According to archaeologists, Neanderthal people, known colloquially as cavemen, lived in groups with simple social structures, had their own languages and communicated by speaking. Some scientists conclude that analysis of Neanderthal DNA confirms that they possessed the same gene humans have that is associated with the capability for language and speech.Continue Reading
Contrary to the popular image of Neanderthals as slope-browed and stupid, fossil evidence shows that they actually had brains that were slightly larger than humans. They were also more powerful than humans, with especially strong arms and hands. Their faces were large and long, and they had brow ridges and receding chins.
Neanderthals lived from about 200,000 to 30,000 years ago. They are a distinct species from modern humans, but for about 10,000 years, the two species lived concurrently. According to About.com, there is some fossil and DNA evidence that some interbreeding might have occurred. According to archaeological evidence, Neanderthals roamed Europe and part of Asia. Though early on they were scavengers, later they became skilled at using spears for hunting. They developed and used rudimentary tools out of bone, antler and stone, and they also learned how to control fire. Markings found on bones suggest they may also have had a primitive concept of art.Learn more about Prehistory