How Much Like Us Were the Neandertals?

+ See all authors and affiliations

Science  20 Nov 1998:
Vol. 282, Issue 5393, pp. 1456
DOI: 10.1126/science.282.5393.1456

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text


New lines of evidence have encouraged speculation that Neandertals may have been more like us than we think, particularly in one crucial respect: speech. For example, the 1989 discovery of a Neandertal hyoid bone, the bone that supports the larynx, that is a lot like a human one, and a comparative analysis of the hole that carries motor nerves to the tongue, called the hypoglossal canal, suggest that their vocal capabilities were the same as those of humans today. But many archaeologists argue that Neandertals' other behavioral limitations cast doubt on that conclusion.