Re: Neanderthals...

James Shreeve (
3 Oct 1995 14:58:55 GMT

Don't forget too the Neandertal hyoid bone from Kebara Cave in Israel.
While it certainly does not prove that Neandertals had language, it
refutes the argument that they could not have had human speech because
of the shape of this bone in the throat. It had been predicted that
Neandertal hyoids would be different than modern humans, but when this
skeleton was found, they turned out to be essentially the same. Things
like hyoids and endocasts showing Broca's areas can't resolve this
question once and for all. But it is important to keep in mind that
what little hard evidence we had for Neandertal language suggests that
they did in fact talk.