderthals were extremely similar to ourselves in almost every respect.
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